Sunday the Browns beat the Bucs in overtime, 23-17 and it was a nice win. Also at the end of the game it marked the end of the Jacoby Brissett era in Cleveland. There is no doubt he played quite well in his role here. But with this coaching staffs decisions, and a very questionable defense the Browns went 4-7 with him at the controls.
There are those that say he should have been 7-4, but I disagree. You are what your record is. Granted, the Browns blew a few, but we are all in this together, decisions, defense, missed kicks and all. History - and a long one says that Brissett wins one and loses two over the course of his entire career, and that's what he did here. His skill set is fine, but fine gets you average results, we've learned that over many years here. He is a first class backup, but I feel after this season his time is done here, as he will never see the field again once the new QB hits the field. But, this season without his darn good play, we are not 2-9. He has earned a chance to play full-time somwhere else next season.
The Browns Sunday did many of the same things they do every week. They ran the ball well, and for some amazing reason the head coach sort of stuck with it - but only when he needed too. Although there was about 70% of the game between the first drive and last couple where he forgot about Nick Chubb again. The Browns also protected the football, and that is impressive for a mediocre team. They have for the most part all season. They made a few big plays like always, but got the really insane play they generally don't make when Njoku made possibly the seasons best catch to tie the game. It may be the single best, most important catch for the Browns since they returned in 1999. It kept the Browns slim post-season hopes on life support
But the reason the Browns beat Brady and the Bucs were because of the things they generally DON'T do, as they were the absolute keys to this win. No order, but they finally got some big plays from Myles Garrett - when it mattered - late in the game. They didn't get gashed in the running game as has been the rule all season long. In fairness, the Bucs were missing their best 240 pound veteran running back, but injuries are a part of it, and the Browns got a break there. Plus, the Bucs seemed disinterested in the running game which was I feel a big mistake. Some youngsters played very well for the Browns on defense, and Brady had a bad game. They also got a TD from a high draft pick from 2 years ago, his second ever. Add it up and it's a Browns win.
You see good things can happen for this team when it gets out of its own way. Stefansky kept the bozoic in game decisions to a minimum and that helped. Chubb, when called on was great as he's the key to any offensive success. Badly timed penalties were few and the Browns maybe for the first time all season seemed to play with a sense of togetherness that has been lacking for 10 weeks. I think the players affection for Brissett was a big deal too. He played well for the Browns all season long, and there was a pride thing in that, and that was good to see. But conversely, we gotta stop missing easy field goals, which is becoming all to frequent.
So where do the Browns go from here? It's a new day with an expensive QB who has not played in over 700 days. They are 4-7 with 6 to go. They lose the Wild Card Tie Breaker with 5 teams right now and are three games behind in the division, with three division games to go. They pretty much have to win out to think about the playoffs. But I hope that's not on their minds right now today. What they need to think about is Houston Sunday. The Texans are terrible, and this should be a bunny for the Browns.
But hold the phone...This is a game that we learn a whole lot about the Browns. We all know they have lost to a number of playoff contending teams this season, and the Texans are not. But what Texans are - they are at home, they are due for a win, and they have no love loss for our new dripping money QB that once was theirs and that of course ended badly sending that franchise into a tailspin they are still trying to steer out of. But they are getting a huge boost from a ton of our first round draft picks. In short, they are motivated.
The Browns should win this easily, just like the Jets.....oh wait...the Falcons.....um OK....the Patriots... Fine!! Remember too how we were going to blow out Baker and the Panthers week one and sack him 6 times? Miracle win. This is a layup too, but the Texans will be ready but more than likely do not have the horses. Stefansky to me will have to coach his smartest game this season, and not be all giddy with the new QB and be stupid within the game and take defeat from the jaws of victory.
And remember, the Texans, this is their Superbowl, they are motivated, and they get paid too.