Sunday, November 22, 2009

Browns Lose A Thriller

The Cleveland Browns found a way to lose, 38-37, after being up 24-3 in the first quarter.  But what a game.  It was a lot of fun to watch, the first one since what, 2007? It's fun when to comparable teams play each other.  I was originally worried that it was going to be a sleeper but after the ups and downs of a football game and 75 points later that worry was unfounded.

I have to be honest, I cheered and was laughing with delight when Detroit Lions scored with zero seconds left.  And I'll tell you why.  It's not because I'm not a Browns fan, it's because I am a Browns fan.  There are multiple reasons I was cheering.  Probably the first and foremost being, as I said many moons ago, I want Mangini, and by extension Daboll, fired.  Yeah, yeah, I know.  All you football gurus out there say no, give him time.  Nevertheless, I called it back in September and I'm staying with the call to fire Mangini.

I am also aware that Randy Lerner has said he won't fire Mangini.  I understand that.  I also understand he intends to hire a "credible" football voice.  What I want to happen is that the first thing that person does is to fire Mangini. 

The game was lost due to coaching.  First off, they went conservative way too early and stayed conservative even when it became apparent that Detroit was going to keep on coming.  Run, Run, Pass, Punt.  That's Mangini's "process".  Granted, they opened up the offense much, much more this week than in any previous week, but where in the world does it come into a coach of this team to go conservative?  Idiocy.

And to add an exclamation point, we fake a field goal and get a first down just so we can....kick a field goal.  Baffling. 

Idiocy and Baffling.

After the interception to stop a Detroit drive with 3 minutes left one would think you'd want to get a first down.  Why does this coaching staff continue to turn to Jamal Lewis.  He's lucky if he gets 4 yard, mostly 2, sometimes 3 yards.  And yet when it was critical to run the clock out we go to him.  Result was a punt, setting up Detroit's stunning come from behind victory.  Where was Jennings?  In really his first game he was averaged 3.6 yards per carry (Jamal averaged 3.1), with which you get a first down (3.6 x 3 = ???).

Another reason: Poteat was in the game on the final play.  Why?  What has he done to show he should see any time inside the white lines?  Inexplicable pass interference with zero seconds on the clock, giving the Lions one last opportunity from what, the 5 yard line.  At a minimum, player selection is questionable. 

Then we see Mangini arguing the timeout call.  I questioned it too.  I thought teams only got three timeouts per half, and subsequently thought the Lions had inadvertently gotten an extra time out.  I was straightened out by some guy on twitter and confirmed on that oh so infallible wikipedia:  After the 2 minute warning a team gets one injury timeout with no penalty, but 10 seconds run off the clock.  All subsequent injury timeouts incur the 10 second run off the clock and a 5 yard penalty.  So I didn't know this.  My Bad.

But the Head Coach of the Cleveland Browns also didn't know it and argued quite vociferously with the referee.  Meaning he didn't know the 2 minute injury timeout rule.

Idiocy, Baffling, Ignorant

To add insult to injury, he then calls timeout allowing the Lions to re-insert Stafford, the rookie quarterback that had already burned our defense for 4 touchdowns.  The result?  The Cleveland Browns allowed Stafford to become the first rookie quarterback in the history of the NFL to throw for 5 touchdowns in a game.

Idiocy, Baffling, Ignorant, Stupid

And overall, where did the defense go?  The Lions first play from the line of scrimmage went 64 yards or some such.  How can that happen?  It appears the Browns D was completely unprepared for the Lions.  Where was all the progress we thought we were seeing?

Idiocy, Baffling, Ignorant, Stupid, and Inconsistent.

Overall, just poor, poor coaching.  Why on earth would you leave this team in Mangini's hands.  So my hope is that whomever Lerner hires  that individual sees that we lost to arguably the worst team in football over the last two years.  And the quickly fires Magini, since these last couple of months have been wasted when we could have really been rebuilding and preparing for the future.

Granted some of the blame needs to fall squarely on the shoulders of the Browns players.  You can't drop passes that hit you on the hands.  You just can't.  You can't cause pass interference  with no time on the clock left.  But overall, this loss falls more on the coaches than the players in my mind.  I got the sense the better coached team won.

It was  fun game to watch though.    It really was.  What I realized at that point is that at this point I'm more interested in a fun, competitive game, win or loss for the Browns, with a great game ending comeback game than anything else this football season.  And that's a sad state of affairs. 
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