The Cleveland Browns headed in to Sunday in need of a win very bad. That didn’t happen. Behind Ryan Fitzpatrick and his efficient offense, the Buffalo Bills defeated the Cleveland Browns by a final of 24-14.
The Browns found themselves down early and playing from behind the entire game. Bills head coach Chan Gailey game planned for rookie Trent Richardson and it worked to perfection. The Cleveland running game was never established. Richardson was held for 27 yards on 12 attempts, but did find the end zone once. Despite 10 penalties by the Bills, the Browns still couldn’t pull out a win.
Brandon Weeden and the Browns offense had a miserable first quarter start to the game. In fact, it seemed like someone forgot to tell the Browns’ players the game started at 1:00 PM. On the first three possessions, the Browns went three and out. On Buffalo’s first possession, Fitzpatrick marched down field going 5 of 6 for 60 yards and a touchdown. After another three and out, the Bills drove down field again highlighted by a CJ Spiller 32 yard screen play that went for a touchdown. In the first half, Cleveland looked lost in all facets of the game.
The entire game, Fitzpatrick had all the time in the world to find his play makers. The Browns defensive line managed a few qb pressures and a batted down pass. It is absolutely sad when your leading tackler is an undrafted rookie free agent. Craig Robertson led the Browns with 7 tackles. Throughout the game, when the Cleveland defense needed a stop, they just never could get one.
On the second possession of the second half, Weeden put together a solid touchdown drive. On an excellent post-corner route by Travis “Ricky Bobby” Benjamin, Weeden threw a strike for a 22 yard touch down pass. The Browns pulled within 3 points, but that was as close as they would get. Weeden would have multiple opportunities to put drives together in the fourth quarter. To be a successful NFL quarterback in this league, you cannot throw interceptions in the fourth quarter, especially when playing from behind.
Football is by no means an individual game but there were some great signs worth pointing out. First, oh my goodness, there’s a Jordan Cameron sighting! Cameron, who was active today because of Alex Smith‘s head injury, had 5 catches for 45 yards. Second, going up against one of the best pass rushers league has to offer in Mario Williams, rookie right tackle Mitchell Schwartz did a decent job. Schwartz did get blown up once in which Williams recorded his first sack with his new team. After that though, I thought Schwartz adjusted nicely. Overall, it’s clear that the Browns are desperately in need of getting Joe Haden back. For the second week in row, the secondary was torched for 3 touchdowns.
In front of a fired up home crowd, Jim Brown and a handful of Cleveland Browns Legends, and Jimmy Haslam, the Browns could just never make a play when it counted. Opportunities were there, the execution was not.
The Browns have a quick turn around this week and face the Baltimore Ravens on Thursday night football at M&T Bank Stadium. If the Browns are to have any shot of hanging with the Ravens on Thursday, someone has to step up. If not, the Ravens will once again embarrass the Browns on national television.
Ryan Ruiz – Cleveland Browns Writer
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