The Cleveland Browns offense passed the eye test today. That is something that we haven’t been able to say about this team this year. The team was going up against a depleted Jaguars defense that got even more banged up during the game, so save the punch and pie for now. They didn’t blow the roof off the stadium with scoring either. Still, they moved the ball. They spread it around to guys like Josh Cribbs, Jordan Norwood, Greg Little and Mohamed Massaquoi. The offensive line protected Colt McCoy pretty well and opened enough holes for 4th string runner Chris Ogbonnaya to go for 115 yards and a TD. It is exactly what the Browns needed at this time of the year with the schedule coming up.
A lot of people were angry that the Browns won today because of the impact on the NFL draft. I understand that line of thinking, but it isn’t very useful from a pragmatic standpoint while running a professional football team. You make your plays in the draft by accumulating picks, not by losing intentionally. Every time you put your team out on the field you have to try to win. Anyone who expects the Browns to field a team week-in and week-out without attempting to win has no respect for the players as competitors and professional athletes. While it might seem like sound strategy, a team can’t tank on purpose without also impossibly hurting their culture long-term and possibly irreparably. Back to the Browns win though. [Read more...]