Yes, it’s certainly easy to cite the missed extra point by kicker Dustin Hopkins of the Browns making the score 20-19 Rams with 8:56 to go in the game. It was a killer for sure, yet that wasn’t the play that I wanted to look at. Let’s set the scene:
It’s 2nd and 20 for the Rams at the Cleveland 40 with 2:09 to go in the third quarter. LA had just committed two five-yard penalties hence the extreme down and distance. The two teams are tied at the score of 13 and the Browns defense is in a spot to try and get the ball back.
What happens next in this gruesome loss?
Well, Rams QB Matthew Stafford completes a pass to WR Demarcus Robinson for 30 yards to the right. It’s now first and goal at the Browns 10. LA makes up the 20 yards. The Rams would end up scoring a touchdown and the score is now 20-13.
What should’ve happened is the Browns defense made two plays and stopped the Rams ultimately forcing a punt (or very long FG) and giving the ball back to the Dawgs with the score still tied at the 13-13 score it was at before.
Cleveland would then have the ball to begin the 4th quarter and that tie score with the opportunity to try and take the lead in the game overall.
Yes, the Browns did end up getting to the 20-19 score (missed XP). Even so, the whole dynamic of the game would’ve changed earlier on.
Where is the defense that is so great and everyone was enamored over throughout this season? They ended up giving 34 points in the loss (there was a safety). There wasn’t much of anything by the superstar DE Myles Garrett in this loss and it showed.
Obviously, a football game has to do with more than simply one play. Even so that huge completion by the Rams really helped them win the game and stick it to a Browns team that is now 7-5 on the year. Injuries hurt too and not having players like CB Denzel Ward didn’t make it easy either. But no excuses!
Stafford himself went 22/37 for 279 yards and had three touchdowns throwing for the game. Also, note that he did not have an interception and wasn’t sacked at all. Once again showing it wasn’t just a single play. Moving forward, the Browns have to find that spark on the defensive side of the ball again if they want any chance to make the playoffs and contend.
Also, make your *insert swear word here* extra points.
I write about DE Myles Garrett – CLICK HERE