This game was played terribly by the Cleveland Browns. Okay, that’s an obvious statement, but I’m irritated and feel a need to make it anyway. This loss sits squarely on the offense and a little on head coach Mike Pettine.
I found it amazing as I watched Twitter that fans couldn’t seem to understand that a good 85% of this was that offensive line. That’s what happens when you lose one of the best offensive linemen in the NFL. Sorry, but no matter how well other guys are, you just don’t replace a guy like Alex Mack. Not many teams could.
Some people tweeted that championship teams learn how to overcome such obstacles. That’s mostly true. But if you came into this game thinking the Browns are a championship team, you’re more delusional than I could even imagine.
Everyone was calling this a trap game, and probably will tomorrow. But I disagree. This isn’t because the Browns were looking ahead; it’s because they couldn’t block on the offensive line. Besides, who were they looking ahead to? Oakland? Tampa Bay?
I felt bad for Brian Hoyer who was constantly battling guys in his face. But he shoulders some of the blame as well. He made some terrible throws. I get it he was being rushed, but it doesn’t mean he has to throw the ball as poorly as he did. Look, everyone has bad days and I would judge today against his entire body of work – no matter how small it is – before I would call for him to be benched in favor of Johnny Manziel.
I don’t blame the defense for giving up the two touchdowns. The offense couldn’t stay on the field. On top of our offensive line being bad, the strength of the Jacksonville Jaguars is their defensive line. It’s a bad combination if you’re pulling for the Orange and Brown.
Not sure I understand Mike Pettine’s 4th down plays. Not sure if the second attempt was supposed to be a play run or the center snapped it in error. No idea. It sits on somebody’s shoulders, though, as the season’s worst gaffe.
Personally, I’m not surprised that the Browns lost one of these three games. This is the NFL and even the bad teams are better than they get credit for. Ever hear someone say that an NFL team is so bad that they couldn’t beat a college team? They have a word to describe those types of people: Stupid.
What worries me is that this line cannot recover at all from the loss of Mack. I can only hope that the front office can find someone unsigned or the offensive line can gel to play better than they did today. Some fans wanted the Browns to make a trade to get former Seahawk/current Jet Percy Harvin, but the problem right now isn’t wide receiver; it’s offensive line.
Browns fans, try not to climb the 480 Bridge yet. It’s one game. But if we see more of this next week, you might want to head out early. The line is going to be long.