Browns v. Raiders observations
Browns fell in heart breaker to Raiders 16–14 in a game that was postponed, the Browns were playing backups to backups, but couldn’t pull it off. Below are my observations.
- I’ve never been more disappointed in a Browns game than this one. Maybe the first Steelers game this year, but this one takes the cake. The Browns are such a soft team this year and less mentally tough than they were last year. Not sure why the drop-off but its evident on both sides of the ball. The mental toughness to know and understand the situation at hand just doesn’t compute with this team. Playing a game with playoff implications and possibly being 1st in division and Browns came out playing like they usually do, lackadaisical, traditionally conservative, and no real physicality. Only when things get dire do they come back, but they can only do it once, the consistency is just lost.
- Nick Mullens played his ass off last night and all for naught. This could have been game for the ages for him and his career and the franchise and the season. That go ahead drive was incredible. But then as mentioned above, being good a consecutive time is just not enough for this team. I applaud his effort, he showed up tonight, Myles showed up, Greedy showed up, Chubb showed up (but didn’t get help).
- The offensive line had massive failure tonight. The Raiders run defense was bottom three in league and the Browns should have run all over them. But instead every run felt like one was climbing a rock wall without support, like running through mud or cement. They were without Wills, but he’s been average all year. In fact Bitonio replaced him and played better. Tretter stunk, Hance just isn’t good enough. This was a unit that had to play well in run game and they didn’t. That was the game. 3rd-and 3, you run the ball because you got a top back in Chubb. You block well enough for him to get 3 yards, the game is over, the season is alive, and team is in first place. The Browns either don’t understand that, or just aren’t good enough for that.
- 7–7 with this talent on the team is just inexcusable and speaks of underachieving. This game was at least the 4th game this year the Browns should have won if they knew the moment and could finish the game. The difference from last year is so striking. Is it pressure? Were the injuries that bad? Is the team not focused? Is Stefanski and others just not good enough in preparation and focus? All the above? I can take a team being bad (trust me there have been BAD Browns teams), but I can’t take underachieving professional sports teams. This is an underachieving team, who is too quick to make excuses, too quick to be conservative in play calling and game management, too soft, too scared. Just not a recipe for continued success.
- I don’t know how the rest of the season goes, but would not be surprised if team lost rest of games. Packers are more than legit. Steelers fighting like hell despite so many deficiencies. Bengals are still hanging around despite noticeable flaws. I keep writing each week, lets see what these Browns are made of, and I already know the answers. They are a team that lacks preparation, becomes too conservative, doesn’t even risk anything, plays soft, never takes advantage of key moments. Doesn’t understand the scale and scope of moments. This happened during first visit with Ravens and again tonight. How do I or anyone expect the Browns to just ‘figure it out’? They can’t and won’t. GO BROWNS!!