KANSAS CITY – Thanks to some costly drops by Davone Bess, the Cleveland Browns once again snatched defeat from the jaws of victory.
In a game in which Cleveland got solid play from the quarterback position in Jason Campbell, strong contributions from potential trade bait in wide receiver Josh Gordon and tight end Jordan Cameron, Cleveland hung tough on the road against the NFL’s lone undefeated team in one of the leagues most hostile and nosiest venues in Arrowhead.
After the Browns has forced Kansas City to punt in the fourth quarter, Bess—who took the place of Travis Benjamin, who suffered a knee injury—muffed the ball at midfield, enabling the Chiefs to recover, proved to be the proverbial dagger in Cleveland’s hopes of an upset.
Bess, acquired in a draft-day swap and trade with the Miami Dolphins, came into the game tied for the NFL lead in drops with New England’s Aaron Dobson and Tampa Bay’s Vincent Jackson. Brought in to be a reliable playmaker on third down and a safety valve, proved to be a faulty cog in the Brown’s offense.
It isn’t too often that this writer lays blame on a single player, but in the case of Bess, his sudden case of Braylon Edwards syndrome cost the Browns a real chance of getting back to .500 and a chance to get back into the discussion of surprise turnaround teams.
This is not normal for someone like Bess, who before coming to Cleveland, was regarded throughout the league as one of the most reliable set of hands in the league, and was one of the top in the league in third-down conversions during his time in Miami.
While it could either be a case of lack of chemistry with Campbell or something behind the scenes, Bess’ drops helped Cleveland literally drop the ball in the heartland.
For the game, Bess caught three passes for 27 yards on eight targets and one costly fumble.
Make no mistake, the Browns started off slow, but played tough and gave the “undefeated’ Chiefs everything they could handle in making them earn a win. While the Chiefs are 8-0, they are a mirage and a fraud—and that’s putting it mildly—due to their excessive use of screens, dump-offs, dink-and-dunks, short passes and early-season soft schedule.
Credit is much deserved to Andy Reid in bringing his version of the West Coast Offense (WCO) to the heartland and the Chiefs in being bold in trading for Alex Smith. With the exception of Jammal Charles and Dwayne Bowe, the Chiefs are nothing more than a dink-and-dunk team masquerading as a playoff contender.
This writer believes that the Chiefs got exposed as nothing more than a red-and-gold AFC version of Reid’s Eagles, with Charles playing the role of Brian Westbrook with Smith being a glorified game manager, Donovan McNabb he is not.
For Browns fans, this loss has to really sting as Cleveland put together one of it’s better second halves and actually looked like a complete team in getting quality performances from Campbell, Gordon and Cameron.
Campbell in his first start as a Browns quarterback, completed 22-of-36 passes for 293 yards, two touchdowns and a passer rating of 105.4
That being said, it would not surprise many Browns fans if Weeden never sees the field for the rest of the season, let alone in Cleveland. Unfortunately, thanks to Bess’s drops and costly fumble, it’s back to the drawing board for the Browns.
Robert D. Cobb is the Founder/CEO/Senior Editor-In-Chief Of The Inscriber : Digital Magazine, for questions, comments and concerns email me at [email protected] follow me on Twitter @RC_TheInscriber and follow The Inscriber : Digital Magazine on Twitter at @TheInscriber