4 Cleveland Browns to blame for loss to the Rams in Week 13

The Cleveland Browns were handed their fifth loss of the season against the Rams, and these four players deserve some of the blame

Cleveland Browns
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Cleveland Browns punt returner, James Proche

The first half was a battle of field position as the Browns and Rams each scored quickly but then started to share punts. Eventually, Los Angeles completely took over in this department thanks to a punt that pushed Cleveland back to their own two-yard line. That never should have happened though, since the punt rolled about 20 yards after it hit the turf.

Return man James Proche was lined up to field the kick but started to waive his team away, indicating he was going to let it go. He did exactly that and the Rams downed it at the two. Typically, this is how a punt is handled inside the 10-yard line but this kick originally hit around the 22-yard line.

Instead of waiving it off, this is one Proche should have gotten under it and fielded the ball. Even a fair catch is better since it puts them in the same spot they would have been if the ball did go into the end zone. Thankfully, the defense forced a three-and-out, and this time, the ball did go into the end zone for a safety — of course, that one barely went into the end zone, making it a nervous situation as well.

Proche did end up with two returns for 30 yards, and each was a 15-yard gain. He's incredibly quick and it's easy to see why the Browns want him fielding kicks. But that one was a mistake that took a lot of momentum away from the offense, even if it didn't lead to disaster.