Monday, September 28, 2009

Ravens 34, Browns 3
Sunday's game was the type of game that gets coaches fired. The good news for coach Eric Mangini is we're only three games in, and even the most ardent critic would have to think that firing him now would be hasty.

But this football team is playing badly, and getting worse by the week. The Browns had no chance to win at Baltimore, but they did have a chance to extract some moments of joy from the game -- if not for themselves, then for their fans.

There is no way Brady Quinn is this bad. His 2007 performance against San Francisco, his start last year against Denver, were steady performances. The offensive line (that of three first-round picks) hasn't protected him, and when he does have time, he looks terrified of making a mistake.

Any football player, any level, will tell you the game can't be played that way.

Quinn doesn't throw downfield, probably because there's hardly anyone to throw to. Braylon Edwards (who is no doubt counting down the days to free agency)is the only receiver defenders respect. So enter Derek Anderson. He will throw downfield, but also throw three interceptions.

It doesn't matter who the quarterback is, though Mangini probably will act like it does. The defense has looked gassed in every second half, but this week, it started the trend a half early. Yes, the Ravens have a strong offense, but even strong offenses can be stopped a few times.

Nationally, the Browns have replaced the Lions as the laughingstock of the league. The question is no longer how many games the team will win, but when they will win. Look at the schedule. The Bengals are primed to go 3-1 next week. The Packers and the Bills are better than Cleveland. So is Chicago and (obviously) Pittsburgh. The Browns could go 0-8, and then, what do they do?

Eric Mangini is owner Randy Lerner's guy, which is to say that he probably was a bad hire. If the organization wasn't broken at the end of last season (and I honestly didn't think it was, so much as it needed adjustments) it sure is now. Again.

Mangini is apparently too busy keeping secrets and levying fines to notice that his football team is a mess, and he's largely to blame for the magnitude of that mess. We might have Butch Davis here, without the coaching talent.

I believe this team has played the worst football after three weeks of any Browns team since they they returned. Chris Palmer and his gang of misfits at least were hungry, and actually more competitive.

These Browns look like they're tired and want to end the season, and they're three weeks in.

Not a good start for Mangini.



At 8:14 PM , Blogger Mike said...

Why does everyone keep making excuses for Brady Quinn. He sucks. Pure and simple.

I think Anderson's problem is that he tried to be the hero when he got put in. He did the same last year when they benched Brady. Not that the Browns are remotely good, but I think they at least have a chance of winning a game or two with Anderson's arm. They have ZERO chance of winning a game with Quinn at quarterback.

I am actually rooting for them to go 1-15 or worse, just so Mangini gets fired and we can mitigate the damage. What an absolute disaster.


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