Browns are at an early crossroads

Getty Images

During an offseason of excessive and unwarranted hype, the biggest question about the Browns was whether and how they’d handle adversity. On Monday night, adversity smacked them in the face with a two by four.

After a 31-3 loss to the 49ers, the Browns must quickly regroup on a short week to face the Seahawks, who had extra time to rest after beating the Rams on Thursday night. Then comes Cleveland’s bye followed by a trip to New England and a trip to Denver, followed by a Week 10 home games against the Bills.

The schedule softens after that, with two games against the hapless Bengals, two against the Ben-less Steelers, the Dolphins, the Cardinals, and a home game against the Ravens.

But if they lose to the Seahawks, the Rams, and the Bills, the Browns will be 3-6 at best once the clouds part for what could be a solid stretch run. By then, Cleveland’s margin for error may be down to zero, forcing them to run the table in order to get to the playoffs.

That vibe will change dramatically if they can beat the Seahawks in Cleveland, where the vibe for the 2-3 home team will be far different than it was in Week One. A potential Super Bowl run has quickly morphed into survival mode, and it will test every aspect of Freddie Kitchens’ learning-on-the-fly abilities as a head coach.

The Browns desperately need to beat the Seahawks, or at least to remain far more competitive than they were on Monday night, when they began to dig out of a 14-0 hole before the bottom fell out and the blowout happened. It’s one thing to lose on a late field goal or a failed final drive; it’s quite another to be outclassed almost for a full 60 minutes.

The Browns surely will say all the right things. Indeed, they’re definitely not short on confidence. But they’ll need to fly back to Ohio and get their act together quickly, or they’ll soon have two weeks to lament a 2-4 start while also trying to figure out a path through the weeds in the hopes of somehow beating the Patriots.

34 responses to “Browns are at an early crossroads

  1. Poor leadership
    No energy
    Too many over paid spoiled brats
    A head coach who is a physical embarrassment
    What more could you expect

  2. They drew the most difficult NFC division this year. And say what you will abt the AFC East with its Dolphins and Jets, the Bills have the defense that will give the Browns fits. The Browns didn’t even win their division last year and yet have a tough schedule. I wouldn’t count on sweeping the Steelers even in their worst year.

  3. Don’t be so down on the Dawg Pound. They faced one of the best defenses in the NFL in Frisco. They should play a lot better against the Legion of Bust, especially since they do not have to use a silent snap count in the Dawg Pound. Cleveland showed what they can do against Baltimore last week, and Baltimore has a better defense than Seattle. The Dawg Pound may not be going to the Super Bowl, but they may be good enough to win the weak AFC North.

  4. If ever a team existed that needed a detail oriented, been-there-done-that coach it was this Browns squad. Instead they’ve got Freddie Kitchens who can’t find matching socks let alone figure out how to get his line to block or keep Mayfield from throwing picks.

  5. Baker is a disapointment I know he is young and has time to improve but I have said it numerous times, the truly GREAT players, never get too high or too low on themselves. Manning, Brady, Rice, Barry Sanders. They tend to be much more consistent, because of that attitude, unlike a player like Cam Newton, or OBJ who gets ride that attitude rollercoaster.

  6. Ha…Tell us how it’s the haters Bake… Bake rhymes with Jake which is one letter off from joke or fake. Dealers choice. By the way, I was pulling for the Browns until Baker would not shut his pie hole and I saw him wearing the green headband in a commercial. No I hope they don’t win a game.

  7. I can see the browns beating the seahawks. The seahawks aren’t that good. They barely beat the steelers by one point, and barely beat the bengals by two points. Those are two of the worst teams in the nfl. The browns will bounce back just like they did against the ravens.
    Browns 27
    Seahawks 23

  8. Potential superbowl run by whom lol, anyone who felt that way probably havent paid much attention to the Browns. Baby steps, but i guess the media needed some team to overhype.

  9. Browns fans, there is no need to hang your head if your team loses to the best team in the NFC.

  10. Russell Wilson is playing lights out right now and with the extra 3 days rest, even the trip east and the typical West Coast team screwjob early start won’t matter this week.
    Seahawks win by 10+ points.

