We decided to look at today’s 17-13 loss by the Cleveland Browns to the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium chronologically.
The first thing that made us shake our heads was the news that Justin Gilbert and Terrelle Pryor were inactive.
Gilbert wasn’t listed on the injury report although he did miss the last two games with a concussion, so maybe the coaching staff didn’t feel he was fully recovered.
What we thought at the time was we were going to see more of Johnson Bademosi at CB, which didn’t make us warm and fuzzy.
As for Pryor, why is he on the roster if you aren’t going to take a look at him at WR in these last couple of meaningless games.
Dumb, dumb, dumb decision.
Then we saw that Dwayne Bowe, he of the five catches and $9 million contract, was named a captain for the game, because the Browns were playing his old team.
It is not possible to send a more idiotic message to the rest of your players. Another example of the lack of accountability that surrounds this franchise.
Once again, Mike Pettine chose to defer after winning the coin toss.
If Cleveland had a strong defense, there would be no problem with this move, but Jim O’Neil’s troops have been a sieve most of the year.
Why would you want to put your weakest unit on the field first? Pettine chooses to do just that week after week after week.
And on the first possession of the game, Kansas City marches 65 yards in 11 plays, eating up half of the first quarter in taking a 7-0 lead before the Browns touched the football.
When the Browns did get the ball, Johnny Manziel was having trouble completing passes. He missed Gary Barnidge wide open, having to throw early because of pressure.
We figured the Johnny bashes would have a field day with that.
The Browns finally got on the board with a Travis Coons’ field goal from 45 yards after an innovative play by Manziel was called a penalty for an illegal forward pass.
On first sight, it looked like a lateral, and on instant replay, it didn’t look like enough evidence to overturn, which the officials did.
It took away a first down inside the KC 20.
It then appeared like the Browns’ defense didn’t realize that Alex Smith could run with the ball. He gashed the unit for over 50 yards in the first half, with 29 of them coming after Barkevious Mingo whiffed on a sack.
As for the secondary, Tramon Williams got flagged for pass interference on a deep throw and got beat on turn in pattern by a TE.
Really, Gilbert can’t play worse than this.
We counted at least six missed tackles in the first half, which ended with Cleveland trailing 17-3.
In the second half, it looked like Pettine realized he had a mobile quarterback too.
Manziel ran for 34 yards on the half’s first play and wound up with 108 yards rushing for the day.
We don’t approve of this every week, but on a day where the wind was gusting (how many times did the ball blow off the spot?), the QB and offensive coordinator did what they had to do to move the ball.
The Browns had 232 yards on the ground, with Isaiah Crowell getting 88 more on 16 attempts.
Cleveland had a 21 play drive in the half where Manziel ran or threw on 10 of the plays. He and Crowell were carrying the attack.
The downside was the Browns had two chances to win the game in the last six minutes, but couldn’t get the ball in the end zone.
The first drive ended at the Chiefs’ 30 with two long passes after a first down run. There was still three minutes left, abandon the running game.
Cleveland got the ball back with 1:52 left at their own 30, and picked up three first downs, but the game ended on a completion across the middle.
Things could have been handled better.
All that is left for the Browns is to knock the Steelers out of the playoffs with a win at First Energy Stadium next week.
The bigger news will be made the next day, the NFL’s Black Monday.