If you're a fan of both the Cleveland Browns AND of moral victories, than yesterday's game was for you. Cleveland did more than just cover the spread at the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday. The Browns gave the best team in the NFL a real scare, and the argument could be made that Cleveland lost the game more so than did the Chiefs win it.
All of that aside, the Browns now sit at 3-5. Any and all hopes of the team salvaging the season are fading away with every loss, and Cleveland merely surviving until the Bye week is no longer an option. Anything other than a win against the Baltimore Ravens will likely be the death of any playoff hopes held by the Browns and the team's fan base.
Sober thoughts on Browns losing to Chiefs: Optimism
Cleveland appears to have a serviceable quarterback in Jason Campbell. Campbell did what Brandon Weeden had failed to do in four starts, and that's give his team a real chance to win the game. Campbell's numbers against one of the best defenses in the league – 22 completions on 36 pass attempts for 293 yards and two touchdowns – are about as good as you are going to get from who was, at the beginning of October, the third QB on the Cleveland depth chart.
One now can't help but wonder: What would Cleveland's record be today if Brian Hoyer would have started the season at QB and/or Jason Campbell been given the gig after Hoyer went down to a torn ACL? 4-4? 5-3? Oh, what could have been.
Sober thoughts on Browns losing to Chiefs: Costly loss
The Browns lost more than a game on Sunday. WR/returner Travis Benjamin went down to a leg injury in the third quarter, and head coach Rob Chudzinski confirmed on Monday that Benjamin tore his ACL. The speedster may not return to in-game action until next October.
Benjamin is more than just a lightning-quick athlete who can take a return to the house. He was a reliable special teams player. What does that mean to a team? Ask Davone Bess, who bobbled a punt in the fourth quarter and subsequently killed a drive that could have resulted in Cleveland taking a lead late in the contest before it ever had a chance to start.
Sober thoughts on Browns losing to Chiefs: Don't do it
The “will they or won't they” conversations regarding the possibility of the Browns trading Josh Gordon have got to be silenced for good between now and the trade deadline that arrives at 4:00 pm ET on Tuesday. Gordon gave a glimpse of what he can provide this offense when playing alongside a competent quarterback, finishing the game with five catches for 132 yards and a touchdown.
Gordon is a single drug test failure away from a one-year ban. That is a fact, and there is nothing that the franchise can do about it. He also isn't Trent Richardson, a young player who could still emerge as a dynamic RB but also one who never met expectations while with the Browns.
In Gordon, the Browns have a real play-maker, the type of guy who wins games for a team. Barring some unthinkable and ridiculous offer that would have to include either a current star WR or a first round pick, Cleveland needs to hold onto what could be a cornerstone of a future great offense.