1) Not only is it harder to watch a game in a sports bar with all the mindless distractions, but when a female with a Redskins jersey cozies up to you and can't stop talking, it's even worse. Yes, darlin', I'm married. And by my stopwatch.... that was 12:45 from "Are you a Browns fan?" (wha... the brown sweater with orange trim made you think I was with the Greene County Pumpkin Growers Association?). And my wife could care less about football, much less the Browns. And ya know what? That's not a bad thing!
Oh, she was okay. At least she knew better and became more quiet as the Skins were pulling away. Or she had too many Stellas.
And really, don't we all have too many Stellas in our lives?
2) Think of those nature docs where the larvae emerges from its cocoon, starting to reveal the beautiful wings of--SPLAT! Army boot grinds it into the dirt.
Oh, we were talking about winning three straight, having a mathematical shot at the playoffs and Pat Shurmur earning himself another year as hc?
3) In the first half, the Browns first and last plays on first down yielded 8 yards (pass to Watson) and 16 yards (Cribbs Wildcat run) respectively.
In between those two plays, the Browns executed nine other plays on first down.
And nine plays netted them a grand total of three yards.
That included five incompletions, two runs of one yard each, and one for a yard loss.
4) In the first half, the Browns faced eight 3rd down plays. Six of eight were for nine yards or more. One was for 5, and the other was third and goal on the one.
Putting yourself in the hole early only makes it worse later on.
5 If I'm Trent Richardson, I'm wondering if it's something I said that makes this team not eager to create any holes. Yes, he's not hitting them as quickly as is ideal, but the far greater lack of ideal is that holes actually exist. They don't. So the runs that are somewhat productive for him become these punishing scrums like the td. It looks impressive when a large pile is just moved into the end zone. Plays well on the highlights. But it's not as fun as when a hole opens and the rb speeds through, or hits a wall and bounces outside.
There was no running game. No great interest in establishing it, not much interest in executing it, and for this team to then pin its hopes on an aerial attack is a dangerous thing.
5) The obligatory qb journal entry. Not a good day, and certainly the beautiful td pass to Benjamin makes the overall stats a bit misleading. Didn't see what caused the first int, but the second one looked to be both underthrown and well behind the receiver. The usual mix of accurate and off-kilter short passes, and the art of lofting a ball like a drop in the waste basket is a tough skill that may be years away-- if ever-- from acquiring.
This game certainly did nothing to solidify Weeden as a starter in year two. It'll be interesting to see how the brain trust regards him, and no doubt they'll be more comfortable with a hc who agrees with their assessment. The only exception would be is if a well respected candidate tells them "Look, I think he's good and just needs some work." My thinking is that if said candidate is not impressed, that will be the club's excuse to go after a decent fa qb as the 3-4 year band aid, and invest in that lower round Kapernick or Cousins in the interim. It all depends on who the hc sees as pulling their weight in the offense. They may see Weeden undermined by inexperienced receivers and a square peg schemes, which he [new guy] doesn't employ anyway. Or he may see Little and Gordon as promising talents who are undermined by the qb who isn't utilizing them sufficiently.
6) And that's why they review all the scores. Thought TR made it, but the replay really showed otherwise. Thankfully he made it in no problem on the next play. Ya have to get antsy when TJ Ward can't make it a pick-6 or a replay takes a score off the board. But the Browns did convert both. Often those plays would just set up fg's. That's progress.
7) Ya know, it wasn't until the FOURTH QUARTER that the Browns didn't bite on Cousins bootleg rollout. The first 10 or so looked like a group tribute to Marquis Smith. Cousins could have run for 25 yards each time out (well, if it was Weeden, run 8 yards and then slide), but instead threw impressive strikes.
The sad thing was that even when the Browns were looking for the rollout, they simply don't have anyone in their front 7 who can pursue with sufficient speed.
8 ) Cribbs kickoff returns look like the first year he did them... before he had more capable blocking and also developed vision. Anymore, it looks like he's bound and determined to go full speed, come what may, and hope he can blister the hole before it closes. And he ends up looking like Wiley Coyote hitting the black covering that looks like a tunnel opening, only to splat against the granite facing. He's taken some hard shots of late, but still managed to make something out of little on two Wildcat plays.
9) Down by 10 with 5 minutes left in the third quarter, and the Browns go for it on 4th and 3 at the Redskins 41? Is Shurmur still trying to make up for his dubious punt call against the Colts? It's like these guys take criticism for a particular move, then are determined to more than make up for it with completely opposite moves for the rest of their career.
And whenever it's a busted play and Weeden is on the run going to his left (don't slide!!), you just know nothing good is really gonna come from this.
If only Miley Cyrus had played the school slut when she was younger, we could be spared of all these silly attempts at overcompensation.
10) The usual suspects pin the blame on the usual culprits, or more like they avoid pinning blame on their favs. Wasn't it a true team effort? I think so. No question, Weeden stunk. So did the running game. So did the defense just when people were warming up to Jauron making a sum greater than its individual parts. And one coaching staff made adjustments. The other was left in the dust. Sure, Weeden set them up a couple of times, but as the game went on, the Redskins had no trouble marching up and down the field.
However Dawson's pat's looked sharper than Forbath's, so the Browns had that going for them.