Browns, Featured

Rinse, Repeat: Browns lose to Ravens, 28-7

Same old Browns, right? The Cleveland Browns once again forked over a first half lead, succumbing to the Baltimore Ravens on Thursday night, 28-7. The Browns led 7-6 at half, but a second half collapse gave the victory to the Ravens and yet another loss to Cleveland, their 10th in as many weeks this season. Through the air, they were led by quarterback Cody Kessler, who threw for 91 yards and a touchdown in just over a half of football. The leading receiver for the Browns was receiver Terrelle Pryor, who caught five passes for 48 yards. On the ground, running back Isaiah Crowell rushed nine times for 23 yards. The Browns once again faltered in the second half,Β like they seemed to have done all season.

I place a lot of this loss on Browns head coach Hue Jackson. I have been a fan and backer of Jackson for most of the season, but his decision to take out quarterback Cody Kessler in the third quarter and replace him with Josh McCown was befuddling at best. Kessler was 11-of-18 for 91 yards and a touchdown before he was taken out of the game. He was playing solidly. There was no reason to take him out. First of all, he was playing OK and had led the team to a first half lead. But secondly, the front office, coaches, and fans need to see him play. What’s the point of putting in McCown on a 0-9 (now 0-10) team? No reason. The move backfired, with McCown completing just 6-of-13 for 59 yards, two interceptions, and two fumbles, one of which was lost. In my opinion, it was the wrong decision.

The first quarter started off shaky for the Browns, but it ended up being a truce with the Browns and Ravens remaining scoreless. After the opening kickoff and before the Browns first play on defense, they had to call a timeout, showcasing early to the national audience what it is like to be a Browns fan. But, Cleveland’s defense played pretty well in the first quarter, holding the Ravens scoreless. A Briean Boddy-Calhoun interception was a huge play in the quarter, halting a positive drive for Baltimore. The Browns offense was unable to sustain a drive in the quarter.

Both teams got off the schneid in the second quarter. The Ravens kicked off the quarter with a field goal. But, the Browns put their best drive of the game together, driving 75 yards in seven plays to get the go-ahead touchdown. Kessler threw a beautiful 25-yard touchdown pass to his fellow rookie, tight end Seth DeValve. The Browns allowed another Ravens field goal to end the half, but still led, 7-6, over Baltimore heading into the locker room.

The third quarter was a disaster. The Browns went three-and-out on the opening series. On the ensuing drive by the Ravens, the Browns defense allowed a nine-play, 64-yard drive, capped off by a touchdown pass by Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco. Then, the complete perplexing decision by Jackson was made, replacing Kessler with McCown at the quarterback spot. McCown subsequently threw an interception and led a three-and-out in his first two drives. Baltimore scored another touchdown on their final drive of the quarter,Β giving the Ravens a 21-7 lead heading into the final quarter.

The fourth quarter was just like most of the other fourth quarters this season: a slow walk to an inevitable loss. The fourth quarters – over the past few weeks especially – have felt like the walk many Browns fans have made over the past decade after a loss at FirstEnergy Stadium. A slow, subdued shuffle with not much hope to look forward to going forward. The Browns finished the quarter, allowing another touchdown to make the final score, 28-7. They were outscored 22-0 in the second half.

The Browns fell to 0-10, continuing their search for the team’s first win of the season. Next week, they face the Pittsburgh Steelers at FirstEnergy Stadium in another AFC North matchup. At least we get a Browns-free Sunday this coming weekend!

  • Saggy

    awwwww snap!

  • Saggy

    When they drafted the guy they knew he couldn’t go downfield, so I’m not sure why they’d get mad about it now.

  • mgbode

    Not the strongest arm in the world, but it’s OK

    34yd line to 3 yd line in stride here:

  • Saggy
  • Saggy

    he doesn’t have the skills to be more aggressive. You can’t ask him to do what he cannot do. NEXT!

  • RGB
  • tigersbrowns2

    2 upticks on this.

