Lately, the one saving grace about the Cleveland Browns has come in the form of their defense. Whenever the offense was descending into its typical maddening display on the field, we could always point to the defense as a shining beacon of a hopeful future.
After Sunday’s 30-12 loss to the Houston Texans, not even the defense could be used as a reason for optimism. This latest debacle was an all-around effort, with the Browns looking clueless in nearly every facet of the game. One could have predicted a poor showing by the offense, but it’s doubtful that many people figured both Arian Foster and Ben Tate would rush for more than 100 yards for the Texans. The Browns were gutted for 261 total rushing yards on Sunday, giving up 6.5 yards per carry.
When you hear someone say that the Browns couldn’t stop anyone on Sunday, it’s not an exaggeration.
After witnessing the defense’s poor showing and the offense’s general inability to do anything outside of garbage time, consider this terrifying thought: There are still eight games to go. Five of those games are against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Baltimore Ravens, and Cincinnati Bengals. Get ready for your resolve to be tested, Browns fans.
Here are some more notes following the Browns’ loss in Houston:
- Take it easy on the criticism of Colt McCoy, Browns fans. Sure, he’s struggling as much as everyone else on this team, but how can anyone truly begin to assess him based on what he has around him? He has no true playmakers to throw to and his offense line is as flimsy as wet cardboard. McCoy should certainly be held just as accountable for the failures of this offense, but there’s no way to judge him fairly based on this season’s production.
- Right now, it should be painfully obvious that the Browns need to address the offense with their two first-round picks in the 2012 NFL Draft. A severe lack of playmakers has made this current offense a nightmare to watch, and the Browns have a golden opportunity to start a potential renaissance. They’ve already begun that process on defense – they just need to be given the time to do the same with the offense.
- Believe it or not, there were at least a few positives in this game. Linebacker D’Qwell Jackson continues his stellar comeback, as he once again led the team in tackles with eight, adding an interception at the end of the first half. Kicker Phil Dawson is also having himself quite a season, kicking two more field goals over 50 yards. He now has six field goals over 50 yards in 2011, which is already a personal record, and there are still eight games to go.
- Wide receiver Mohamed Massaquoi left the game with another concussion, the second this season and his third in the past two years. This now brings his future into serious doubt, not just with the Browns, but in professional football altogether.