3 takeaways as the Browns fall to 0-10
By Thomas Moore
The Cleveland Browns kept it close but ultimately fell to 0-10 on the season. Here are three takeaways from Sunday’s loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars.
The Cleveland Browns gave it a good effort, well one side of the ball did, on Sunday against the Jacksonville Jaguars but it was not enough.
Because when it comes to the Browns, it is never, ever, enough.
The Browns dropped a 19-7 decision to the Jaguars despite the defense holding Jacksonville to just a field goal over the final 44 minutes of the game.
The defense was good (don’t let anyone tell you otherwise), the offense was bad (trust us on that one) and the play calling was as predictable as always.
The loss drops the Browns to 0-10 for the second consecutive season and 1-25 under head coach Hue Jackson. It should also signal to owners Jimmy and Dee Haslam that a coaching change, no matter how distasteful that might be to them, needs to be in the cards.
That is a topic for another day, however, so let’s focus on a few takeaways from today’s effort.
The defense showed up to play
The Browns defense gave a preview of what they can become with a little more time and continued to show that the work put in the past two offseasons was worth it.
Jacksonville jumped out to a quick 10-0 after Josh Lambo converted a 38-yard field goal a minute into the second quarter, but from then on out the Browns defense took control of the situation.
Following the field goal the Jaguars had 10 offensive possessions, seven of which ended with a punt, along with a turnover and a missed field goal. The Browns held Jacksonville to just 284 yards of total offense and they needed 76 plays to accomplish that, an average of just 3.7 yards per play.
The defensive line, most notably, defensive ends Myles Garrett and Emmanuel Ogbah, along with defensive tackles Danny Shelton and Larry Ogunjobi, worked over the Jaguars offensive line and made life miserable for quarterback Blake Bortles.
It was the kind of effort that everyone dreamed of as the Browns loaded up on defensive playmakers and should give everyone hope that things are going to be fine on that side of the ball.
The only downside is that Ogbah broke his foot and will likely be lost for the season, making this the second consecutive game where the Browns lost a key starter along the front seven.
The offense showed up … well, we’re not sure what they were doing
The Jaguars came into the game with one of the league’s best defenses, but the Browns offense still did not put up much of a fight.
Through their first four offensive series of the game, the Browns had run 10 plays, gained four yards, and turned the ball over on the first of two interceptions by quarterback DeShone Kizer.
Cleveland pulled it together for the next drive as Kizer hit Duke Johnson for a 27-yard touchdown, but it was all down hill from there.
The Browns had eight offensive drives after cutting the deficit to 10-7 and gained just 79 yards of total offense. Five of those drives ended in punts, while three of them ended in Kizer turnovers as threw his second interception and fumbled the ball twice.
The final turnover, which the Jaguars turned into a touchdown when Telvin Smith recovered the ball in the end zone, was not entirely Kizer’s fault, however. Left tackle Spencer Drango was beat badly and Kizer was subsequently hit and fumbled. The game proved that Drango, who certainly tries hard, is not a tackle and should never be on the field at that position again except in an extreme emergency.
That doesn’t absolve Kizer for having another poor day as he finished 16-of-32 with four turnovers, five sacks and a quarterback rating of 51.4, the sixth time this season Kizer has posted a quarterback rating under 52.
If Kizer took a step forward against the Detroit Lions last week, he definitely took a major step back on Sunday against the Jaguars.
The end has to be near
The day started with a report from NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport that the Haslams met with the players during the week to talk about the rebuilding process and boost the spirits of the players.
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Related: Haslams reportedly met with the players to calm the waters
During the game the Jackson spin machine was in full force as a “rumor” came out that Jackson really wanted the Browns to select quarterback Carson Wentz in the 2016 NFL Draft, but the front office shot him down.
That goes directly against what NFL Network’s Mike Silver wrote in the aftermath of the 2016 Draft that Jackson was in lockstep with the front office on the decision to pass on Wentz. But as Browns fans are learning, the lengths that people will go to rewrite history and help Jackson cover his behind know no bounds.
The quarterback position is a mess and the offensive game plans continue to be puzzling. As those are both supposed to be Jackson’s area of expertise, that seems problematic.
Only the most obtuse would try to argue that the Browns have not added talent the past two offseasons, yet the product on the field remains a mess. It is hard to imagine how a team can’t find a way to fall into more than one win in the past 26 outings, but that is the situation they find themselves and Jackson needs to take the fall.
Next: Browns lose to Jaguars to fall to 0-10
Jackson’s friends in the media are going to have a field day when that happens, and the Browns need to be prepared for it, but the alternative can’t be an option.