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.
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.