Maybe that's what Joe Thomas was talking about.
Cleveland Browns fans across the country were excited about the prospects of what QB Johnny Manziel could do for this team over the final three games of the regular season...and then reality set in. The Cincinnati Bengals defeated the Browns by a final score of 30-0, ending Cleveland's slim hopes of making the postseason in 2014.
Things started off gloomy when the Bengals put together an opening drive touchdown that lasted over seven minutes. The Browns couldn't even muster a first down with Manziel under center and QB Andy Dalton didn't have to pass the ball -- they just kept running it with RB Jeremy Hill, who had over 100 yards at halftime alone. Cleveland finished the game with 107 yards of total offense. The Bengals took a 20-0 lead into the half.
Manziel still couldn't get anything going in the second half. He certainly looked like a rookie deer in the headlights, but offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan deserves a fair amount of criticism for basically completely changing the offense this week. Everything looked out of sync, and it would've seemed wise for the Browns to run the same offense they've been using all season, now with more mobility at the quarterback position.
Cleveland's secondary was banged up early too -- CB Joe Haden and CB Justin Gilbert left in the first half with injuries and did not return, forcing CB Pierre Desir to see his first action of the year, in a starting role no less. The secondary wasn't the problem, though -- the Bengals' offensive line dominated the Browns' front seven on pretty much every play.
This is a very disappointing outcome for Browns fans in what once looked like a promising season. The Browns ended the year with a sour performance at home, little energy on offense, and a clustermess on offense. At least K Garrett Hartley collected a free paycheck this week, eh? The Browns finish the season with road games against the Panthers and Ravens.
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