The Cleveland Browns slogged their way through Monday Night Football on their way to an ugly-looking 23-3 win. Even if a victory over the undermanned New York Jets wasn’t pretty, Browns fans have no need to panic…yet.
Despite the fantasy that many Cleveland Browns fans had about what their team could look like in 2019, it was never going to be easy from the start. Cleveland had so many moving parts to put together under a rookie head coach in Freddie Kitchens. Quite frankly, they were never going to be elite from the very beginning of the season. The idea that they might be was a dream destined to never come true.
The Browns’ growing pains have been plainly evident throughout the first two games of the season. Against both the Tennessee Titans in Week 1 and the New York Jets on Monday Night Football, the Browns’ offense has greatly struggled after being touted all offseason as one of the league’s most talented offenses to watch in 2019.
Even following a 20-point win over the New York Jets on national television, Cleveland’s offensive struggles left many Browns fans puzzled with their team. Kicker Austin Seibert was the MVP of Week 2 for the Browns, going a perfect 3/3 on field goals and 2/2 on extra points. Without Seibert’s leg, Cleveland would have struggled even more during their opening drives.
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And yet, the Browns were able to take care of their business and come out on top. In fact, they won in a pretty convincing matter, defeating the Jets by 20 points. Still, many Browns fans have been left disappointed by their team, especially the offense. Despite the anxiety fans might feel, there is no need for the Dawg Pound to panic just yet.
Through eight quarters of their 2019 campaign, the Browns have flashed constantly. Although he committed several penalties on Monday night against the Jets, Myles Garrett’s three-sack performance dominated New York’s offensive line. This opened the door for the back lines of defense in coverage, who limited the Jets to three points, keeping them out of the endzone.
On the offensive side of the ball, the offensive line has been shaky, but better than advertised. Baker Mayfield’s early struggles are indicative of a quarterback who is still learning, but is still very talented. Odell Beckham Jr. showed fans why he is one of the league’s most consistent playmakers with an 89-yard touchdown against the Jets.
Cleveland is rolling into a home game on Sunday night against the Los Angeles Rams. This will be a fine test for Mayfield and the Browns as they match up against the NFL’s runner-up team from last season. Head coach Sean McVay will look to shut down the Browns’ offense, and it is up to Freddie Kitchens’ schemes to rise up to the challenge. Week 3 is a measuring stick game for Cleveland early in the season.
The Browns are going to be alright. Take a deep breath, and enjoy their first win of the season. Fans everywhere seemed to agree the new offensive pieces would need time to gel together, and that is happening right now during the early portion of the season. It is okay to celebrate a win, however sloppy it may be. Relax, Browns fans. The sky isn’t going to fall on you after just two weeks.