The Browns were targeted. All the hype and chatter surrounding this team was reasonable with the offseason that occurred.
Other teams obviously noticed.
Like the Tennessee Titans. A squad that went 9-7 last year while everyone was acting as if they were a 3-13 bunch.
What happened in this absolute blowout and embarrassment at First Energy Stadium, a Week 1 43-13 loss to the Titans?
Well, the discipline was awful with a record-setting amount of penalties. 18 for 181 yards is actually insane. Compare that to the Titans that had six for 54 yards and you see why the score was so lopsided. Moreover, the missed-extra point hurt the momentum to start the game. Hitting and kicking the opponent after the play (one ejection) didn’t help, either.
The Titans hung in, hung in, hung in there as the Browns continued to stab themselves in the heart. I’ll admit, I picked the Titans to win, 20-17. Yes, unlike most Browns fans, I got the winner right. However, my score was way wrong anyway.
I assumed the hype would be too much and there would be too many new pieces for the Browns to reach the potential that I believe they still have for the 15 remaining games and beyond.
Imagine if this team doesn’t commit any more than a reasonable amount of penalties, no extra-curricular activity, no safety, no missed extra point. The game would have been so different.
The Browns were down 15-13 after a passing TD in the 3rd quarter and I felt like they were going to come back and win. Then, Henry had that 75-yard TD on a screen pass and the total meltdown ensued.
The final score of 43-13 says one thing. However, the Browns really were in this game until the 4th quarter.
So what would I do, if I was the coach of the Browns, to get them ready for Week 2 in New York on Monday Night Football?
First, I’d scream at them. Then, I’d say ignore all the noise this upcoming week. After that – a hard, hard, week of practice. Try to fix the lack of discipline. Finally, look in the mirror and fix my own mistakes.
Even the greatest teams lose. Yes, it’s disappointing and most people expected a win, but it is not the end of the world.
Make the aforementioned changes and this team will celebrate a win in New York and look forward to a winning season.
The Browns took a major hit. The first round is over. It’s time to get cleaned up and throw some punches of their own (not literally) starting against the Jets in Week 2 on the big stage.