For the fourth time in the last five seasons, the Cleveland Browns start a season 0-3 following a loss to the Buffalo Bills. This game was decided in the first quarter as the Browns went three-and-out on their first three possessions, while the Bills scored touchdowns on their first two drives. This game looked like it was going to be very lopsided in Buffalo’s favor when they were driving down the field towards a touchdown for the third time in the first quarter. Only an overturned call on what was initially ruled an incomplete pass by Ryan Fitzpatrick kept the Browns in the game.
In the second quarter, the Browns offense finally got going, with Trent Richardson scoring a touchdown on a run in which he was initially stopped behind the line of scrimmage. The defense also started to step up and force Buffalo to punt several times. The Browns could not capitalize on offense, as they were victimized by penalties at inopportune times and dropped passes throughout the game.
Richardson was held to only 27 yards on 12 carries, as the Browns were playing from behind the entire game. The Browns need to have a balance on offense between running and passing to have a chance at winning. The Bills defense got constant pressure on Brandon Weeden throughout the game, and sacked him four times. The question that comes to mind is are the defenses we are facing that good, or are we just that bad on offense? The common denominator is the Browns offense, so that is what has to be the problem.
Following the first game against the Philadelphia Eagles, I was ready to believe that the Browns defense would be top 10 this year. Following the Cincinnati Bengals game, I was hoping they would be somewhere in the middle of the pack. After this game, I am praying that we do not become the worst defense in the league. The Browns were never able to get constant pressure on Fitzpatrick, registering just one sack. With the more experienced players on defense, the Browns need to get things figured out on that side of the ball quickly, as the next two games are against the Baltimore Ravens and the New York Giants. It is going to be very hard for the Browns to avoid going 0-5 to begin the 2012 season.