April 24, 2014

Cleveland Browns embarrass themselves, lose to Jags at home 32-28

Screen Shot 2013-12-01 at 4.35.04 PMThis all sounds like the same Browns song and dance since 1999, doesn’t it?

Joe Haden got torched by Chad Henne and Cecil Shorts to give the Jaguars the lead with 40 seconds to go in the game. It was an embarrassing play in an embarrassing loss to one of the worst teams in the NFL at home. Yes, Brandon Weeden had a chance with 40 seconds and three timeouts to drive 80 yards for a touchdown and a victory, but that prayer wasn’t meant to be answered. This team remains an utter embarrassment to themselves and the city they represent. They might be set up for the future, but I’ve got to tell you. The present stinks. Browns are losers 28-32.

Brandon Weeden had one of his typically uneven days. [Update: Weeden diagnosed with concussion.] He made some passes early on that made it seem like the loose version of Weeden was going to be better. Then to end the first half Weeden imploded. The Browns had a 14-7 lead when Weeden threw an interception past Jordan Cameron. Jags touchdown ensued. The very next time Weeden touched the ball he threw another interception, this time yielding a field goal. Five plays later, Weeden gave up a strip sack that the Jags returned into field goal range with five seconds to go in the half. Scobee nailed it. The Browns went from a 14-7 lead to a 20-14 deficit in an absolutely comical amount of time.

[Also see: Josh Gordon first with back-to-back 200 yard games]

The only good thing was Josh Gordon. Gordon had 261 yards receiving on the day including two touchdowns and a long one of 95 yards. I can’t say enough about how amazing Josh Gordon is. Yes, he did his damage on a bad team, but with numbers like Gordon put up, it doesn’t matter. He is doing incredible things and revealing himself as one of the very best receivers in the entire league.

But I don’t want to dwell on that too much, because this team doesn’t deserve to have too many nice things said about them. They lost to the worst team in the NFL. They allowed Chad Henne to beat them. They turned the ball over at an alarming rate including the aforementioned turnovers and Alex Mack’s wild snap that ended up giving the Jaguars a safety.

I’m with all the rest of you with regard to the good things about this team, but none of the good trades that set them up for next season is an excuse for losing at home to the Jaguars this season. It doesn’t excuse turning the ball over at the rate they do and losing three games in a row when the season wasn’t yet lost. When I lobbed some criticism at the team on Twitter, I got a reply from someone wondering how many teams were turning players like T-Rich into first round picks. That’s all well and good, but it has nothing to do with the remainder of the Browns’ schedule this season.

So now that the Browns have lost three in a row, including one to the Jags at home, are they going to be favored to win another game this year? With games in New England, against Chicago at home, at the New York Jets, and in Pittsburgh, it’s hard to imagine. And the Browns are looking for at least a single win that would give them the same five wins they won a year ago with Dead Shurmur Walking. And to think they also had an easier schedule this year.

I’ve said that this is the best attempt at a front office since the Browns came back in 1999. Joe Banner is the most qualified executive to lead the organization since Carmen Policy. I want to think things are different now too, but until this team starts winning football games, there’s no way to know. There’s no way to know for sure that it isn’t the exact same song we hoped would get drowned out with a whole new band playing the instruments in Berea.

  • Kildawg

    Hoyer had the Browns looking good, but not necessarily great. Weeden makes us look like a joke. Campbell is a serviceable backup. Hoyer and Campbell would be able to let the rookie QB develop (if they stay healthy of course).

  • Big Z

    The Browns cannot win with Weeden at the helm, plain and simple. When he plays, there is no hope. The team cannot rid themselves of his cursed presence fast enough. He is nothing but a titanic anchor on the entire franchise. ‘Twill be a very happy day when he is finally jettisoned from the league.

  • Kildawg

    Mingo was #6 overall, just outside of the top 5. Plus he missed the first game due to injury.

  • Petefranklin

    That’s how Joe has made a nice living for himself. As Jesse James has tattooed on his hand…”pay up sucker”.

  • Petefranklin

    Oh, and the Clowns could be K.C. this year if they had ponied up for Smith, right? Same QB, same WR combo, same RB(kind of), same D line and front 7. I for one am glad that Haslem made an extra 14 million this year that cant be carried over in cap space next year, how about you?

  • saggy

    You know what I meant! And missing games is solely on him.

  • Big Z

    Yes. He is an embarrassment to the city and the franchise. It is absolutely ridiculous that he’s been allowed to serve in a backup role, let alone a starting role over the last 5 weeks. He is absolutely hideous.

