The Cleveland Browns fell to 0-6 on the season after dropping a 28-26 decision to the Tennessee Titans on Sunday.
Once again the Cleveland Browns made things interesting on Sunday against the Tennessee Titans.
And, once again, the Browns came up on the short end of the scoreboard, falling to 0-6 on the season after a 28-26 loss to Tennessee.
There is only one storyline that everyone will take from the game, which is head coach Hue Jackson’s “controversial” decision to go for a two-point conversion late in the game.
The Browns seemed to be out of it after Tennessee quarterback Marcus Mariota hit Anthony Fasano with a 15-yard scoring pass to put the Titans up, 28-13, with just a little more than six minutes remaining in the game.
But Cleveland quarterback Cody Kessler, showing the kind of grit that should endear him to Browns fans, drove Cleveland 75 yards in 13 plays, hitting Terrelle Pryor with a five-yard pass to cut the deficit to nine points.
Jackson, knowing the Browns need to go for two at some point, decided to give it a shot, but the conversion attempt failed and the Browns still trailed by nine.
The Browns recovered the ensuing kickoff and subsequently scored on a one-yard run by Duke Johnson, but that only cut the deficit to three, leaving Cleveland no choice but to kick the extra point and pray for a miracle.
That, of course, did not occur as the Titans recovered the onside kick and ran out the game’s final seconds.
In the moment it seemed like the two-point attempt came too early, as an extra point would have cut the deficit to eight points, while the failed conversion left the Browns behind by nine – or two scores.
But the Browns were going to have to successfully convert a two-point conversion at some point to make up a 15-point deficit, so whether or not they tried after their first touchdown or the second is immaterial.
A bigger concern than Jackson’s thought process at the end of the game is that for the second week in a row the Browns failed to get anything done in the rushing game. One week after only gaining 27 yards on 22 carries against the New England Patriots, the Browns managed just 40 yards on 15 carries against the Titans.
In that two-game span, the Browns have rushed 37 times for 67 yards, an average of 1.81 yards per carry, while lead back Isaiah Crowell has had 22 of those carries for a total of 36 yards. It seems that the talk of a Crowell “resurgence” was a bit premature.
More from Dawg Pound Daily
- How the Browns could maximize Nick Chubb in 2023
- Can Deshaun Watson get to Patrick Mahomes level for Cleveland Browns?
- 3 Cleveland Browns who should see an expanded role in 2023 and 1 who should not
- Is Marcus Davenport on the Browns radar in 2023?
- 5 Free agents from Super Bowl LVII Cleveland Browns should target
The lack of a rushing game, and the fact that the Browns once again found themselves having to work hard to make up a deficit, meant that Kessler had to throw the ball 41 times. He finished with 336 yards and a pair of touchdowns, which is nice, but also took six sacks, which are not going to make his injured ribs feeling any better.
Defensively the Browns didn’t do much to slow down the Titans.
Quarterback Marcus Mariota finished with 284 passing yards and three touchdowns, while adding 64 rushing yards – including 41 on the game’s first play. That big play helped the Titans finish with 137 rushing yards and more than 400 yards of offense.
The 28 points also means the Browns are still on pace to give up the most points in a 16-game season in franchise history.
The loss also drops the Browns to 0-6 for the first time since 1999 and only the third time in franchise history.
But all that will have to wait, apparently, as the noise this week over the two-point decision will drown out what really plagues this Browns team.