Hue Jackson nearing 40-year record for coaching futility
By Thomas Moore
The Cleveland Browns are battling history and head coach Hue Jackson in an attempt to avoid going 0-16 this season.
The Cleveland Browns are on quite a roll under head coach Hue Jackson.
Since becoming the team’s eighth full-time head coach since 1999, Jackson has led the Browns to just one win in 26 attempts and started consecutive seasons with 10 straight losses.
The league has not seen a coach start off his tenure with a team so poorly since John McKay left the comfort of USC to take over the expansion Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 1976. McKay and the Bucs lost the first 26 games of the franchise’s existence, before pulling out wins in the final two games of the 1977 season. (At least Tampa Bay looked good while losing as they were sporting some of the sweetest uniforms in NFL history. The Browns? No so much.)
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All the Browns have to do is lose this Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals and the following week against the Los Angeles Chargers and Jackson will claim the crown that McKay has held for the past 40 years.
Which begs the question: can the Browns really go 0-16 this season?
Well, let’s consider the remaining six games:
- The Bengals are not good, but they have won six consecutive games against the Browns and outscored them 183-47 in the process.
- The Browns have not beaten the Chargers on the road since 1991. (Thank you, David Brandon!)
- The Browns have not beaten the Green Bay Packers at home since 1992. (A tip of the cap to Kevin Mack.)
- Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco is 16-2 in his career against the Browns.
- The Browns last beat the Chicago Bears in the Windy City in 1969. (Happy Holidays, Bill Nelsen.)
- Cleveland last won in Pittsburgh against the Steelers in 2003. And with it being the season finale, we all know what comes next.
That’s not looking so good for the head coach, although not all hope is lost. The Packers will be without Aaron Rodgers and without him their quarterback situation is as much of a mess as the one in Cleveland.
Christmas Eve marks not only the one-year anniversary of Jackson’s first win as Browns coach, but will give everyone a nice closeup of Chicago quarterback, and Mentor native (in case you did not hear), Mitchell Trubisky. Could another holiday miracle — perhaps on a game-sealing strip sack by Myles Garrett – be in the works?
To paraphrase the late, great Hans Gruber: “It’s Christmas, Swagger. It is the time for miracles.”
We’ll let you ponder that while we take a quick spin through the latest league power rankings.
"No. 32 (no change): It’s really hard to lose this much, but even the projections don’t think the Browns are going to find the win column frequently down the stretch. They haven’t won the turnover battle in any game this season and have the worst team Total QBR. (Pittsburgh No. 4, Baltimore No. 20, Cincinnati No. 27)."
"No. 32 (no change): They competed the past two weeks, which is a good sign. But will they win a game? I don’t think so. (Pittsburgh No. 3, Baltimore No. 15, Cincinnati No. 21)."
"No. 32 (no change): Hue Jackson said he’ll stick with DeShone Kizer at quarterback the rest of the season, which is clearly the right move for the big picture of the franchise. It probably increases the chances of the Browns going 0-16, however. (Pittsburgh No. 4, Baltimore No. 17, Cincinnati No. 20)."
"No. 32 (no change): Another loss for the Browns, despite being in a dogfight with the Jaguars all afternoon. Make that a cat fight. Whatever. As close as the game was, Cleveland isn’t good enough to outlast teams when surrendering five sacks, three fumbles and two picks. The A.J. Bouye pick midway through the fourth quarter, when the ball sailed out of DeShone Kizer’s hand, was a key sequence. The Browns had solid field position and came away empty. Like they have all year. (Pittsburgh No. 3, Baltimore No. 17, Cincinnati No. 22)."
Next: Offensive takeaways from the Browns Week 11 loss
To recap, it’s not looking good, Browns fans.