Ah the wonders of the footsballs. It's amazing the effect a bad loss can have on a Monday morning, akin to going out for a few too many drinks the night prior but they were all bad drinks and you were with that one guy who you are good friends with from "back in the day" (even though he moved away for a few year back) and he keeps making horrible decisions in the women he tries to hit on and every time he tries to make a pass it is undoubtedly batted down or intercepted.
I was just finishing up with a bachelor party on Sunday morning where we kicked a keg and ate more food than anyone should in a 48 hour timespan. Since I had to bring the keg back to Rochester anyways, I made the call to watch the game at my old favorite bar where the three angriest Browns fans in the Flower City area take up residence each Sunday (to be fair, only one of them is angry now--the other two are more apathetic than anything) on the far left of the bar and then my father to the right whom I tend to cast angry stares at for making me a Browns fan as games consistently and gradually go downhill over the course of the usual 3 hours timeframe of misery. Can't say I really wanted any beer since I had more than I thought was physically possible on Saturday night and they didn't have anything really worth drinking.
Just as a preface, I don't do stats very well. You can say a lot with numbers to prove points etc, but I am more of an innate perception kinda guy. I talk about feelings and emotions. So lets have a good cry together now.
Let's start at the very beginning:
I was not pleased to watch that very first kick-off ball sail through the other side of the end-zone. Very anti-climactic and it presented a good foreshadow of how the rest of the game was going to be for us; underwhelming and out of the end-zone (yes, I know the rules have changed for kick-off blahblahblah so thats what normally happens, I'm just referencing it to make a point).
Our first few plays really got my hopes up. T.Rich was handed the ball and he ran. He chugged those legs and pushed up the field behind him and he did what he was supposed to do. It seemed to be working and for a second so I actually forgot about the crappy beer in front of me and that stupid kickoff thing I mentioned earlier.
And then something inexplicable happened that I still can't quite figure out: they stopped giving T.Rich the ball and we stopped getting first downs. They started allowing Weeden to throw the ball. Not just like once or twice. I'm talking non-stop. He was making bad decisions and guess what! He kept throwing the ball.
Batted down pass? Throw the ball next time.
Throwing the ball directly into double coverage? Throw the ball next time.
Throwing the ball into a crowd of teal and orange? Throw the ball next time.
IS THERE A MIAMI PLAYER DIRECTLY IN FRONT OF YOU WITH HIS HANDS UP MAKING IT IMPOSSIBLE TO GET THE BALL PAST 2 YARDS WITHOUT IT DEFLECTING OFF OF HIS WALL-LIKE ARMS? Throw the ball anyways.
I just don't get it. If something is not working, why keep doing it? Have you ever heard the adage "doing something the same way over and over again expecting different results is the definition of insanity"? I can't honestly say I know who is actually doing play calling right now though I assume it's Norv. I hope someone gave him his happy pills and he isn't rocking back and forth too badly right now. Because he must be crazy. Like actual legit insane.
This is the only stat you will get from me: over the course of the game, there were 13 run calls and 59 passes called. I only know this because I had T.Rich on my fantasy team and that's the blurb that Yahoo told me. It really says something about the joke that the Browns played on us yesterday.
Let's continue with other things I didn't like: The secondary was garbage. Skrine got duped so often I thought that maybe he was like a triple agent or something. He's on the Browns but maybe Miami payed him on the side to screw up, but is really a Browns player and just screwed up on his own BECAUSE he is on the Browns roster. Just like every game of yesteryear, it looked like our opponent could pass the ball whenever they pleased and the attempt would be successful but when WE try to pass the ball, well, I already touched on that. It's more unfortunate than anything else really. I had an argument with one of the angry Browns fans yesterday about how Thomas was by far our best pick in the new era of the Browns. He started to say that Haden was a much better pick and then Haden did something really stupid right afterwards. I forget which stupid thing it was but it was dumb and I went back to staring through the TV rather than at it.
Our O-line was like a disengaged employee who is forced to go into work every day just to pay the bills. Sometimes he works, sometimes he doesn't. It's really just how "up to it" he feels at the moment. Oniel Cousins has got to go.
Our wide receivers were non-existent so I actually don't have anything to say about them.
Things I Liked:
T. Rich is still a beast and he has it in him to make plays. It sucks that he was not utilized correctly and was not set up for success, but the talent is still there.
Jordan Cameron was a nice little solid turd in a toilet of liquid poop. Maybe that's a bad analogy since Cameron's play was the exact opposite of crappy. He was refreshing to watch actually. Poop is not refreshing. Ok so yes, it is a bad analogy. The guy was able to get open and aside from maybe 3 or 4 passes that were actually caught by someone else, it seemed like he got all the rest. He got me fantasy points so that's a plus too.
Phil Dawson missed a field goal and he did it as a 49er instead of a Brown so thats good.
What else what else. OH we scored a touchdown! Actually, everyone at the bar didn't celebrate at all until they kicked the field goal since the refs were absolutely flag happy. At one point I thought canaries were dying on the field from lack of breathable air due to the stench of the Brown's offense.
This game was an exercise in futility and on being realistic. There were so many things that we could have done differently on the field but in this game (yes, you can say that about every single loss) , I feel the coaching decisions are my primary target of frustration. There were a whole mess of mistakes that took place out there but each bad play was prefaced by a bad playcall. The Dolphins did not win that game, the Browns lost it.
I was cautiously excited for this game to happen. I really was. Cautiously since at the end of the hour of play-clock, I feel worse for every Browns fan that had their hopes up for this season and this specific group of men we call "the Browns." I don't care that we have so many new guys and that we have had ANOTHER front office overhaul. We're still the Browns. Historically we screw up over and over and over again with maybe a little dab of not screwing up and then wait we screw up again for good measure. Do not get me wrong though, I am not wishing bad things on this team. I want nothing more for them to get their act together and start winning. Its just that until the clock runs out after a game and there is a checkmark in the W column for us, I will not be optimistic. I guess I consider myself a Browns Fan Agnostic. If someone tells me the Browns suck, I say prove it. If someone tells me the Browns are definitely going to win a game, I say prove it. As of right now, the only proof of anything is the Browns played horribly yesterday and there were just too many factors to dispute that.
Let's look forward to week two against the Ravens... actually, I don't look forward to it. Sure, the Browns could pull one out of their butts which would be fantastic but unless this team somehow puts their battered shell back together over the course of a week, I don't think it would happen. I guess the plus side for the Browns losing next week would be that the tickets for the Thursday night game against the Bills will be even cheaper for me.
Think of it like this though:
At least the Browns aren't the only team in the AFC North that is 0-1, right? RIGHT?!