Browns 27, Giants 41 – Browns Start Fast, Finish Last

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The good news is that the Browns scored two touchdowns in the first quarter. The Browns recovered a fumble deep in Giants territory to open the game and Trent Richardson scrambled 15 yards for the TD. Then Brandon Weeden finally hit a home run pass when he caught Josh Gordon against a linebacker deep for 62 yards and a TD. After that, the Giants started to play like the Giants and the Browns started to play like the Browns we’re used to.

Brandon Weeden threw an awful interception on third-and-one after the initial receiver routes broke down. He directed traffic, Gordon moved and then he threw wild and high. The Giants returned the ball a long way and scored. Then Josh Cribbs fumbled a kickoff and the Giants scored again. Then the Browns punted, gave the Giants the ball and gave up a huge pass interference to gift the Giants a field goal. There were other things that happened in there, but all that matters is the Giants finished the first half on a 27-3 run after the Browns started the game with a 14-0 lead.

Brutal. Abominable. Disgusting. Embarrassing. Unacceptable. Fill in your own blanks if you think we need more.

The Browns even kind of fought back. They hit a field goal in the second half and were poised to make it a one touchdown game in the fourth quarter with lots of time left. Brandon Weeden threw the ball into the defensive line, it bounced up and came back to him. He bought some time and fired it again to Jordan Cameron for a touchdown! Except, it wasn’t a TD as the second forward pass is illegal even if the first one gets batted into the air and the QB has another chance. After the Browns’ five yard penalty, Weeden fired an interception that had no chance of reaching Ben Watson in the end zone.

Thereafter, the Browns’ defense pretty much just gave up on the ground. David Wilson (Ahmad Bradshaw’s backup) ripped off 40 yards and a TD. Mind you, this was a Giants team missing some wide receivers in Hakeem Nicks and Ramses Barden. My tweet response was that “Pride was apparently injured in the first half and unable to return…”

They’re young, I still like the roster and the offense is clearly improved from a year ago, but expectations were for this team to make a “big jump.” Accountability is coming and his name is Jimmy Haslam.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Another loss in another way 0-5 is all you need to say.

  • Kenny_Chill

    Yep. Like you said in the other thread, the Browns just don’t have enough talent. I believe the QB is awful and needs to go, but a 29 year old rookie can only get better, right? Anyway, the talent is not there and the head coach is atrocious.

    I firmly believe this is a 2-14 team, but they definitely have a good shot at perfection with 0-16.

  • Their 0-5 record is horrible, sure. We’re looking at a meltdown here. This will get out of hand soon. I don’t know if they can really be said to be playing meaningful football until 2013 from now on. They’re not going 11-0 from this point on.

    It’s so sad; it didn’t need to be this way. Can we look at Holmgren’s tenure now as a failure? His choice of coach? Some of the Heckert player selections (Little, Hardesty) and many of the game-decisions, etc. It all adds up to three wasted years.

    Haslam — clean house. If nothing else, keep Heckert (the only guy worth his salt there) and run those other two morons out like they are ticking.

  • Roosevelt

    I really don’t think that this is a complete indictment of the current regime. Choice of coach was bad. But the team is clearly better than it was last year, despite their worse record. I’ve said this before, but it’s worth repeating until we see the outcome: The very worst thing that Haslam can do is overhaul this team. It can take years to build a competent team from the ground up, and it would be terrible to see them get rid of Weeden, Richardson, Thomas, Haden, Ward, Jackson, etc. because the new coach believes in another philosophy or the new GM wants to have “his own” players.

  • KillerNut

    And introducing your new Cleveland Browns Head Football Coach… (drumroll)… Mr. John Gruden!

  • Despite some misses by Heckert, I still like the roster better than I have in a long time. my scenario of choice (right now) is that Joe Banner can come in and really just make Heckert better with regard to team makeup and focus between draft and free agency. This team is young, but that collapse says more than just being young.

    Still, I watch Andrew Luck developing a chemistry with Reggie Wayne and while I don’t think Weeden is Luck, it just goes to show that the roster build missed some key components to make the “big jump” that Mike Holmgren was predicting this season. That’s on some combo of him and Heckert with a tiny inkling of Shurmur if they let him talk about the roster, that is.

    So Joe Banner, Tom Heckert and (barring a miracle) a new head coach…

  • Who would ever suggest getting rid of all of those players?

    I wouldn’t allow a coach to come in with that on the agenda. Who would? That’s silly.

  • May we be so lucky.

  • Craig, when was it during this season that you’d finally admit Shurmur was a bad hire from the start? Will you be moving that date up now, haha?

    Will you get me something special for having such a premonition way back in 2010/11?

  • There is more to say; it didn’t need to be this way.

    Two examples of a head coach either being present or absent and affecting the team’s results COMPLETELY:

    San Francisco
    New Orleans

  • dan

    I really don’t understand what there is to like about Heckert’s performance. He’s had some non-misses, but that’s it. Is there a single player drafted in the last three years who has (so far) outperformed his draft position?

