Browns running back Trent Richardson produced 144 yards of offense against the Cowboys in Cleveland’s 23-20 overtime loss last Sunday, but he thinks he wound up costing the team the game.
Richardson asked for the blame for the loss Wednesday because he decided to try going over the top instead of trying to pound the ball in behind his blockers from the one-yard line on a third down play with the Browns trailing 17-13 late in the fourth quarter. Richardson got stuffed and said that “I’m the reason why we lost.” Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer thought he was being tongue-in-cheek, but Richardson insisted he’s serious.
“I’m really saying it,” Richardson said. “You can put the game on me. I’m a man. I’m going to man up to my mistakes and my faults. No man is scared away of his own faults or decision-making. I made my decision and I messed up. That happens when you make decisions right on the run. It just happens.”
Richardson also said he wanted the ball on fourth down, but the Browns tried a fade to Jordan Cameron that went incomplete. That’s one of the reasons why Richardson’s assessment is a bit off. The Browns came back and took the lead on a Ben Watson touchdown catch after that failed drive, so the game only went to overtime because the Cleveland defense couldn’t keep the Cowboys from coming back down the field to tie the game. Given how easily Dallas was able to follow up that score, it’s a pretty fair bet that they would have done the same if Richardson did get the ball into the end zone on the play in question.
On the long list of reasons why the Browns are 2-8, anything involving Richardson is pretty low. On the shorter list of reasons to feel good about the future of Browns football, he’s right near the top and his accountability isn’t going to knock him down any time soon.