SANTA CLARA, CA – Fiasco. Farrago. Catastrophe. Debacle. Whatever fancy or swanky synonym you want to use if you’re a Browns fan today following Cleveland’s 31-3 spanking at the hands of the 4-0 San Francisco 49ers fits perfectly today.
Anyway you slice it, the Browns flat-out bombed in typical “Brownsing” fashion in front of a nationally-televised audience. And it was anything but pretty.
By now, the national media, talking heads, so-called analysts and trolls have all had their fun in taking swings at the hot-air filled oversized brown and orange piñata—complete with a giant “Hit Me!” sign at the Browns, who have barked more than they have bitten thru five games of what is quickly becoming a nightmare of a season.
Yes, it’s only five games, and yet there are still plenty of games left, but with the Seattle Seahawks and the defending cheaters-in-champion New England Patriots coming up in the new three weeks, Cleveland could be staring realistically at a 2-5 record, and a giant molehill to climb.
It is sad that the hype, pomp and circumstance that was generated following the blockbuster deal for Odell Beckham Jr. that he was a non-factor vs. the Niners—and also had a better QB rating–than Baker Trashfield did.
Hate to go there, but I gotta call it as I see it, and calling Mayfield Trashfield right now is an affront to innocent garbage cans and recycling bins everywhere.
Sorry not sorry in stating the obvious, but Mayfield looks like a hot mess as he has regressed since last year. In watching him so far, Mayfield looks less decisive, more skittish and tentative, bails from the pocket way too early and has seemingly lost some of the accuracy and velocity that he displayed last year.
Pardon the pun, but I don’t need to channel my inner Nick Bosa in planting the proverbial flag on Mayfield has he looks shaken, rattled and out of sorts this season.
For the season, Mayfield had a TD-INT ratio of 4:8, a completion percentage of 55.9 percent, three fumbles and a NFL-worst QB rating of 68.5. They say that stats don’t lie. Consider this Exhibit A.
The Bake Show looked more like a gluten-free, Texas Tech cheap store-brand version of Mayfield instead of the Oklahoma gourmet version that Browns fans have fallen head over heels for. Oh, and that stat line of 8-22, 100 yards, zero touchdowns, two interceptions and one fumble with a QB rating of 13.4 was very Baker-light.
As a proud Buckeyes family alum and fan, even I got a bit of chuckle and inner satisfaction in seeing Bosa get Mayfield back for what he did down in Columbus.
Not to be THAT guy, but I foresaw and warned fans about the issues regarding the offense being out of sync and the offensive line looking suspect and shaky during in my column here while I was down in Tampa for the “dress rehearsal” game vs. the Buccaneers. In case you missed it, here is the direct quote from that column below,
“While it was just a meaningless preseason exhibition game down in South Florida, last night showed some potential issues-mainly the lack of quality depth and lack of chemistry on offense as well as potential issues at offensive line–and maybe it was just a one-off, but hopefully get cleaned up before the games really count.”
Bottom line is this, the Browns are down, but not out—yet, but they have a lot of work to do in fixing the offensive line and getting OBJ more involved. If the Browns want to get back on track and start winning again. What would help is if—and when—Freddie Kitchens magically morphs into the second coming of Paul Brown and doesn’t look or act like he’s in over his head, because right now, he looks overwhelmed at the whole scope of being an NFL head coach.
Penalties. Lack of rhythm and execution. Total lack of maturity and lack of preparation on both sides of the ball. That falls on Kitchens. Period.
Some will deny fiercely to their last dying breath that it’s not over and the season is not lost. I can totally understand and emphasize the pain and shock of seeing how this over-hyped train wreck of a team shouldn’t be 3-2 or 4-1 in their orangest of their little brown fanboy and uber-homer hearts, but the reality is that these Browns are the most overrated, over-hyped team to have never won anything to set foot on a NFL field and until they take respect in winning, they will continue to get every team’s best shot.
The Browns are no longer the lovable losers of old who are hoping to contend, they wrote their own headlines in the offseason and read too much of their own press clippings in buying into too much of their own hype, and are now seeing the effect of it.
They need to respond in kind vs. the Seahawks, or the season—and what’s left of it—will take a Dead Man’s Curve-style detour that they will not be able to recover from.