Cleveland Browns, Indians Step Aside, It’s Time For The Cavaliers

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Oct 4, 2015; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Chargers kicker Josh Lambo (2) kicks a 34-yard field goal out of the hold of San Diego Chargers punter Mike Scifres (5) with no time on the clock against the Cleveland Browns at Qualcomm Stadium. The Charger won 3-0-27. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

Down the Factory Lines With The Browns

They Find Old and New Ways to Lose. Just a short time ago, the NFL was abuzz with Johnny Football Fever, and the QB controversy train was full speed ahead. Johnny Manziel had just gone out and led the Browns to a win against the Tennessee Titans while coaching staff favorite Josh McCown finally cleared concussion protocol.

Flash forward two weeks and two games later, TMZ says three players on the offense prefer Manziel, the Browns are losers of two in a row, Josh McCown is the starter.

Yet despite being 1-3, quarterback play is the least of the Browns’ problems. In fact, McCown’s play in both games is statistically impressive. He’s thrown for over 300 yards and 2 TD’s in both games. So what’s the problem? That’s where the Browns managed to find the old way and new ways to lose.

Against the Raiders, it was typical Browns too little too late rally that ended on a poorly thrown pass to Travis Benjamin intercepted by Raiders Safety Charles Woodson. Then came the new way to lose. The Browns rallied late in the 4th quarter to score a game tying TD and 2-pt conversion only to see the San Diego Chargers and QB Phillip Rivers drive down the field into field-goal range. That’s where a classic “Only in Cleveland” moment occurred. Chargers Kicker Josh Lambo missed the 39-yard field goal, but an offsides penalty against Tramon Williams negated the miss. It was a bang-bang call, but it was one that gave San Diego’s kicker Josh Lambo a second opportunity.

Do we “Improve” our Defense, Yet Get Worse

Whether it’s Romeo Crennel, Eric Mangini, or now Mike Pettine, it’s time to face it, defensive minded head coaches  don’t always yield defensive results. The Browns are currently ranked dead last in total defense in the NFL. That’s 32nd out of 32 teams.

Despite drafting Justin Gilbert and Danny Shelton in the first round of the past two drafts, the pass defense nor the run defense (their specialties) are no stronger than they were a year ago, two years ago, or 17 seasons ago. The strength of this team was supposed to be defense and offensive line. On defense, Joe Haden is supposed to be leading a top flight secondary, but so far the secondary finds itself playing at a mediocre level.

Teams such as Oakland and San Diego are having no problems driving from one end of the field to the other. Then on Defensive Line, perhaps cutting and trading solid guys like Billy Winn, Atyuba Rubin, and Phil Taylor wasn’t the best of ideas. Defensive coordinator Jim O’Neill might be in over his head, and if Pettine wants to right the ship, he may have to get more involved. Otherwise I’m afraid of what will happen to this defense in the coming weeks against elite level QB’s like Peyton Manning, Joe Flacco, and Ben Roethlisberger.

Aug 20, 2015; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Browns cornerback Joe  (23) at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

A Finger Injury Makes Headlines

It’s hard to believe, but Joe Haden missing last week’s game due to a finger injury is under scrutiny. That’s right, the NFL is wondering whether the Browns took the appropriate measures in identifying Haden’s injury on the injury report. There were reports it was a rib injury, a leg injury, and a hand injury, but the point was Haden wasn’t playing. It was a game-time decision, supposedly made by Haden himself, which also has people up in arms.

Should the coaches have forced him to play? That’s debateable. I understand that it’s about the integrity of the game, but if a player can miss a game due to illness, what’s the difference if they feel their injury is a hinderance to the team?

Truth is, even if Haden’s hand was in a cast, he’s probably still better than half the players on the Browns team. However, he felt like it was a hinderance to his play and opted to sit out. OK–move on NFL. How about we look more into the comments from known domestic violence offender Dallas Cowboys defensive end Greg Hardy on players’ wives and guns? That’s an issue the league should be more concerned about when it comes to the integrity of it’s game.

Next: Indians: Season's End

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