Week 6 instant reaction: Cleveland Browns routed at home by Arizona
Cleveland Browns get routed at home by the Arizona Cardinals as injuries continue to pile up. Things don’t get easier with a short turnaround game Thursday.
Let’s be honest, there was not a single thing to be excited about on Sunday afternoon for the Cleveland Browns. Truthfully, the team is lucky it wasn’t 35-7 at halftime instead of 23-14, and the team having some momentum.
At the end of the day, they couldn’t overcome the penalties and high-powered offense of the Cardinals who wound up with the 37-14 win.
Baker Mayfield turned the ball over three different times, twice the defense was able to hold them to field goals on very short fields which was a huge reason the game felt somewhat close up to halftime. It’s also hard to not consider the hail mary caught by Donovan Peoples-Jones right before half a tad bit lucky as well.
Mayfield once again aggravated his shoulder, but he was able to return. Odell Beckham also missed a large number of snaps because of a shoulder injury but did return. Kareem Hunt left on a cart in the fourth quarter after not being able to put any pressure on his right leg. Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah also hobbled off the field limping late in the game.
These injuries just won’t stop for the Browns.
The biggest game-changer on Sunday for the Browns, having both starting tackles out of the game. Blake Hance held his own within reason, but James Hudson was a complete liability in the run game and pass protection.
It’s extremely rare for an NFL team to be eight deep at the offensive line position, and the Browns certainly showed that. Remember, these were tackles four and five on the depth chart with Chris Hubbard already out for the season with a triceps injury.
Cleveland will now hobble into a Thursday night game that instantly becomes a must-win game as they fall to 3-3. The Denver Broncos will come to town on a three-game losing streak also looking to get things back on track.
As disappointing as Sunday was, it’s not time to panic yet. There are very few teams in the NFL that could have won a game with both starting tackles out, but this particular game brought back ugly flashbacks to 2017.