Remember when the possibility of the playoffs was being thrown around in Cleveland a few weeks ago? After Sunday’s humiliating 34-12 loss to Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos, it is apparent just how far the Browns have to go before being a legitimate playoff contender.
Quarterback Brandon Weeden was 12 of 19 for 104 yards before leaving in the third quarter with a shoulder injury. Running back Trent Richardson only had nine carries, but he gained 53 yards (while also injuring his ankle). Cornerback Sheldon Brown suffered a concussion in the first half and backup quarterback Colt McCoy was at the mercy of the Broncos’ defense.
It was an ugly loss that is nothing but the norm for the Cleveland Browns in December. No matter the personnel, the team can often be counted on to limp to the season’s finish line.
And if anything, this loss solidified the fates of head coach Pat Shurmur and general manager Tom Heckert. The fallout of this game is really what will do them in.
“A couple times I just threw the ball in the dirt to let those guys rest,” McCoy said, referring to his receivers, who were running a number of long routes.
Kick returner Josh Cribbs sent out a vulgar tweet in order to defend himself for muffing a punt and a number of players voiced their displeasure in the team’s play calling, performance and overall record.
In other words, the bottom has officially fallen out of the organization. The only real solution is for CEO Joe Banner to clean house and, once again, start over from the beginning.
The air has gone toxic in Cleveland and changes have to be made.