Browns lose to Bengals, 23-10; drop to 0-13 on the season
The Cleveland Browns took another important step toward the top pick in the 2017 NFL Draft after losing on Sunday to the Cincinnati Bengals.
It was almost over before the few people who bothered to show up had settled into their cold, hard seats at FirstEnergy Stadium.
And when it was officially over, the Cleveland Browns were once again on the wrong end of the scoreboard, falling this time to the Cincinnati Bengals by a score of 23-10 to fall to 0-13 on the season.
In the process, the Browns moved one step closer to the ultimate plan to secure the No. 1 overall selection in the 2017 NFL Draft.
In a desperate bid to find a win before the season comes to close, or if you are being cynical a calculated move to help the draft position, head coach Hue Jackson turned the offense back over to quarterback Robert Griffin III.
Would it surprise you to learn that Griffin was as bad as any quarterback that has taken a snap for the Browns this season? No? That’s good, because it’s true.
Griffin finished the game just 12-of-28 for 104 yards and an interception. He also took three sacks and posted a quarterback rating of 38.4. As bad as those numbers are, they actually look better when compared to the first half, when Griffin completed two passes for 20 yards, led the Browns to three first downs and 72 yards of total offense, and posted a quarterback rating of 0.0.
Label it an over-reaction to one game or a “hot take” if you must, but there is no reason to believe that Griffin can do anything positive for the Browns once the season comes to an end in Pittsburgh on Jan. 1.
What little suspense there was to the game was removed about midway through the first quarter.
The Bengals took the opening kickoff and moved down the field with no resistance from the Browns defense to take a 7-0 lead on a 14-yard touchdown pass from Andy Dalton to Tyler Eifert. Following a three-play drive where the Browns gained all of one yard, the Bengals got the ball back and went 45 yards in nine plays, finishing off their second touchdown drive of the day with a one-yard run by Jeremy Hill.
There was still a little more than 50 minutes to play, but the game was a good as over once the Browns fell behind 14-0, especially as their first six drives of the game ended in five punts and an interception when Griffin threw into triple coverage on a deep pass to Terrelle Pryor.
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
Speaking of Pryor, a player that some Browns fans want to hand a blank check in the offseason, he finished the day with one reception for three yards.
There were a few bright spots for the Browns despite the final result.
Defensive end Emmanuel Ogbah had a very nice day, finishing with 1.5 of the Browns four sacks on the day. Running back Isaiah Crowell also had a solid day, finishing with 113 yards on just 10 carries, with a long run of 42 yards.
Crowell’s 113 rushing yards were more than he gained in his last five games combined, so that will give everyone at least another week to try and talk themselves into Crowell being a No. 1 running back in 2017.
Other than that, the positives were few and far between for the guys in Orange and Brown.
The Browns are down to just three more games on the season — road games against the Buffalo Bills and Pittsburgh Steelers, and a home game on Christmas Eve against the San Diego Chargers.
Next: Browns franchise QB not coming in a trade
Which means we are also just three games away from the most important off-season in franchise history.
After what Browns fans witnessed today, the end of the season can’t get here soon enough.