The Cleveland Browns shockingly continue to find new ways to break the hearts of their fans.
Cleveland had the Jacksonville Jaguars beaten at home on Sunday. A 95-yard sprint to glory made by wide receiver Josh Gordon, the best offensive player on the field, put the Browns up 28-25 with under four minutes left to play, and the vaunted Cleveland defense had kept the Jaguars out of the end zone in the second half. Victory was the host's to lose.
And lose it the Browns did, and in oh-so Cleveland fashion, at that.
Jaguars defeat Browns 32-28: Yes, overrated
I asked after Cleveland's loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers if I and others around the country had, throughout 2013, overrated the defense of the Browns. We got our answer on Sunday. Jacksonville marched right down the field on the team's first and final offensive drives of the game, carving through the Cleveland defense like a hot knife through butter in the process.
Cornerback Joe Haden will receive plenty of criticism, and rightfully so, for being burned on the 20-yard touchdown pass that put Jacksonville up with under a minute left in regulation. That represented the second time in two weeks that Haden had been responsible for inexcusably poor defense at a pivotal moment of play. I'm looking at defensive coordinator Ray Horton, however, who perhaps has been a little too busy eying those press clippings that have positioned him as a future NFL head coach.
Horton didn't have his guys ready for prime time with the game on the line, and he will have plenty to answer for on Monday.
Jaguars defeat Browns 32-28: End the suffering
Quarterback Brandon Weeden complained of concussion-like symptoms after the game, but he hadn't yet been diagnosed as of the posting of this piece. Weeden wasn't awful against Jags, completing 24 of 40 pass attempts for 370 yards and three scores. He also threw two bad interceptions in the second quarter, and a pick coupled with a fumble resulted in Weeden gifting Jacksonville with ten points, ten points that had a massive impact on the final score.
Enough is enough. Whether Weeden is or isn't injured means little. He has no future with the Browns past this month, and there is literally no point in him risking his body or Cleveland hoping that he will play well enough that the franchise will pick up a late draft pick for the 30-year old QB in the offseason. No team is going to win if it has a quarterback that implodes for periods of play every Sunday.
Give me Mr. Trick Shot. Give me Alex Tanney.
Jaguars defeat Browns 32-28: Beaten
Reports out of the Cleveland locker room immediately after the game were that the players were very dejected. Haden took the fall for the loss, and he dropped multiple f-bombs while commenting to reporters. More than one member of the local press stated that you could have “heard a pin drop” after the team's latest defeat.
Nobody is more beaten than are the fans of Cleveland professional sports franchises.
The Browns have dropped six of their last seven contests. They are on the verge of starting their fourth quarterback this season, a guy more known for throwing footballs out of an apartment window than he is for finding the end zone in NFL games. Cleveland's defense has failed to play as advertised in three straight games.
I see no reason to believe this team will win again this season.
December 15 against the Chicago Bears is the final Cleveland home game of the campaign. There will again be no playoffs for the Browns, and no meaningful football played by the team during the holiday season. Different regime, different coaching staff, different players, and new renovations coming to FirstEnergy Stadium.
Same old Browns.