Browns are bad and boring in loss to Packers

WeedenYawn. Every NFL fan’s worst nightmare is reality once again in Cleveland. The team is not only bad, but a deadly combination of bad and boring. That’s my takeaway from Green Bay as the Browns failed to do nearly anything offensively all day. The Browns end up falling to the Packers 31 to 13.

It wasn’t just the Brandon Weeden-led offense. The defense started the day off poorly as well. The Browns spotted the Pack a 14-0 first quarter lead. They missed tackles left and right, most notably on tight end Jermichael Finley. They continued their streak of not being able to get pressure on the quarterback from last game and ultimately paid the price twice. The Browns defense did get better as the game went along, but it was far too late by the time they started to play. At least it was too late for an offense like the Browns trotted out on the field.

Brandon Weeden won’t escape criticism this week. No, he didn’t have a “flipperception,”1 but Weeden started off the game with the football equivalent of his Rick Ankiel impression. That resulted in first quarter drives that went punt, interception, punt for the Browns. And the only reason Weeden was granted an opportunity to throw the interception was because Jake Stoneburner ran into Spencer Lanning’s plant leg for a penalty that gave the Browns the ball back.

The one bright spot on the day? The Browns had a 20 yard touchdown “drive” that was set up by an 86 yard Travis Benjamin kickoff return. The Brandon Weeden TD pass to Jordan Cameron cut the Packer lead to 24-13. It should have been a happy thing, but I was left wondering why we have continually watched Greg Little return kicks instead of Travis Benjamin. It isn’t like they’ve carved out serious regular receiver duty for Benjamin that he can’t spare the reps on the field.

Adding further insult to Browns fans’ eyes, the Browns recovered an onside kick after the score only to have it called back due to offsides penalty. On the second onside kick attempt they were flagged for illegal touching when the ball didn’t go past 10 yards.

I really don’t like to play the woe is me card, but I just can’t help it. Browns fans were forced to watch an abysmal game and it wasn’t supposed to be this way this year. Before you jump to conclusions about what I’m saying, this isn’t about the Trent Richardson trade. It’s not about the draft day trade of this year’s picks for next season, which I liked. It’s not about the Brian Hoyer injury, which was unlucky. This isn’t about any one thing. It’s about all of it. The end result is unacceptable.

Joe Banner and the Browns talked about what we would see this year, and it was a team that was supposed to continue to get better. This team is in a death spiral every time Brandon Weeden steps on the field, and all we’ve seen is outgoing talent without much in the way of reasonable replacement. Even though there was no other logical choice to start for the Browns at QB this week, it’s pretty unbelievable that the team hasn’t been out to any kind of replacement who might start to prepare to be the one to close out the season for the Browns at least as a contingency.

Meanwhile Browns fans have yet to hear from Mike Lombardi. I really don’t care that much, except that I know he was here when the Browns cut Bernie Kosar. What does that have to do with anything? Let me say it with a question. So, you mean to tell me that the guy who was involved in a move like cutting Bernie Kosar for having diminishing skills is sitting idly by while Brandon Weeden – a guy he’s always hated as an NFL prospect – continues to embarrass the team in the first year at the helm of the Browns for this front office? I’m only left to wonder why.

First impressions must not be all that important to this new front office. Either that or this is the best they could do. Either way, it’s not good enough for Browns fans and the Browns need to be accountable for that. Joe Banner invited accountability and doesn’t make excuses. He knows better than to try to excuse the kind of football that Browns fans have been treated to the past two weeks and in the first two weeks. Is that what we can expect for the rest of the year? What’s the plan? Right now, Browns fans need something to believe in.

  1. Although he was really REALLY close to throwing ANOTHER one. []

  • BenRM

    Better QB Option as of 21 October: All of them except people who are injured. Literally all of them are better.

  • RGB

    What does Hoyer need to be ready for next week?
    Stem cells? Bone marrow?
    The line forms behind me.

  • BenRM

    Also, can the NFL just stop drafting Big 12 quarterbacks? Please?

