The Cleveland Browns got destroyed by the New England Patriots in Week 6. While the game had glimpses of the home team being able to compete, it ended with a whole lot of problems. Unlike the previous three losses, the loss to the Patriots was not a close game or one that they could have won late in the contest.
In a lot of ways, it was the team’s worst game but made it easier to just move forward.
A few thoughts and notes turning the page from Week 6 to the Week 7 matchup with the Baltimore Ravens:
- Maybe this is the game that will get their attention
While the first three losses were close and could be chalked up to one or two plays that changed the outcome, Week 6 was far from that. Perhaps this is a wake-up call for the team that they aren’t as close as their first three losses told them that they were. Trying to figure out what motivates people, much less well-paid NFL players, is difficult for most professionals but, sometimes, hitting rock bottom can help. Perhaps Week 6 was rock bottom.
- The AFC North is still easily within reach
Given the team’s performance, this is a silly statement. Practically, teams can turn things around and Cleveland is a talented roster. With victories the next two weeks against the Ravens and Cincinnati Bengals, the Browns would sit atop the division after nine weeks. Tough to imagine but still possible.
- Change for change sake doesn’t fit this regime’s MO
A lot of people want changes to “hold people accountable” or to “make a statement.” This regime does not seem like the type to value those types of short-term spikes in motivation. Instead, they believe they must make adjustments and improve what they currently have. That doesn’t mean they won’t make changes but doing so for short-term benefits or to try to motivate people isn’t their style.
- Jacoby Brissett cannot carry a team
We knew this but are still frustrated when it doesn’t happen. Brissett was not brought in to carry the team but to make a few plays while the offensive line and running game controlled the defense. Brissett played fine when the game allowed him to stay within himself but when required to do more than that, especially against New England, he was unable. This is what Brissett has been and why he was available for his one-year, cheap (for a QB) contract.
- AFC North teams aren’t that good
While there is a lot of talent around the division, it isn’t a division that has anyone who is consistently very good. It is one of the reasons that Cleveland could be kicking themselves for losing the early games but it is also why they could stick around the division race for a while if they can take at least one of the next two.
- The NFL as a whole has few great teams so far
The AFC was supposed to be great but has just four teams with four or more victories. Of those four, only the Buffalo Bills and Kansas City Chiefs have looked really good this season. The NFC has the same number of teams with four or more victories with all four being somewhat surprising: Philadelphia, Minnesota, New York Giants and the Cooper Rush-led Dallas Cowboys.
It has just been a very strange year all around the league which will be interesting to sort out over the next couple of weeks.
- Stopping Lamar Jackson looks impossible given the play of the Browns defense
More from our Barry Shuck later this week.
- The NFL trade deadline could be hot
With a great quarterback group, a ton of teams at or around .500 and more aggressive front offices, the 2022 NFL trade deadline could be exciting. For Cleveland, the limited draft assets due to the Deshaun Watson trade will limit what they could do but if they leave their Halloween Monday Night Football game at .500, they might be motivated to get a deal done by the 4 PM deadline the next day.
We are all on to Baltimore now!