  • Roosevelt

    Really? I mean this is not apples to apples, but we’ve had new regimes get rid of players like Shaun Rogers, Kellen Winslow, Braylon Edwards, etc. simply because they were not in favor with the team, although they were much better than what the team had. It happened to an extent with Peyton Hillis. And it happens regularly with bad teams, that a new guy comes in and wants to switch offenses or defenses, and then the whole thing starts from the ground up all over again. I’d rather see Shurmer for five years than that.

  • KillerNut

    Oh wait this is Cleveland… Nothing this good will ever happen… Carry on Internet…

  • BuckeyeDawg

    I’ve been on the “give Shurmur a fair shake” wagon for a while now. I was willing to give him a mulligan for last year, given the circumstances. The 3rd and 1 play in the 2nd quarter is the straw that broke the camels back for me. What a terrible, ridiculous call. You’re in FG range…you’re running the ball effectively with TRich, and you have 3rd and 1. Even if everyone in the stadium knows you’re going to do it, you hand the ball to your best player. Best case, you get the 1st down. Worst case, you kick a FG to go up 20-10. Maybe NY still scores before half…but even if they do you still likely go into the locker room up 20-17 with some confidence instead of down 27-17 shellshocked.

    Why you would take your best player out of the game and try to throw in that situation defies all logic. The LAST thing you do is have your rookie QB try to throw to your rookie WR (In the rain, to boot).

    I’m ready to cut bait with this guy. He failed football 101 today (again).

    Mr. Haslam – you know what you need to do.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    No exactly the problem outside of Haden and now Richardson who were both top 10 draft picks everyone else is playing to or worse then where drafted. On top of that look at the times Heckert moved up or down and how those players have faired to date. Compound that with the inability to address the WR position three years and counting and the fact this team barely participates in free agency and there you go.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    I’ve softened on Weeden he made some bad decisions again but honestly outside of Richardson he’s the only other guy on offense who can make plays. The problem for Weeden is firstly his recievers and second his coaching. This guy needed to be drafted by a team who had a system in place with coaches who could teach and help him learn. He doesn’t have much of that from what I can see so far. Add in virtually noone who makes plays catching the ball and Weeden is stuck.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    With this team there is always more to say I’m just tired of repeating it. The next head coach needs to be one with experience, a track record and a system that will be suited to Weeden and Richardson. Outside of those two the rest of the team can be modified and tinkered with all day and night. In addition I’d like to see a new GM preferably one who can go hand in hand with the next head coach. Just my opinion.

  • SDA

    This team is definitely better than last years. Is it good enough? No, but its better. Weeden is a pro quarterback and unless there is another Andrew Luck in the draft I say we ride him out. Change just for the sake of change is bad. We need a veteran WR and Haden back. Add theses two things and we have 3 wins give or take. All hope isn’t lost we just need some patience. Hopefully new ownership recognizes this and makes the appropriate moves. I have no problem saying to the FO address these issues or your fired.

  • flea

    Just ask yourself this simple question: other than Hayden and Sheard, Richardson and maybe Travis Benjamin and Jordon Cameron, which of Heckerts 25 or so picks in the last 3 years would be desired by the Ravens or Pittsburgh? They want to build thru the draft…OK….with a 52 man roster and maybe one or two keepers a year…by the time they build it….it may be a new millennium. You have to have balance between youth and veterans. Has anyone been impressed with our free agent acquisitions?

  • Kenny_Chill

    I respectfully disagree. The issue is his age. If we assume he’s a bright guy with enough skills to be effective with good coaching and good receivers, he still needs a year or two to learn enough to be good. By that time, he would be 31 and most people, elite QBs or not, become worse athletes when they hit their 30s. He has maybe a 3 year window where he can be good, but this is a team that has to be rebuilt almost from the ground up. If Weedon was going to work, he would have to be plugged into a team that’s solid at every other position.

  • bossman09

    Probably the same person who complains about predictable calls. It’s a fair call – pretty sure he didn’t tell weeden to throw it to the Giants.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    I’ve never been a Weeden fan and didn’t like when he was selected but all that aside the guy hasn’t been the beneficiary of much help whether it’s on the field or off. I said Richardson would be his best friend and it’s playing out that way. As far as your age issue I don’t have as big a problem with it because I seriously doubt outside of an injury that Weeden will lose arm strength or completely fall apart physically in three years. Learning a system is different I don’t know if he’ll be able to do it, again, that’s assuming Shurmur is gone but I have a feeling we’ll find out.

    This kind of puts me in the same position I was a year ago. I advocated leaving McCoy in and assembling weapons around him. They didn’t. Now a year later I’d hate to see the same thing repeated. I’d be in favor of leaving Weeden in getting him a better head coach, a better offensive coordinator, a better QB coach and certainly a better WR or two. If he is the problem then go after another QB either in the draft or free agency but lets not waste another top draft pick on another QB when there are so many other positions of need.

  • hutch058

    Sooooooo much suck!!!

  • hutch058

    Put Weeden in a 2-minute drill for the whole game…should be able to maximize what he has

  • hutch058

    Agreed….The Shurm needs to quit

  • porckchopexpress

    To be fair what have any of the three you mentioned done since leaving?

  • porckchopexpres

    There are two really big problems with your statement. First, you need to define “outperformed”. Are you performance on players currently in the league who were drafted at a similar position, or are you comparing him against other players of the same position in his draft. How are you defining performance?
    For Instance TJ Ward was the 3rd of 4 safeties taken in the 1st two rounds. Berry has been good but had a nasty injury. Earl Thomas is the best of the bunch but in order to have him over Ward the Browns would have to give up Haden, so you have to look at Haden/Ward as a package compared to Thomas.
    And of course there is Taylor Mays drafted shortly after Ward, released and trying to stay on with Cincy.
    So, what is Ward? How do you possibly stand by the argument you are trying to make?
    I’m not even going to argue Hardesty, we all know a bad pick. However, I have no idea how you are claiming Lavaou, Pinkston, even McCoy (he is arguably the 2nd best QB taken) haven’t “played up to their draft position”. Even a guy like Marecic, how on earth do you have a metric that can say what a 4th round FB should be accomplishing in his 2nd year?

  • porckchopexpress

    As clarivoyant as you are you still havent named the guy who was a) available, and b) had a desire to be the Browns HC.
    So we know 4 things; 1. Shurmur is a turd (barring a miracle) 2. You started saying Shurmur was a turd almost immediately.
    We also know;
    3.”Somebody” had to be the coach of the Browns when Shurmur was hired. 4. You were and still are unable to name a credible candidate that should have been put in place rather than Shurmur.
    So yes you were right Shurmur sucks it is irrelevant since you didn’t have a guy that should be their. It is easy to take a shot at saying someone sucks. It takes talent to call the correct person.

  • Derek

    Can we get off his age? Seriously. His biggest issue is the same as McCoy’s. He is throwing to receivers that do not get open and when they do, they have a tough time holding onto the ball. This forces him to force passes he normally wouldn’t (hopefully) by trying to make plays. His best friend should be T-Rich and the coaches should be looking to help out their young (reps wise) QB as much as possible.

  • saggy

    i agree. and i had to laugh and cringe at the same time when the announcers were heaping praise on Shurmur, saying what a great guy he is, and how impressive he is. blech!

  • saggy

    I got your back, dude.

  • Derek

    Jason Pinkston, Billy Winn, Phil Taylor, Brandon Weeden (not desired by those teams but other than Couch, easily our most talented QB since 99) Josh Gordon ( who should get better with more playing time), Craig Robertson. Heckert seems to find decent players later in the draft. My only criticism is to hit on the 1st and 2nd rounders. Don’t move up for an injury prone RB or a WR convert.

  • dan

    Valid point (although wasn’t Vickers a 4th rd fullback, if we need a point of comparison), but I don’t think any of the players you list are clearly better than what should be expected from their draft position. Put another way, while I’m sure there are teams that drafted ahead of the Browns who are regretting their picks, they’re probably not saying “I wish we had drafted (player from Browns) instead.” None of these players are, in retrospect, steals — which successful teams, especially those that refuse to add players through anything other than the draft, have to do.

  • Hopwin

    Weeden is the lowest rated QB in the NFL… BY A LOT.
    Please note that rookies: Russell Wilson, Ryan Tannehill, RGIII and Andrew Luck are all rated much much higher. The next closest QB is the Mike Holmgren phenom: Matt Hasselbeck.

  • Hopwin

    If Cleveland is cursed than we will get Gruden. The man took Tony Dungy’s team to the Superbowl and then ran the franchise into the ground. Kind of like Mike Holmgren.

    Just because you are on TV does not mean you are smart…

  • Hopwin

    The fact that literally NO ONE in the NFL wanted to interview to work under Holmgren (not even members of his “coaching tree”) was the first major warning bell that we had the wrong guy.

  • thepaledragon

    Many of those QB metrics are going to be flawed, however, because they credit Weeden for some incompletions and interceptions that were actually the receivers’ fault (coughgreglittlecough). Based on watching the games, it is clear to see that Weeden is an improvement over most other QBs this team has had since 1999. Yes, the bar’s not high, but still.

  • Keep banging that drum, but be careful what you wish for. I had a front row seat living in the Tampa area to see a Super Bowl champion team rapidly decline into an afterthought, barely able to get its games on television anymore. Gruden was the spark to get a talented team over the top (playing his former team in the Super Bowl helped), but he is a poor developer of young talent with a fetish for old QBs. This is not the guy you want building a young team.