    RG3 might be pretty good, but no one else is. It is easy to be an awesome QB when you play in a league that doesn’t play defense.

  • Steve_Not_Chad

    After the first two passes I wondered if Weeden was doing it on purpose and basically saying “How you like these throws, I can’t stand you Cleveland”. It was actually a pretty funny daydream.

  • thenoclist

    you didn’t like Pay-A-Ton Hillis?

  • I’ll probably be watching whatever other games are on. I can’t do it anymore.

  • I have to preface this by saying I absolutely hate HATE the New York Yankees.

    What does this have to do with anything? I watched way more of the Being Mariano documentary than I did the Browns game. That’s where we’re at right now.

  • thenoclist

    You’ll still be watching next week.

  • BenRM

    I won’t though. After the TRich trade, I didn’t watch the Vikings game. I got sucked back in by Hoyer, but I’m gone again.

  • I don’t like Greg Little but the look he gave after that fourth down at the end of the game where Weeden tried to implant the ball in his back hip said it all.

  • To answer your question: Not likely, but he wouldn’t be a downgrade. It’s probably worth it to get a different guy out there if anything to show the team you’re trying to right a submerging ship.

  • Toddyus

    Hands down, Weeden. Why? Because he is our QB now. If I had to compare a root canal I received 5 years ago, with one I’m receiving right now, the latter will always be worse.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Watch to see what a real football team looks like one who was a disaster a year ago on and off the field to one that is the story of the NFL now. It can be done, it’s not impossible well then again this is Cleveland.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Waiting For Next Year!

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Mike Holmgren on line 1.
    Tom Heckert on line 2.

    It’s a shame the lines weren’t down that night back in April two years ago!

  • Steve

    Just a couple weeks ago we had a glimpse of what almost every NFL team has, a good week here or there. We’ve watched the Browns be such consistent losers, that when they do win, we seem to think it’s some great harbinger of future performance, when, in the any-given-Sunday league, sometimes all you had was a nice week.

    And the second half of your paragraph is what I’m getting at. People can’t take this losing, yet they still show up every Sunday, knowing full well they’re very likely to end up upset. No one is making you go to these games. Getting upset, and still buying tickets provides exactly what incentive for the team to do anything?

  • Steve

    I’m not following your logic. Craig seems to not enjoy watching this team week after week, year after year. Why watch anymore then?

    I comment because, despite claims otherwise, I do enjoy discussing Cleveland sports with most of the commenters and writers here.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    You are still telling people what to do huh you’d have thought you’d have learned by now? I could list plenty of reasons why Craig probably watches but he can speak for himself.

    Have a nice day!

  • Steve

    Explain. I’m no fan of Lombardi, but reaching back that far to find something to “get” him on seems ludicrous. We all know, full well, that each of us grows and adapts over 20 years, and won’t necessarily make the same decisions we did then. And there’s plenty to criticize regarding his recent work that actually affects the current roster.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Now that baseball season is over otherwise he’s a Dolan!

  • Steve

    I’m not telling anyone what to do. I’m asking, why, if you play the “woe is me” card every week, do you keep watching? Maybe Craig doesn’t think he will, but I have no idea why he would think that.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    True to be fair you aren’t telling anyone what to do maybe more like suggesting I forgot who I was responding to initially. It’s been a nice break. Anyways I can’t speak for Craig or the others who continually watch maybe they are masochists or maybe when they see a wreck happen they can’t help but look. I knew yesterday was a loss I didn’t think it would be close and yet I still watched from time to time.

  • Daniel Jones

    Why doesn’t the defense wrap up when tackling?Using your arms to tackle would also eliminate some of the bad hit penalties

  • bupalos

    Every team “needs” a lot of everything. The bottom line is the 2 games when we had a competent QB we won. In fairly convincing fashion. And one of those was against a good team.

  • Wow

    I’m not a Weeden fan at all but the blame needs to be spread around. This is a flawed team. The defense gave up 31 points the past two games and and gave up way too many in those games as well. I don’t see anyone complaining about the D though.