I’m just going to start with this. Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield threw four interceptions against the Green Bay Packers en route to a 24-22 loss on the road. Mayfield is the first Cleveland quarterback since Brandon Weeden to throw four interceptions in a single game. That was back in 2012.
Says a lot.
On throws for at least 10 yards down the field, Mayfield went 2/10 for 40 yards and those said four interceptions. Now, I understand that there are a lot of citations where fans want to blame the refs. Such as on the final drive when Donovan Peoples-Jones was clearly held and there was no call by the refs.
Where’s the flag??? pic.twitter.com/8p80EGd0ou
— Cleveland Sports Talk (@CLEsportsTalk) December 26, 2021
Even so, it just felt as if there was something off with Baker and his arm with accuracy and such. Using the refs as an excuse can only take a team so far.
I also believe that the extra point missed by Browns newly-signed kicker Chris Nagger had a greater impact on the game than realized. Yeah, the team only lost by two points. However, they were in a difficult position throughout because of that horrific error.
The odd part is that a lot of the statistics would point to the Browns winning the game:
Time of possession: Browns – 31:41, Packers – 28:19
Total Plays: Browns – 66, Packers – 58
Rushing Yards: Browns – 219, Packers 109
Total Yards: Browns – 408, Packers – 311
Third Down Efficiency – Browns 7/12, Packers, 3/10
First Downs: Browns – 28, Packers – 19
I look at those specifically cited numbers and would think the Browns had an awesome win on Christmas and everyone in Cleveland is happy and excited about the win and the team’s playoff chances. Well, not the case. Here are some alternative numbers that make that final score reasonable.
Interceptions: Browns – 4, Packers – 0
Sacked: Browns – Five Times, Packers – Zero Times
Penalties: Browns – Six for 38 and Packers three for 29
Call it a paradox. However, the Browns did not capitalize on the opportunity that the team certainly had to beat the Packers in Green Bay. Yeah, it’s easy to blame in on the refs. Simply put, there are just too many mistakes to completely cite the refs as the reason the Browns lost the game.
Sadly, many are going to say how disappointed they are because this makes the playoff chances so much less for the Browns. Even so, is this team really capable of contention with the best of the best of them?
I don’t think so. Not this year at least.
There are so many questions that have to be answered about the Browns. We will see how the team improves in the coming years. This squad was disappointing to all with expectations so high to begin the season.