Well, it's a good thing I'm not a betting man, because I'd be naked, homeless and without wheels after yesterday's catastrophe. What an ungodly mess! Think about it: the Browns lost to a team that not only hadn't won this year, it hadn't even led this year!
I can't even think about the game without having a bunch of questions running through my head:
- Why did the Browns usually pull Reuben Droughns from the game when they got inside the red zone?
- The Browns marched up and down the field on counters and trap plays, so why were their only red zone running plays straight dives and the dreaded shotgun draw?
- Why do the Browns and every other crap team in the NFL think a low percentage play like the fade route is just a brilliant red zone call?
- Why did the Browns not blitz David Carr more?
- Why can't they cover a kick-off?
- Why is Kyle Richardson still on the team?
- Why did Dilfer take a sack on 3rd and 9 with a minute left in the game and the ball on the Texans 38? Why wasn't anybody running a 10 yard out on the play?
- Why didn't the coaching staff notice that Dilfer's brains were completely scrambled after the sack?
- Why is it unreasonable to expect a world-class athlete like Antonio Bryant to be able to drag his foot in bounds?
The thing that kills me about this game is that the Browns finally played a team that really was worse than they were in just about every aspect of the game, and yet they still managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.
Vince Lombardi once said that "winning is a habit, and unfortunately, so is losing." The Browns have a loser's mentality in spades. They expect things like what happened yesterday to happen to them, and sure enough, they do. Just look at the way the second half unfolded:
- First possession: Browns drive to the Houston 17 yard line, Dilfer's sacked and fumbles.
- Second possession, Droughns runs for a first down, fumbles deep in Browns' territory on the next play.
- Third possession, Browns can't convert 3rd and 1, and the second coming of Ray Guy rips off a 10 yard punt.
- Fourth possession, Bryant can't come down in bounds, and they settle for a field goal (promptly followed by a 60 yard kick-off return).
- