The worst fears of every Cleveland Browns fan have been realized.
It is hardly alarming that the Browns were downed by the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field on Sunday. The big concern that seems to plague this franchise each and every season is that the Browns once again do not have a NFL quarterback on the roster. They're not beating anybody, especially not the undefeated Kansas City Chiefs, until that issue is remedied.
Sober thoughts on Browns losing to Packers: What we thought he was
Quarterback Brandon Weeden lost many within the Cleveland fan base when he threw that flip interception against the Detroit Lions a little over week ago, an infamous moment that some have called the worst play ever made by a NFL QB. It now looks like he has lost head coach Rob Chudzinski. For the first time following a loss, Chud has not yet publicly backed Weeden as his starting quarterback for the upcoming clash with KC.
And thus, minus an injury or the Browns simply calling it quits on the campaign, the Weeden era at Cleveland is coming to its inevitable end. The 30-year old will now join the list of nearly two dozen QBs who flopped while with the franchise since it reentered the league back in 1999. The more things change...
Sober thoughts on Browns losing to Packers: Not just Weeden
Weeden wasn't the only problem within the Cleveland offense at Green Bay. Wide receiver Josh Gordon ran the wrong route on multiple occasions, and he looked disinterested throughout much of the second half. He didn't do himself any favors if he is, as some have speculated, looking to get traded to a contender this fall.
Gordon's standout moment of the game was not one from which Cleveland benefited. With the Browns facing a pivotal fourth and long in the final quarter, Weeden delivered a pass down the left sideline. While the ball definitely could have used a bit more zip, Gordon absolutely should have reeled it in. He waited for the pass to come to him rather than going up strong and grabbing it, though, and the ball was ultimately batted down.
Gordon has the talent to be an elite WR. That much is clear. His performance against the Packers left me wondering if the Browns wouldn't be better off shipping Gordon off as the team did Trent Richardson if the right deal does come along.
Sober thoughts on Browns losing to Packers: Not all bad
One part of Cleveland's team got it right for a period time of Lambeau, and that was the Browns' defense. The team made some adjustments at halftime and then held Aaron Rodgers and company scoreless in the third quarter, keeping the Browns in the game until the fourth down play that wasn't converted. Rodgers may have put up some flashy numbers, but he was far from dominant until it was clear that Cleveland was not winning.
This brings me back to a point that I and others have made time and time again since Brian Hoyer was lost for the season. Cleveland has a top-ten defense, the Browns are but two games out of first place, and they were a dropped pass away from giving a good Packers team a scare at Green Bay. A good, if not great, quarterback could help keep the team in the playoff hunt.
Find that quarterback, Cleveland, and find him soon.