  11. When they said the Browns were gonna light the league on fire this year I didn’t think they meant dumpster fire….

  12. Freddie Kitchens looks and sounds more like a pitmaster than a head coach, could go the way of Wilks.

  13. I really don’t like how this game is shaping up. Seattle usually plays to their opponent level. I mean the Bengals almost beat the Hawks week 1, The Steelers almost beat us week 2 without Ben for half the game, the Saints beat the hawks without Brees, etc. The Seahawks are 4-1 but they’re not beating teams like they were in 2013. Every game is competitive (except for the Cardinals, sorry AZ). After an A$$ whooping by a really good team that usually wakes players up and they’re angry, and play a lot harder.

  14. I didn’t think it possible but what if the Giants finish with a better record than the browns, say 5-11. Will OBJ have another meltdown? Heck if the Browns fall to 2-4 OBJ might demand a trade.

  15. I watched the game and – this from a Browns fan – they just aren’t ready for primetime. Doesn’t mean they are bad, it just means the expectations were higher than they should be, they’ve been on night time TV 3x already…this team is not ready. Plus Shanahan has solved for JG – don’t use him. That running game is for real.

    Still say Browns got 9-7 or 10-6 like I have all year.

  16. The Browns looked horrid last night and Mayfield was the weakest link. Mayfield appears not to care about ball security. He overthrew and under-threw open receivers.

    On the other side of the ball they couldn’t defend basic counter plays.

    There punter was their best player but their special teams had some notable failures.

    They look arrogant and poorly coached.

  17. Mayfield is a rather vacant young man who doesn’t have the brainpower to succeed at the NFL level. He’s looked terrible this season. Even worse he believes the media hype about himself so he can’t really comprehend why he hasn’t been winning.

    Combined with the bottom tier Head Coach they have in Kitchens, the Browns are going nowhere but their couches at playoff time.

  18. Looks like they should of kept Williams as head coach and Kitchens as the OC. Kitchens can’t handle play calling and being the Head Coach. Not many Head Coaches are successful doing both. Save your job Kitchens let someone else call the offense.

  19. Playoffs? You mentioned the playoffs after the stinker they played last night? I think you can forget about the playoffs and if by some stroke of luck they make the playoffs, you’d see them get destroyed like last night. That game shows just how bad the Browns are. They were dominated in all phases of the game–both on the field and on the sidelines. Who ever thought hiring Freddie Kitchens as HC was a good idea should be fired today. I thought Mayfield was a wasted pick last year (I thought Josh would end up being the best QB in last year’s class) and it’s starting to look like it might be true. Sure, he can play a good game once in a while–like after Rex Ryan said he was terrible. Playing well one game out of five isn’t good enough for the first pick of the draft. That team is going nowhere and quite frankly I enjoy watching Mayfield get drilled over and over. It’s hard to feel sorry for a guy who runs his mouth as much as he does.

  20. The Browns have not built a quality offensive line. They have some nice, shiny wide receivers, Landry and Beckham, but Mayfield won’t be able to throw them the ball when he is running for his life or laying on the turf.

  21. I saw that debacle last night. The Brown’s stood in the crossroad like a deer in headlights. They then go tee-boned into insignificance. SuperBowl? ha. The mark of excellence in CLE is to get to seven wins. Not sure that can happen this year.

  22. If Callaway doesn’t volleyball that pass right to the defender it’s 14-10 and the game may have turned out a lot differently. But as soon as that happened the Browns just turtled.

  23. Kitchens is the weak link. You have the talent, as seen last year. The coaching just isn’t there.

  24. Dawg Pound has a relatively soft schedule, and the first game of that soft schedule is a visit by the Sea Dorks in a few days. The Patriots and Bills are probably their 2 toughest opponents. Other than that, they play the Steelers without Big Ben twice, the Bangles twice, Dolphins, Cardinals and Broncos. The other team on the schedule is the Ravens, a team they walloped. They can potentially be 10-6 or even 11-5.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!