The Browns play today in Cleveland against the Carolina Panthers. The Browns stand at 3-7, the Panthers are 1-9.
This is the time of the NFL season where some teams are still in it, and some teams are out of it. The Browns and the Panthers are in the latter category. Some teams in the “out of it” category just quit. Our neighbors to the south, the Cincinnati Bengals, are a good example. The Bengals started the season with high hopes and have been putrid. The team appears to be riddled with dissension, the coach is on his way out, and the players look like they have given up. If I were a Bengals fan, I would be furious and embarrassed.
Last year the Browns did not quit, even after a string of early losses eliminated them from playoff contention. It was a tribute to their coaching and the professionalism of the players. We will see if, this year, Coach Eric Mangini can work the same magic. Unfortunately, the Browns will be without the enthusiastic play of quarterback Colt McCoy, who is out with a high ankle sprain, and instead will turn to the aged Jake Delhomme. I’m hoping the Browns can get back on the winning track against a dismal Carolina team. Even if the playoffs are out of reach this year — and it certainly looks that way — I want to see some character and grit. The Browns need to show that they aren’t the Bengals.