This week, the Cleveland Browns faced the Baltimore Ravens, a team looking to keep pace with the other AFC Wild Card teams. This was also Cleveland’s final home game of the 2017-18 season and the home town team was hoping to send the crowd with one home win this season. It was not to be and the Ravens beat the Browns, 27-10. Here’s what happened:
1. Onto #29
The Browns have gone through 28 different starting quarterbacks since their return into the NFL in 1999, the most by any team in that stretch. Many fans hoped that DeShone Kizer would be the answer this year and while he showed flashes of brilliance, the bad outweighed the good. In this week’s game, he threw for 146 yards, ran for 35, fumbled and threw two interceptions. While the fumble wasn’t necessarily on Kizer as left tackle Spencer Drango missed a block, the interceptions were terrible. It was highlighted by a throw into triple coverage in the end zone, something that Kizer has done a few times this year.
Kizer’s best moment was volleyball spiking a pass of his that was tipped to avoid it being intercepted. The problem is, he doesn’t learn from his mistakes and keeps repeating them. A lot of fans have compared his numbers to Peyton Manning or Troy Aikman but the problem is they struggled because of rookie pressure from being the number one pick. Kizer’s struggles started as a touch problem before evolving into a mechanics issue. Bottom line, Kizer has two games to prove skeptics wrong and he’s not on the right foot.
2. Hue Too?
As both the head coach and offensive coordinator of the Browns, Hue Jackson has taken on too much responsibility and it’s shown all year. One of the biggest question marks during this week’s game was the game calling after half back Isaiah Crowell gained 59 yards on one run. After that, Crowell got the ball two more times. Considering that he was 28 yards away from 100 yards on five carries. With the speculation that Jackson could be gone after this year, one thing he should take with him, don’t be afraid to enlist help, even on the side of the ball that you come from.
3. Personal Note
*Disclaimer: this will be a more personal post, so it won’t be in writers form. It’s come to my attention, not only as a Browns fan but as someone who has watched all but one game, the move to bring in John Dorsey is the first of three moves that needs to be taken. With two games left, I feel that Dorsey should look into every player closely analyzing what they bring to the team and figure out who needs to stay and who shouldn’t. Once the season is over, look for a new head coach. Hue Jackson is not the answer, he take its upon himself to do too much and it affected him the past couple years to the point that it cost the team wins. Once a new coach is in place, bring him into the loop with the reports Dorsey made on the roster and plan accordingly. From there, find a new a quarterback and begin. This team isn’t far off from doing good things but they need to make a change. I’ll talk more about it once the season is over but just some personal feelings about the team right now.
4. Looking Ahead To Next Week
It will have been a full year since Cleveland got it’s last win. The Browns will be in Chicago to take on the Bears, in one of the last two chances they have to win a game. The Bears have the second worst passing team in the NFL with only the Buffalo Bills being worse. Their running attack however is in the top 10. Cleveland is still seventh against the run but if they can at least play well against Chicago’s rookie quarterback, Mitch Trubisky, there may be a chance. The Bears are 11th against the pass, meaning the Browns will have to limit mistakes in the passing game. They’ll also have to get the run game more involved. The Bears are 10th against the run but a solid running attack can stifle the best defenses. The predictions of the Bears winning are at 69.9% with the early spread being in favor to Chicago 6.5.