Nov 30, 2015; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Browns quarterback Austin Davis (7) walks off the field after the Browns lost to the Baltimore Ravens 33-27 at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
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Can there be a more disappointing way to lose? You see your starting quarterback get hurt with your more talented back up only active because of other injuries. The defense played well enough to keep the team in it, as they gave up only 20 points, not counting a punt return in the first quarter.
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Davis came in and threw a 42 yard strike to tie it up at 27. Williams grabbed an interception to set Cleveland up for a game winning field goal for a kicker who had not missed all season long. Instead, his first miss is a block that got returned for a game winning touchdown. What other franchise has this happen too? What other team can snatch defeat from the jaws of victory the way the Browns do? If someone has an answer, tell me.
The question now that will linger over this game is did Manziel indirectly lose the game for the Browns? He showed last week that he can lead this offense and move the ball up and down the field. After his off the field issues became too much for Browns head coach Mike Pettine, McCown trotted out to start, still nursing sore ribs. When he went down with a shoulder injury, that should have been Manziel’s time to shine.
Instead, Davis stepped in admirably. That still doesn’t make the question go away: How would the game have been different if Manziel started from the first snap? Does this team only generate 338 yards? Does this team only get 27 points? Does this team lose the game in which they held Baltimore to 2-11 on 3rd down? Who knows, but you bet anything in your pockets that that conversation will dominate the conversations in Cleveland all week.
So what happens now? The team fell to 2-9 on the season while inching closer to the first overall pick. You have to think the veterans in the locker room are going to look at Manziel and have steam coming out of their ears (hopefully).
You have to think that the desire to make wholesale changes will only be stronger as high draft picks continues to underachieve, not just Manziel. It’s officially, it is a lost season since this team isn’t capable of rattling off five straight wins to finish 7-9.
When do you just cut bait on problem players and just let the young guys audition for 2016? It would not surprise me if Manziel doesn’t take another snap and wide receiver Dwayne Bowe gets cut. They may not be the only ones either, if not for the complete lack of depth anywhere on the roster.
For a season that started with so much promise and had the potential to show some positive signs on national television, this team folded in the big moments and lost a winnable game.
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