  • Kildawg

    Basically it’s the guy’s fault if he gets injured, regardless of the nature? Weird things happen. Think better safe than sorry is the correct way to approach things.

  • Harv 21

    see, that’s it, that’s repeating a popular narrative that doesn’t hold up. Last year’s defense under Dick Jauron was not dreadful compared to what Horton’s defense permitted the league’s worst offense to do yesterday. If Jauron had stayed permitted yesterday’s clutch chokes this site would be ready to tar and feather him. Not fret about him leaving.

  • Kevin Huyghe

    Hard to argue against the KC point providing their overall record, but I don’t see KC doing anything in the playoffs. They didn’t play a winning team until these past 3 games and oh look… 0-3.

    I know that’s not your point, just thought I’d say it.

  • dimoko

    I agree, if you are so pissed, go do something else. i will keep watching the browns, and that doesnt make me “part of the problem”

  • dimoko

    Some of that falls on Chud in my opinion. He was being super aggressive. Generally i like that, but in this case, off a big TD, run the ball, run the clock and let your shaky QB regroup a bit at halftime…

  • dimoko

    What is your suggested alternative to settling? Finding another team? Not watching football? This is a serious question.

  • dimoko

    Next week is the one we win. Like a 30 foot putt for birdie in the last round of the year that keeps you from quitting golf.

  • C-Bus Kevin

    I would agree AFTER the first pick…that one’s all Weeden. You gotta be able to trust your QB can try to score without throwing a pick on your own side of the field with over 2 mins remaining.

    After the first pick, it was a Norv/Weeds collaboration.

  • 240

    Craig – Bill Barnwell proved there is absolutely no correlation with finishing strong and the following season. http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/9402347/bill-barnwell-asks-whether-hot-streak-carries-next-nfl-season
    By your logic it’s important that whoever the Browns’ next quarterback is wins their bowl game this year. Obviously I never want them to lose a game and they shouldn’t purposely tank. But having Weeden under center means they can’t win a game…it is what it is until the QB/injury situation gets solved.

  • http://dawgpounddaily.com/author/markjosephpi/ Mark J

    You do know that salary cap money now rolls over?

    That money isn’t burned.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    One win doesn’t equate to turning it around unfortunately.

  • Kildawg

    The rolled-over cap money would cover the Richardson bonus money. Must have been Banner’s plan all along.

  • Scott Endress

    We need a QB..really? We also need a new FO because, one, they in essence started the #3QB for the opener, then both Hoyer, then Campbell each started ahead of Weeden even after he was healthy. OK? Then, if Mingo is all we have to show for the 2013 draft, then yes, the 2013 draft is an utter failure when it comes to 2013. You can Mingo’s impact all you want, I still think it was a reach. Finally, it will be worth talking about the TR trade once the current brain trust either hits or misses on his draft pick, not know until much later- 2014-2015. So yes, they have not done anything yet with that trade and nothing to help their current season. You can believe the snake oil of Banner and their minions in the press all you want. I don’t trust their decision making skills. No one else did either, as they were passed by most of the NFL.

  • Scott Endress

    Sure, we need to dream. But dreaming about the quick turn around like we want to see, the kind that we’ve seen all around the league different years, doesn’t mean it will actually happen. I give you the 2013 Cleveland Browns as proof that this team is not headed anywhere in particular and is not in fact turning around in the way we would like to see as fans.

  • Scott Endress

    Sure, we need to dream. But dreaming about the quick turn around like we want to see, the kind that we’ve seen all around the league different years, doesn’t mean it will actually happen. I give you the 2013 Cleveland Browns as proof that this team is not headed anywhere in particular and is not in fact turning around in the way we would like to see as fans.

  • http://dawgpounddaily.com/author/markjosephpi/ Mark J

    Not a bad use of cap space to get out from under that deal.

  • @TheDeePagel

    That just goes to prove that the “culture of winning” that coaches talk about is true and not just “coach speak”. Confidence breeds confidence, and winning breeds winning, doesn’t it?

  • Petefranklin

    NO, not that 14 million(already carried over) of the 26 Million that they are under the cap this year. They are 26 million under the cap and lose 14 million of the carryover towards next year since Haslem pocketed it THIS year by not filling out the roster with actual NFL talent.

  • Petefranklin

    The 14 mill does NOT get rolled over.

  • Petefranklin

    Everyone was saying how great the defense was early in the season, and I had the nerve to point out that they blew 2nd half leads when everyone was saying how improved they were. I guess they are rated better this year, but they still suck.