The Browns fell to 1-10, still tied for the worst record in the NFL, after losing 16-7 at Cincy yesterday. The good news is that Cleveland beat the betting point spread, and thus, I made a few bucks off my buddy (which I promptly had to return after his Bills shocked the Dolphis to win at Orchard Park).
The recipe this time for the Browns losing at Paul Brown Stadium? Zero run defense and very little offense = a loss, pretty much every time (except on ocassion against the Bills who thankfully gave us our only win of the campaign).
Statistically on defense, we were really bad. We allowed 210 total yards on the ground in 45 carries. Larry Johnson alone ran for 107 yards. It matters not if we held Palmer to just 110 passing yards and a poor completion rate when we could not stop the run all day long. Offensively, we were bad. Quinn completed less than half of his passes (15 for 34) for just 100 yards; and Jamal Lewis ran for only 40 yards. Amazingly, we had the best receiver of the game with Stuckey compiling 44 receiving yards (Ocho had 38 for the stripes).
We held the Bengals to just 3 points in the second half, but it matters not when we did not score a point until the 3rd quarter when Brady ran it in for a 9-tard TD.
Cribbs was mediocre returning the football for 38 total yards, although he showed great form in completing a pass to Quinn.
Injuries are starting to rear their ugly head. For example, Rogers was carted off near the end of the game with what looked like an ankle injury, and Pool walked into the locker room early with what has been reported to be a head injury (he has a history of concussion problems).
We got beat up and bruised something terrible at the defensive trench. We simply got outmuscled by Cincy.
It is hard to find anything bright to report on, but here is our rather sorry attempt to do so. The Browns have already recorded more sacks this year than last season – now 23 (we had just 17 last year). Bowens recorded a split sack, meaning that he has had a sack or partial sack in three consecutive games; David is trying hard to bring some vigour to his role as defensive captain. Wimbley had a half-sack, bringing his season total to 5.5, and he forced a fumble. Linebacker Jason Trusnik showed some heart in tallying 10 tackles. We did not turn the football over for the second straight contest.
We next face the red-hot San Diego Chargers at home this coming Sunday. One of these weeks, the Rams and the Bucs may pull out a miracle and both win, so the Browns may find themselves alone at the bottom of the heap. Currently, only St. Louis has dug a bigger hole in terms of net points. The Rams are at -167 net total points; while the Browns are second worst at minus 157.
Apparently, Alicia only affects Brady’s arm when the Browns play Detroit.
I watched Mangini’s press conference after the game. I did not hear anything that moved me. What I heard was acceptance of futility. Maybe that is where we are at.
Holmgren has reportedly told Ralph Wilson that he would rather stick pins in his eyes than go to Buffalo (my words, of course). Mike has expressed, more than once, an interest in doing something with Cleveland. Seattle is chasing him hard as well. We cannot think of any good reason to prolong the romance. Get after Holmgren, Randy. Now. Don’t worry about having to fill every role at the same time. That may be preferable in some instances, but we cannot afford to be too cautious here. Gruden is tied up with ESPN. Dungy is out of the mix. Cowher is out of the mix. Guys like Green are too far down the totem pole. Get Holmgren inked in whatever capacity can be agreed to. Bring a name to Cleveland.
Want some more sour taste in your mouth for Monday? Looks like Art Modell is heading to Canton.