Browns Bounce-Back

I wanted to write about the Browns’ improbable — in fact, impossible — come-from-behind overtime win over the Baltimore Ravens today as soon as the game ended, but I was so stunned by the result that my fingers refused to function.

Let’s face it — no one expected the Browns to beat the Ravens in Baltimore.  The last time it happened, George W. Bush was President.  And for the Browns, it was probably 1,000 head coaches and 1,000 starting quarterbacks ago.  But today, they did it.

Russell informs me that the Browns defense has the highest payroll in the NFL.  You couldn’t tell that by today’s game, when the Browns got gashed on the ground and made Joe Flacco and his second-string receivers look like studs.  But the Ravens inexplicably became conservative when they had the chance to score the clinching touchdown in regulation, the Browns D made a stop to get the game to overtime, and then it forced a three-and-out to get the offense the ball and a chance for the winning field goal.  I’ve never seen a defense so soft against the run and so incapable of sacking the quarterback or forcing turnovers — but the Browns won, anyway.

And how about Browns’ quarterback Josh McCown (or, as UJ has called him in moments of weakness, “McClown”)?  He’s put up big numbers in the past three games, he threw for more than 400 yards today, he led the offense on several key drives, he didn’t throw an interception, and he spreads the ball around to skill players who can actually make plays.  The notion that the Browns would score more than 30 against the vaunted Ravens defense is absurd — but with McCown at the helm they did so, anyway.

Of course, Browns fans everywhere are pumped about the victory and are looking forward to more offensive fireworks to come.  I’m going up to the game next weekend, for a matchup against Denver that is perfectly set up to be a horrible disappointment.  Don’t blame me for my pessimisn . . . I’m just a world-weary Browns fan who’s seen the little sparks of hope in seasons past die horrible, soul-crushing deaths before.

So I’m not even going to think about next week’s game.  For now, I’m just going to enjoy the ride.

Another Loss To Start The Season In Browns Town

Today the Cleveland Browns started off another season with an opening game loss.

What’s that, you say?  The game hasn’t been played yet?

So what?  The Browns losing their opening game is more predictable than the sun rising in the east and setting in the west.  Since coming back to the NFL, they have lost their first game with brutal, shocking consistency.

IMG_5527_2Does anyone really doubt that it will happen again this year?  After all, the Browns will be starting a quarterback who apparently was born during the Eisenhower Administration and who has played for a number of teams without any distinction.  Their back-up is a rag-armed ex-Heisman Trophy winner who is in the process of proving that the Heisman Jinx is alive and well.  Their exciting offensive players have turned out to be either head cases or juvenile delinquents — or both — and now they’re heading into the season without any significant offensive threats.  While I expect the defense to be reasonably stout, they inevitably will get worn down from being on the field constantly as individual games, and ultimately the long NFL season, progress to another bitter losing campaign for the Orange and Brown.

I try to be positive about the Browns, but this year it’s hard to be anything but harshly and protectively pessimistic.  The NFL is a quarterback’s league, and the Browns really don’t have one.  What has Josh McCown ever done to make the loyal Browns Backers think he will be anything other than the latest entry in the Browns’ revolving door list of QBs?

The only good thing about the inevitable loss today is that it is an away game, so at least the Browns won’t start the season with their perennial home opener loss.