No doubt, this is a bad Cleveland Browns team right now. Mistakes abound, and there were bad plays on both sides of the ball. It was agonizing to once again give up points to Baltimore, just like last year, while trying to kick an EXTRA POINT. Wow, that was terrible! And that three point swing really came back to haunt us at the end, where we were forced to score a touchdown instead of a field goal.
We were badly beaten up on the offensive line, which did not protect McCown all afternoon, and got him injured. It looked to me like the left side of our line stayed intact, but there were problems at center, right guard and right tackle. McCown is simply not going to make it through the season with such poor O-Line play. And on defense, our secondary could not cope with the likes of ancient Steve Smith, who apparently found a fountain of youth against the Browns.
We've been used to exceptional special teams play, but that fell apart for us as we could not contain ancient Devin Hester, while we missed a field goal and gave up the huge play on the blocked extra point.
But if you step back a bit, you realize that the Browns were at least in this game for a while before blowing it at the end. We gained yards on the ground, the defensive line had some good stops, McCown completed passes before getting hurt. Chris Kirksey played well at ILB, Joe Haden and Tramon Williams showed that they would still fight, if not at the same level they played at during their peak.
|Corey Coleman hauled in a touchdown pass versus Baltimore.|
As an amateur General Manager, I was interested to see that several Browns castaways did well, with Karlos Dansby starting for the Bengals, and Craig Robertson leading the Saints in tackles. Teammate Paul Kruger recovered a fumble for the Saints as well. Travis Benjamin scored for the Chargers, and Willie Snead scored another for the Saints. Fozzy Whitaker could not make the Browns 53-man roster, but there he was gaining 100 yards for the Carolina Panthers. Amazing. Tashaun Gipson is starting for Jacksonville; and Mitchell Schwartz is getting it done for the Kansas City Chiefs, and Barkevious Mingo is playing for New England, and Johnson Bademosi is playing special teams in Detroit and Justin Gilbert is in Pittsburgh. I'm not sure that we have done a good job at evaluating veteran talent, as a lot of guys we didn't want are playing well elsewhere.
I think if McCown is banged up, the Browns need to promote Kevin Hogan to the 53 man roster, to prevent some other team from picking him up. Either that or we need to sign a veteran. It's very forseeable that Josh's injuries, plus our relectance to passblock, is going to limit Josh's longevity as the Browns' starter. Looks like the Patriots are going to have to start a third string quarterback, and the Browns may be not far behind.