The Cleveland Browns snatched victory from the jaws of victory, a refreshing change from the old status quo. The Browns cruised to a victory despite playing less than stellar football, something that hasn’t happened since the team departed Cleveland in 1995.
The Cleveland Browns did not play their best football on Monday night, yet they were still able to cruise to a victory against the New York Jets. Each game in the NFL is a measuring stick, and though the Browns did not put their best foot forward, this still might be the game that they have shown the most growth.
The ability to still pull off wins while you are finding your way isn’t something the city of Cleveland is used to. In years past, the Browns would play down to their competition even if they were to find themselves with the talent advantage. Inevitably, on the rare occasion that they found themselves to be the superior team, they would have to fight tooth and nail to prove it. That is the biggest difference from where the Browns used to be to where they find themselves currently.
There were lulls during this game, but the Browns never lost their focus. They kept their eyes on the prize and followed through to the end. Sometimes you have to just embrace the grind and keep hammering.
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That is what good teams do, they show up and beat the teams they are supposed to beat. It would be easy to be pessimistic after a lackluster performance and focus on the negative. But, if you were to look at this game from a coach’s perspective, these are the types of victories that are priceless.
Wins in the NFL are hard to come by, wins on the road are even harder, so when you are able to get a win on the road without playing your best football you need to take it for the blessing that it is. Too many times in the dark ages, the Browns would have played hot potato with a game like this, attempting to give it to the other team at every turn.
What transpired on Monday night is a coach’s dream. In a game where you couldn’t seem to get out of your own way, you still manage to win convincingly. The team walks away with a victory but there is still a ton to improve upon.
There was also a fair share of positives to take away from last night’s performance. The defense did what was expected of them, they played fast and tackled well. They were able to get off the field on third downs, and in turn, provided the offense with good field position the majority of the game. The kicking game also looked solid, with Austin Seibert converting all three of his field-goal attempts.
The ugliness of the performance was almost solely due to the offense. They definitely have issues that they need to work out. But these kinds of growing pains should be expected. It’s easy to lose sight of how young this team is because of all the expectations that have been placed on them. The talent is there, they just need the time to come together as a unit. On the bright side, even on an off-night, they put up enough points to get the job done.
The bottom line is, at the end of the day a win is a win. The ugly ones count for just as much as the pretty ones. Monday night, the Browns had themselves a beautiful ugly win.