In Week 17 of the 2008 NFL season, Romeo Crennel coached his final game as head coach of the Cleveland Browns in a 31-0 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers. There was really no doubt that Crennel would be fired prior to that game, but the effort given by the Browns sealed his fate.
Today, Eric Mangini might have coached his final game as head coach of the Browns. If so, he will have ended his tenure in a similar way Crennel did -- a 41-9 massacre by the Steelers.
This is what I feared heading into the game. A few days ago, I said I thought the Browns were just too drained, even though they have been somewhat competitive in every game this season. I had a hard time finding a way Cleveland could compete with Pittsburgh, considering the lack of pressure the front seven can bring.
Sure enough, our defense couldn't lay a finger on Ben Roethlisberger today. He finished 15-of-22 for 280 yards and 2 touchdowns. He also scrambled four times for 24 yards.
Offensively, Cleveland failed as well. The Steelers brought the heat on defense, and Colt McCoy responded with throwing three more interceptions. When Cleveland did have some momentum in the first quarter offensively, Mangini opted to kick a field goal to be down 14-3. And, every time the Browns were close to getting a touchdown, Robert Royal seemed to fail to hold on to a pass.
Disregarding the Browns' drive in garbage time, it was a massacre, plain and simple, and a terrible way to end the season.