Cleveland Browns Miss Late Field Goal to Lose 13-12 to St. Louis Rams


When it comes to finding new ways to lose, the Cleveland Browns are the best in the NFL. This time, it came in the form of a missed field goal late in the fourth quarter that likely would have won the game for the Browns. Up to that point, kicker Phil Dawson had made four field goals in the game, and the fifth was a 22-yard chip shot.

Browns fans will want to point to head coach Pat Shurmur’s play calling as the reason for this loss, but it’s unfair to pin it on him this time. The Browns were aggressive throughout the game, integrating creative plays that were more effective than almost anything else they tried. While that doesn’t completely let Shurmur off the hook, as one-yard passes on third-and-two situations are inexcusable, it’s not fair to say that Shurmur didn’t at least try to put the Browns in a position to win.

And despite the outcome, there were signs of progress in this game. Was it ugly? Sure, but Colt McCoy was as efficient as he could be in a mostly conservative offense. Greg Little showed that he has plenty of promise. The defense didn’t implode.

But that’s not what people will remember about this game. They’ll remember Ryan Pontbriand’s botched snap and Dawson’s missed field goal. With losses so common in Cleveland, it’s hard to focus on anything else sometimes.

Here are some more notes following the Browns’ loss to the St. Louis Rams:

  • Consider this the coming-out party for wide receiver Greg Little. While he’s likely not going to develop into a No. 1 receiver, his rookie season has shown that he is already a playmaker, which is something the Browns desperately need. On Sunday, he had six catches for 84 yards, including a 52-yard catch late in the first half.
  • Running back Chris Ogbonnaya was able to rush for 90 yards on 19 carries, breaking off a 32-yard run in the second half. So far, it seems there could be far worse fill-ins for the injured Peyton Hillis and Montario Hardesty.
  • The defense obviously played well enough to win, even when you consider that Rams running back Steven Jackson rushed for 128 yards. It was a textbook bend-but-don’t-break strategy and it worked, as the defense held the Rams to just 13 points. The run defense continues to get torched by opposing running backs, which is a big concern, but it can, at times, be offset by an effective secondary. Next week’s match-up against running back Maurice Jones-Drew and the Jacksonville Jaguars should be a big concern, though.
  • The Browns simply don’t have the firepower right now to score touchdowns. They were able to put themselves in a position to score a touchdown multiple times, but simply couldn’t punch it in. The strategy for next April’s draft should be easy: playmakers, playmakers, playmakers.
  • You might be asking yourself, “Why would Pat Shurmur allow tight end Alex Smith to carry the ball inside the five at the end of the game?” You’re not alone in that thinking. It was a blunder, that’s for sure. They should have also taken a shot at the end zone in the waning minutes, just to see if they could, you know, score. Nevertheless, they were still in a position to win the game, despite their numerous shortcomings, and just couldn’t make it happen. It’s frustrating, but it’s as important as ever for Browns fans to their faith in this team. Believe it or not, they appear to be on the right track.


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Tags: Cleveland Browns Colt McCoy Loss Pat Shurmur Phil Dawson Sam Bradford St. Louis Rams

  • j24cottrell

    Can someone please explain to me why the browns wouldn’t get a playmaker in the draft?? We give up the spot where we could have had Julio Jones…maybe work out a deal to get AJ Green?? Anyone who can SCORE!! I have been a Browns fan for 30 years and it becomes harder and harder to stay a fan of this LOSER organization! Colt McCoy is legit…and they did absolutely NOTHING to help him in the draft! Little is exactly that….a nobody from UNC who might turn into a 4-5 catch guy who can’t run very fast from what I’ve seen!

    Peton Hillis has a great year…NOW they don’t want to pay him more money so we will lose him. When is the last time we spent big money on anyone?? If you want to win…you have to spend money…free agents…draft…WHATEVER! BUY your way into being competitive! We gave up our draft spot the year Sanchez came out….again a top 5 draft spot…and what did we get that year…does anyone remember?! I don’t blame people like Braylen Edwards and Kellen jr for wanting out of this pathetic organization. Those guys were a bit of trouble and not the smartest dudes…obviously. Lets be honest…we are dealing with pro athletes here! Keep them happy….WIN! Throw them the ball! Imagine those two with Colt throwing to them….Hillis out of the backfield….Every remotely talented guy we get leaves ASAP bc they don’t want to play for Cleveland. Can you blame them?? Browns fans need to stop going to games until they put a GOOD product on the field! Here’s one last point…sorry for venting. HIRE A REAL COACH!! SPEND THE MONEY TO BRING IN COWHER OR GRUDEN SOMEONE WHO WON’T PUT UP WITH ALL THE STUPID MISTAKES THE BROWNS MAKE GAME IN AND GAME OUT! IF YOU DON’T PLAY WELL YOU SIT YOUR #$S ON THE BENCH…SOMEONE WHO YELLS AT THESE PATHETIC GUYS…CHANGE THE CULTURE IN CLEVELAND. YOU CONT TO SCREW UP OR DON’T PERFORM YOU GET CUT LIKE IN NEW ENGLAND. THOSE GUYS SEEM TO DO OK UP THERE

  • j24cottrell

    Can someone please explain to me why the browns wouldn’t get a playmaker in the draft?? We give up the spot where we could have had Julio Jones…maybe work out a deal to get AJ Green?? Anyone who can SCORE!! I have been a Browns fan for 30 years and it becomes harder and harder to stay a fan of this LOSER organization! Colt McCoy is legit…and they did absolutely NOTHING to help him in the draft! Little is exactly that….a nobody from UNC who might turn into a 4-5 catch guy who can’t run very fast from what I’ve seen!