  • tigersbrowns2

    not so fast …

  • nj0

    Wise words. Well said.

    Jackson’s play calling didn’t do Kessler any favors either. While I realize that this team has trouble running the ball, treating that facet of the game like an afterthought only makes it harder to throw the ball. I count about a 2:1 pass-to-run ratio while Kessler was under center, a period of nearly three quarters during which they never trailed by more than one score. They ran West on two consecutive plays only once all game, for gains of nine and three. The following play? Downfield throw to DeValve: touchdown. Now, I’m not claiming direct causation, but it sure seems like committing to the run a little more could only help Kessler.

  • nj0

    Cam Erving is one of the worst footballers I’ve ever seen. He’s quite adept at helping teammates off the turf after his guy tackles them in the backfield.

  • nj0

    They handled Terrance West pretty well. I’m convinced this is because he’s on my fantasy team.

    And yes on the re-signings. Next to horrible drafting, the biggest sin of front offices past has been refusing to pay the few talented players that they did find.

  • nj0

    There were apologists for the Indians back then? I assumed everyone stared directly at their horribleness and did not turn away.

  • nj0

    You will do as your told and throw into coverage, young man!

  • Sam Gold

    Agree and I think you meant Crowell.

  • Harv

    Maybe Hue was exhibiting some buyer’s remorse after seeing Wentz and Prescott up close.

  • nj0

    Wow. Weird brain fart. I was looking at the game log too.

  • Harv

    In that era the writers must have known the truth but spilling to the fans and “hot takes”? That wasn’t a thing. Protecting your job as the beat writer by writing fluff pieces was. Even the supposed brave truth teller, Pete Franklin, would get crazy excited if they crept within single-digit games back in August.

  • architrance

    “Nobody had said anything to me about playing in this game, but things change,” McCown said. “You just have to roll with it. You go into the game and do the best you can.”


    This is a pretty low point coaching-wise, even for the lowly Browns. Burned a timeout before the first snap and another in less than 5 minutes. They were doomed from the start.

  • mgbode

    almost posted the Brandon Weeden double-pass GIF instead πŸ˜‰

  • Harv

    yeah, loved when he said after his ejection that a guy can only take so much – when he did it on the game’s very first drive. So he’s both physically and mentally weak.

    Thanks, Ray Fahma. Ray’s got to have the prime spot and biggest bust in the Browns Hall of GM Nincompoops. Idiotic methodology with lack of research is a difficult combo to beat. And I hope the bust is sweating, like in his last presser.

  • RGB

    Cody doesn’t deserve that.

  • mgbode

    That is why it was not done. I’m a Kessler fan.

    I really think he can be our Alex Smith, which is a good thing compared to the rest of the QBs we have had.

  • Harv

    guessing McCown had no idea because Hue just lost his you-know-what mid-game. We know he’s been harping on the kid looking deep and at halftime his assistants probably confirmed Kessler wasn’t seeing things with potential downfield. Hue is frustrated.

  • exit322

    Well, McCown doesn’t have the mobility or quickness anymore to handle the “you have one-half second to get the ball out or move sideways because your center has a religious objection to pass blocking” methods our OL employs.

    I did notice on a couple of the throwaways that the checkdown wasn’t there – I’m wondering if Hue started to call a couple pass plays that didn’t HAVE a checkdown for precisely that reason.

  • JM85

    Only 6 more of these to go.

  • CBI

    I do love this game.

  • woofersus

    Yeah, but McCown would have saved himself some grief with a little more pocket awareness. Not everything there was his fault and the o-line had some gaffes, but for the most part both QB’s had 3+ seconds when there wasn’t an entirely blown assignment. (and seeing that pre-snap is partly on the QB)

    I agree it’s possible Hue called some plays with that in mind. And when forced, Kessler showed a nice ability to move around in the pocket, avoid rushers, and extend plays. He just needs to be a little more brave with his decision making.

  • Sam Gold
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