Cleveland Browns destroyed by Bengals, 5 takeaways


Dec 6, 2015; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Browns fans during the fourth quarter at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

The Cleveland Browns continue to make people question why they spend money to watch this team play.

These games aren’t even fun to watch anymore.

The Cleveland Browns never stood a chance against the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday, losing 37-3. The focus heading in was on Austin Davis as the starting quarterback, but it seems like this team won’t stand a chance no matter who starts.

With an awful defense and still no running game, putting blame on the quarterback is hard at this point.

There are four games remaining this season, and results like this one may be waiting for us in each one. Here are some takeaways from the big loss.

1. Austin Davis played well

Austin Davis proved that no quarterback can win with this team. He played solid on Sunday, going 25-38 for 230 yards. That was done with a battered group of receivers, with a new name being added to the injury list every game.

With reports of Johnny Manziel possibly being re-inserted into the starting role, I think the Browns should just stick with Davis at this point. Continuing to change the quarterback only makes things harder for the offense, which is not doing so well at the moment.

There were instances, including his one interception, where Davis did not seem to be on the same page as his receivers, but the problems will only get worse if more changes are made.

2. How long will Mike Pettine last?

This team lacks a great deal of talent. This is not Mike Pettine‘s fault, but he has to take some of the blame as the head coach.

He can say the team showed great effort, but no amount of effort matters when your team is 2-10 and the worst team in the entire NFL.

I am not advocating Pettine be fired with four games left in a meaningless season, but Jimmy Haslam must find it hard to watch his team be blown out week after week. Last week was an exception, but that loss was much worse than a simple blowout.

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An interim coach would do no better, so Pettine will likely be around until the end of the season. After that final game, he may not last more than a few hours.

3. The defense needs an overhaul

At several points throughout the game, the announcers were saying how the Browns defense was earning small victories by holding the Bengals to field goals instead of touchdowns. It sounded like the Browns were the pee-wee team from the small town where the kids just play to have fun, never expecting to actually win a game.

Watching them play is embarrassing as a fan. Tashaun Gipson did not seem to be interested in the game at several points, and Tramon Williams was hopelessly trying to stop A.J. Green. The lack of Joe Haden did nothing to help Williams, but there still should have been some type of plan to stop Green.

Matched with the lack of pressure on Andy Dalton, the secondary stood no chance of stopping Green or the rest of the receivers.

4. Johnny Manziel is not this team’s savior

There were the expected chants for Johnny Manziel on Sunday, but these are pointless. The team is too bad for one player, especially Manziel, to make any type of difference.

When he started against the Pittsburgh Steelers, the offense only managed to put up nine points, while the defense allowed 30. Today’s loss marked the fifth straight game in which the defense allowed at least 30 points. The offense has reached 30 points once this season.

The problems this team must face require solutions that may take years to work. The solutions require a general manager who will get talent on the field, and work hard to make sure the team’s draft picks are actually going to help the team, and not serve as distractions.

5. The road ahead is dark and full of terrors

I am giving this team a zero percent chance of winning any of the remaining four games. Next week’s opponent, the San Franciso 49ers, are the weakest of the four, but the Browns are much worse than the team now led by Blaine Gabbert.

Then come the Seattle Seahawks, Kansas City Chiefs, and finally the Steelers in a game that may be attended by zero Browns fans. I am scared for what may happen out in Seattle.

So we are now in a familiar position. It is cold out and the Browns are dragging their collective carcasses toward the final game of the season. Nothing new here, just the same ole’ Browns.