I wasn’t thrilled to wake up early on my precious Sunday to update the Browns game on Twitter. Additionally, it doesn’t help that the team was 0-7 with little-to-no hope for the rest of the season. Also, the game was against a solid Vikings team that was 5-2 at the time and winning seemed like quite the tall task.
With all of the being said, I was impressed with the way the Browns played for most of the game. I actually believe that the team could have won if they limited their mistakes and had a kicker that actually knew what he was doing.
You look at a final score of 33-16 with the Vikings winning and you think that it would be a blowout from top to bottom.
The Browns actually started the game by forcing a turnover on a tipped pass intercepted by Joe Schobert. On the ensuing drive, Crowell rushed it in from 26 yards out. It was an excellent run. But then…
DOINK…of course, our kicker, Zane Gonzalez, missed the extra point off the right upright. Now, the Browns didn’t lose by one, but it’s the momentum principle. Instead of leading by a full touchdown, it’s more like two field goals.
The next mistake was after another defensive stop, Bryce Treggs muffed the punt in our own territory up 6-0. Even though the defense held Minnesota to a field goal, the Browns could’ve gone up two scores.
DeShone Kizer isn’t the most accurate quarterback and he missed tight end David Njoku down the left sideline on what would’ve been a clear touchdown. It was such a crucial mistake against a good Vikings defense. He was WIDE open!
The Browns did have a very impressive drive which led to a touchdown *cue the applause*, putting the team up 13-9 at the time. The mistake came just after when the Vikings got a field goal even though there were only 42 seconds left in the half and they had to drive down the majority of the field.
BUT…the Browns LED at halftime. 13-12. Even with all of that junk.
A bonus was that the Browns were to start the second half with the ball. Right away, Crowell fumbles, putting a stain on his great first half. The Vikings got a field goal and took the lead.
Then, after an amazing return by Matthew Dayes on the kickoff, the Browns were forced to settle for a field goal. Gonzalez hooked it left. Another mistake the would’ve given the Browns the lead.
Gonzalez did hit on a field goal later which gave the Browns ANOTHER lead at 16-15. 5:34 was left in the third. However, this team doesn’t know how to close or win a game, especially in a different environment (technically the home team).
The Vikings got a touchdown and two-point conversion to go up 23-16 and you knew it’d be tough for the Browns to score another touchdown. Then, another score by the Vikings made it 30-16. The team gave up one final goal, which is where that 33-16 final score comes from.
Frankly, it just seems impossible for this team to play a full 60 minutes of good football. There’s just too much time for mistakes to be made even when they are in the game. Yes, Hue Jackson is 1-23 as a head coach, but in at least 5-6 if not more of those games, the Browns certainly had a chance to win.
To be successful in the NFL, you have to force mistakes without making your own. The Browns are just not there yet. Winning at halftime doesn’t mean anything without playing a great second half.
If this team wants any chance to win a game this year, they’ll have to play a perfect 60 minutes, force mistakes and not make any of their own.
But they won’t lose next week…think about it.
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