Then the Browns lost. By seven. Also not okay.
What struck me about this game was what I saw (and tweeted about) from wide receiver Mohamed Massaquoi. I had a very brief interaction with fellow DPD writer Jimmy Weinland on this, but did you happen to see Massaquoi’s reaction to his fourth quarter touchdown?
That’s because there wasn’t one. Nor should there have been. No doubt he was upset – he had just caught his second touchdown of the season on what was a beautifully thrown ball by Colt McCoy, but Massaquoi seemed to have the same reaction that every Browns fan had: “Great, but where have plays like that been hiding all season?”
There was no jump-shoulder thing, no high-fiving, no dancing – nothing. He tossed the ball to the ref and started back toward the Browns’ sideline. Someone – a lineman, tight end or something – came up and gave him some love and he barely even flinched.
Massaquoi was showing one of two things to me, or maybe both. First, he was just upset because the Browns were losing and he hates losing because he’s a competitor who competes at the highest level of football every week. Second, he was upset because this is his third season and, quite frankly, he’s got to be sick of this.
I want to believe that it’s only the first one; I really want that to be true, but would you blame him if he were just fed up with this whole organization?
I know that emotions go up and down and it’s easy to think that he might have been on a bit of a low by that point in the game. It’s easy to get discouraged when you’ve only been targeted a few times despite 45 pass attempts. And really, if you’re Massaquoi, wouldn’t you be thinking, “I’m taller than the guy covering me and McCoy can’t hit anyone today, so why isn’t he just heaving it toward me at this point?”
My point is that he’s got every reason to be upset about how the game and season have been going. He’s a good receiver. He may not be world-class, but he’s good enough to get more than three catches per game – especially when the Browns have thrown 105 passes the last two games.
Now, I will say that it was nice to see Greg Little post six catches, meaning that the Browns wide receivers weren’t totally ignored, but that’s not what I’m most concerned with.
What I’m really concerned about is that Massaquoi was being negative because he has had enough of being on a team that can’t put him in a position to excel. He’s had two coaches and four quarterbacks in his three years in the league. He’s on pace to have his most prolific season to date…which would be about 50 catches, 700 yards, and six or seven scores. That’s not No. 1 wide receiver production, and I can’t even blame him for it.
I guess this is fatalistic, but that’s what happens when you’re a Browns fan. I just can’t help but think that by the time he starts getting five to six catches a game, he’s going to be wearing a different uniform.
I feel like I’m trying to talk a kid through a rough patch with “it’ll get better,” “everything will be fine,” and canned phrases like that. I just hope he fights through this last bit of adversity and the Browns start making it happen. When that happens, if he’s still around, I’d like to give him a hearty handshake and offer to buy him a Frosty.