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Well, the column title just about sums that game up. The Browns were dominated in all phases of the game today, catching a whoopin' at the hands of the Bengals in a contest that was not nearly as close as the 34-17 final score indicated. The Rhino weighs in with his post game thoughts in this very matter of fact writeup.
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That certainly wasn't the performance from the Browns that I had in mind. I guess I could figure out some way to explain to you how they "improved" over last week, but I'm not in the mood to play
for my favorite group of NFL short bus riders.
The Browns were terrible, and in a way that isn't completely reflected in either the score or
. What bothered me most was that the team found a way to shift momentum to the Bengals at almost every opportunity. Here are just a few examples:
Given a chance to set the tone on defense at the start of the game, the Browns managed to let the Bengals take the opening kickoff and then move through their defense faster than Ex-Lax brownies.
The Browns got a turnover, and then did absolutely nothing with a possession starting deep in Bengals territory. What's worse, after settling for a field goal, the defense promptly rolled over once again, allowing the Bengals to go 92 yards in 14 plays to take a commanding 14-3 lead.
Finally, in the 4th quarter, the Browns figured out a way to score a touchdown. By now, you know what happened next--the defensive unit stuck its collective head up its collective ass and allowed the Bengals to go on another lengthy touchdown drive (80 yards in seven plays this time).
Of course, it was by no means just the defense that stunk. The offense, such as it was, was a barrel of laughs once again this week. I'm beginning to think that this team has some sort of religious objection to playing offense in the first half. When they finally took the field in the second half, the Browns' offense did much better than last week--taking a mere three steps back for every two steps forward.
Sure, Frye's numbers look better than last week, but aside from the long strike to Edwards, they're pretty pedestrian. On the other hand, the Browns receivers dropped several catchable balls, usually in key situations. At least Frye wasn't sacked this week, although pointing to that as a silver lining in today's dismal performance is akin to asking "aside from that, Mrs. Lincoln, how did you enjoy the play?"
Frye also wasn't helped by the running game, which was AWOL again this week. At least Frye wasn't the Browns' leading rusher this week, but they aren't going to win many games by getting a total of 57 yards on the ground. They also aren't going to win many games if they can't figure out a way to get the ball to Edwards and Winslow more than four times apiece.
That brings me to my next subject. I can't end this rant without at least commenting on the brilliant 3rd quarter coaching decision to put in a three receiver set on 3rd and long that didn't include Kellen Winslow. For God's sake, the
guys on this team that anybody else in the league worries about in passing situations are Winslow and Edwards. It's inconceivable to me that the Browns wouldn't have both of them in the game in every possible passing situation. And by the way, when they're in there,
give them the damn ball!
Now we get to look forward to the 2-0 Ravens, who just throttled the Raiders 28-6. I can hardly wait.
Sep 16, 2006 7:00 PM
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