The Browns season is underway and the loss to the Chiefs is still on everyone's mind. Most are saying that we should have won that game - AMEN! They did most everything right except win the game. But that's as far as I will go. I am in the camp of "no more moral victories." The Browns are darn good and we aren all hoping for a nice run. Well the only way you go on that run, is beating the Chiefs and winning games you "should have won."
I'm not down on the Browns, in fact just the opposite, but I am expecting more from them. WE ARE an elite team, with the leagues best young coach, star players, and a good payroll run by the leagues best new GM. We are not the Browns of old, and we need to start thinking that. Moral wins for showing up and playing well are for true Cinderellas in sports, City leagues and High School JV teams. This is the NFL, and it's all about winning. On Sunday, I felt the Chiefs knew all afternoon, they were going to win that game, and they did. That's the difference. Their fans may have been nervous, but I don't think the Chief players were.
The Browns outplayed the Chiefs in every way almost all day. But they made the big errors that teams do, and the Chiefs did not. And I think the Chiefs knew that was coming. When you are playing good teams many times you can feel if they are really on a mission to knock you off, as they leave no doubt. As well as the Browns played, there was doubt in the air. The Chiefs - were at home, with no turnovers, few penalites, no one thrown out of the game, and no silly stuff that gets you beat.
The NFL is a stair-step league. You seem to go to another level each year of your ascension. The Browns made the playoffs last year and won a game beating the Steelers. Remember that Steelers game? That night the Browns were on a mission, and left no doubt, and the Steelers knew it. Then we gave the Chiefs fits in the playoffs too. They lost that game with self-inflicted wounds, and some silliness just like this week. The margin is so slim against great teams, especially on the road. It's like boxing, you have to knock out the champ and not allow the judges to make the deicision. Now it's behind us. Use this game to clean things up. Now it's time to leave no doubt.
Since last year the Browns are 12-7. The 7 losses are to Ravens (2) Chiefs (2) Steelers (1) the Raiders (in a driving cold rain) and the Jets (in a covid decimated game). 5 of the 7 total losses to elite teams. This is the year to flip that around, that is the next step.
We will probably win about 12 games or so this year and that's great. Beat the teams you should and go on a run. BUT to go where you want to go, you need to beat the elite, and you gotta know you can, and not hope you do. You need to beat the Ravens, the Steelers, and all the rest of the really good teams, because you will HAVE to play them when it counts in January. Whoever thought we would be in this position? Remember when we were just happy to win a game?
Now it's time to get out of that mindset and understand where we are. We are expected to be very, very good and we are. Now it's time to win, no more "good try" or "almosts." It's time to know that this is our time that we've waited for for so long. It's time to play varsity, and not just give the big kids a good game - but beat them and move on and graduate from the hunters to the hunted.
In short, the Browns need to beat the elite. It's in there, and now is the time.