It has been well documented the train wreck the 2015 football has become for the Cleveland Browns. After a 7-4 start to Mike Pettine’s head coaching career, the brown and orange have lost 15 of their last 17 games.
They are 2-10 this season, and over the last six contests have been blown out (losing by 14 or more points) in five of those games.
However, there have been some myths that have developed about the total collapse that has occurred over the past 12 months.
The Brian Hoyer saga. Contrary to what some people think, the Browns were not 7-4 when Pettine decided to bench Hoyer and play Johnny Manziel.
The reality is Cleveland was 7-6 when Manziel made his first start, after two horrible performances by Hoyer.
In a 26-10 road loss to Buffalo, Hoyer was 18 of 30 for 192 yards and two interceptions. He was NOT on the field for Cleveland’s only touchdown, which came on a drive orchestrated by Manziel in a backup role.
The following week was a 25-24 loss to the Colts in which the Browns outplayed Indianapolis except on the scoreboard. Hoyer was 13 for 30 for 136 yards and two more picks.
And the Browns’ defense was responsible for two touchdowns, a fumble recovery by Craig Robertson in the end zone, and a pick six by (ready for it!) Justin Gilbert.
So, the offense scored just 10 points.
Had the Browns won that game, they would have been 8-5 and very much in the playoff hunt.
Drafting. Ray Farmer gets a lot of criticism for his drafts, and in some cases, it is merited.
But, it is not as though he has been reaching for players and made horrible mistakes.
First, he did not draft Barkevious Mingo, who we think might be able to play if he was put in the spot he was drafted for.
According to Walterfootball.com (site picked at random), Gilbert was projected to be the 15th pick in the draft. Cleveland traded down from #4, getting a 2015 first round pick in return, and took Gilbert at 8th. Not exactly a reach.
On the same site, Manziel was projected as the 7th overall pick, and dropped to #22. Several draft pundits had him as the best QB in that year’s selection process.
In 2015, they had the Browns taking Danny Shelton with the 12th overall pick, which, of course, they did, and had Cameron Erving going 18th overall to Kansas City, one pick ahead of Cleveland.
Most mock drafts had all four players with first round grades.
So, what happened?
Pettine is blameless. Many fans think the head coach has been dealt a bad hand because of Farmer’s ineptness, but is that true?
Name one position group that has improved since last season? Right, not a one.
He came here as a defensive coach and that unit, not the quarterback play, is the reason for being 2-10.
If the Browns had allowed 20 points a game in every game this season, there record would be 5-5-2. Assuming they split the overtime games, they would be 6-6 right now and in the thick of the playoff hunt.
And really, outside of Joe Haden, what solid player has missed a lot of time this season?
No, the head coach should get a lot of the blame, and probably will after the last game of the season, when he is given the pink slip.
Just think, only four more games until this nightmare is over.