    Peton Hillis has a great year…NOW they don’t want to pay him more money so we will lose him. When is the last time we spent big money on anyone?? If you want to win…you have to spend money…free agents…draft…WHATEVER! BUY your way into being competitive! We gave up our draft spot the year Sanchez came out….again a top 5 draft spot…and what did we get that year…does anyone remember?! I don’t blame people like Braylen Edwards and Kellen jr for wanting out of this pathetic organization. Those guys were a bit of trouble and not the smartest dudes…obviously. Lets be honest…we are dealing with pro athletes here! Keep them happy….WIN! Throw them the ball! Imagine those two with Colt throwing to them….Hillis out of the backfield….Every remotely talented guy we get leaves ASAP bc they don’t want to play for Cleveland. Can you blame them?? Browns fans need to stop going to games until they put a GOOD product on the field! Here’s one last point…sorry for venting. HIRE A REAL COACH!! SPEND THE MONEY TO BRING IN COWHER OR GRUDEN SOMEONE WHO WON’T PUT UP WITH ALL THE STUPID MISTAKES THE BROWNS MAKE GAME IN AND GAME OUT! IF YOU DON’T PLAY WELL YOU SIT YOUR #$S ON THE BENCH…SOMEONE WHO YELLS AT THESE PATHETIC GUYS…CHANGE THE CULTURE IN CLEVELAND. YOU CONT TO SCREW UP OR DON’T PERFORM YOU GET CUT LIKE IN NEW ENGLAND. THOSE GUYS SEEM TO DO OK UP THERE

  • GoldenAgeofGeek

    I’m sorry but no way Shurmur deserves a pass on this game. It’s utterly inexcusable and I’m shocked at the people on this site who want to pull Colt McCoy every time he doesn’t put up 75% and 8 yards a throw are making an excuse for this.

    This is WAAAAAY worse than anything McCoy did the entire season. This was playing not to lose at home against a 1 and 7 team. That alone should get him fired. Period. End of story.

    This is a hundred times more important than QB arm strength, your head coach must have a killer instinct. He must go for the jugular every time. And there’s no hiding it. That’s exactly what he did. Newsflash people if your coach isn’t TRYING to score points, you’re not going to.

    There’s no cure but to go back to the coordinators ranks and try to grow a pair.

    Big Show knows this better than anyone. He should be in Shurmur’s grill like Gordon Ramsay on a cook who messed up the risotto.

    Look ANYONE can go 14-2 with an all star roster. That ain’t going to happen anytime soon. Cleveland needs a head coach who can make something. Who has drive. Look at San Fran. Those are the same slugs who went 6-10 last year. The difference is Harbaugh is coaching the hell out of that team. He’s trying to win games. He has his coaches come up with game plans that ATTACK the opposing team. Through 9 games Shurmur has been a fastidious wimp who can’t even spell aggression. He’s the worst kind of coach, the kind who waits for victories to fall in his lap. He’s done absolutely nothing to go out there and take wins

  • GoldenAgeofGeek

    I’m sorry but no way Shurmur deserves a pass on this game. It’s utterly inexcusable and I’m shocked at the people on this site who want to pull Colt McCoy every time he doesn’t put up 75% and 8 yards a throw are making an excuse for this.

    This is WAAAAAY worse than anything McCoy did the entire season. This was playing not to lose at home against a 1 and 7 team. That alone should get him fired. Period. End of story.

    This is a hundred times more important than QB arm strength, your head coach must have a killer instinct. He must go for the jugular every time. And there’s no hiding it. That’s exactly what he did. Newsflash people if your coach isn’t TRYING to score points, you’re not going to.

    There’s no cure but to go back to the coordinators ranks and try to grow a pair.

    Big Show knows this better than anyone. He should be in Shurmur’s grill like Gordon Ramsay on a cook who messed up the risotto.

    Look ANYONE can go 14-2 with an all star roster. That ain’t going to happen anytime soon. Cleveland needs a head coach who can make something. Who has drive. Look at San Fran. Those are the same slugs who went 6-10 last year. The difference is Harbaugh is coaching the hell out of that team. He’s trying to win games. He has his coaches come up with game plans that ATTACK the opposing team. Through 9 games Shurmur has been a fastidious wimp who can’t even spell aggression. He’s the worst kind of coach, the kind who waits for victories to fall in his lap. He’s done absolutely nothing to go out there and take wins

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