Shoes, Facial Hair, and Tweets. Where is Football?
The Browns lost to the Broncos yesterday after playing what might have been their cleanest game of the year. No turnovers and limited penalties led to drive after drive into the redzone. The Browns finally played a mistake-free game on the field. The problem is that the world can only talk about the ones made off it.
Is this really happening?
Freddie Kitchens is on his way to being fired. This team is collapsing apart. For all the John Dorsey love, he has put this group together. He shares the blame for what is going on. They have OBJ and Jarvis more worried about stylish shoes than making big plays. A quarterback that loses the game but needs to stop and shave his handlebar mustache before the presser. And finally, the worst of all, a backup safety that is on a social media tirade threatening media members in Jermaine Whitehead. A player gets his account suspended by Twitter for what he said, and the Browns issue a ‘we don’t condone this type of behavior’ letter. Why is he still even in the locker room? Or on the team? What happened to just playing football?
When it came to football the Browns fell short today also. The offense moved up and down the field but scored only one touchdown in five tries in the redzone. It doesn’t matter what defense you face, five drips in the redzone should mean a win. But as the windows tightened Nick Chubb could not find holes to run through and Baker continued to struggle. Questions still abound when it comes to the offensive side of the ball.
We have announcers still talking about trust and chemistry building after seven games. If Baker and Odell haven’t found it by now, will they ever? Did Jarvis Landry call a timeout to get OBJ back on the field for a third-down play? At the end of the game, Rich Gannon was praising them for moving Beckham around and making it difficult for Chris Harris to get to him. That is great, but where was it the rest of the game? Greg Robinson benched, and now he is back, and Eric Kush gets benched. If anyone thinks adding Kareem Hunt is going to fix these problems, they are wrong. All of this and we haven’t even got to the defensive side of the ball.
Steve Wilks and his staff faced off against a quarterback starting his first NFL game. The lined-up Myles Garrett and Olivier Vernon against two of the worst tackles in the NFL. This was the perfect game for the defense to finally dominate and potentially win a game for the Browns. So, of course, that didn’t happen. They let Brandon Allen go 12/20 for 193 yards and two touchdowns. There was no blitz packages or confusing fronts or anything. They just lined up and expected to beat the Denver offense by having “better” talent. Not to take anything away from the young quarterback, he made some great throws, but Wilks never forced Allen to make a challenging play.
Even a modest game from Allen would have been fine had the defensive unit been able to do the one thing required to stop the Broncos. Stop the run game. Instead, the Browns gave up 127 yards on the ground. Most of that came from big runs by Phillip Lindsay. So, they went into a game against an offense that was essentially one dimensional and gave up 24 points on multiple big plays. So much for that vaunted defensive line that would wreak havoc on offenses. Yet even after all that, the defense still played well enough that the Browns should have won this game.
Freddie Kitchens has lost this team. There is still little to no discipline, even with no turnovers and limited penalties. Guys have to change shoes at halftime. A player is threatening a media member on social media. Timeouts being called to get players back on the field. And mid-week quarterback blow-ups on reporters(even if the reporter deserved it). The personalities that a lot of ‘experts’ said could be the fall of this team seem to be doing precisely that. In the end, it looks as though Brown’s fans will have to suffer at least one more year.