Edwin Baker scored his first touchdown of his career for the Cleveland Browns on Sunday, he pointed toward back of his jersey.
“Get on my back,” it appeared he was motioning. “I’ll carry you to victory.”
It was his second-to-last carry of the game.
Baker finished with eight carries for 38 yards and a touchdown. In a season in which Browns’ running backs have been a conundrum by committee, Baker looked like he was finally the answer.
Five days ago, the Browns signed Baker off the Houston Texans’ practice squad.
The Browns have made no qualms about their lack of a running game this season and signing a guy off a practice squad and playing him in less than a week is not a good sign your rushing attack is healthy.
Instead, since the trade of Trent Richardson, the Browns’ running game has been an after thought.
While the Browns may have gotten lucky with getting rid of Richardson, do you remember Bobby Rainey? Well, he was with the Browns for a bit before getting cut. He has since decided to tear it up in Tampa Bay.
Meanwhile, the Browns were relegated to the Three Rushketeers of Willis McGahee, Chris Ogbonnaya and Fozzy Whitaker. But on Sunday, Baker flashed speed and vision this team has not seen from its running backs in 2013.
So, of course, the Browns didn’t keep feeding Baker the ball.
It gets worse. The Bears run defense is bad. How bad? Like worst in the NFL bad. Entering Sunday’s game at Cleveland, the Bears were allowing an average of 157 yards per game.
The second worst team was the New England Patriots at 135.8 yards allowed per game The Bears were in last place by almost 20 yards.
In all, the Browns attempted 17 rushes for 93 yards for a 5.4-yards-per-carry average.
Pretty simple: Run the football.
It’s not like the Browns were trailing by wide margins in this game. On the ensuing possession after Baker’s touchdown, T.J. Ward intercepted Jay Cutler and returned it 51 yards for a touchdown.
The Browns led 24-17.
On the Bears following possession, the Browns defense did its job. The Bears went three and out and the Browns took over on their own 42-yard line.
After a false start on first down, the Browns went pass-pass-Baker’s final run for 4 yards-pass-pass-pass-Ogbonnaya run (called back for holding) - pass-pass-punt.
A critical holding call negated Ogbonnaya’s run that had the Browns at their own 19-yard line.
From there, the game’s momentum favored the Bears the rest of the way.
It is unfortunate the Browns blew another fourth-quarter lead for the third-consecutive week. It’s unfortunate the Browns are once again stuck on four wins.
It’s unfortunate the Browns were unable to commit to the run with the exciting Edwin Baker against the league’s worst run defense.
In a season with a lot of unfortunate occurrences, go ahead and add this to an already long list.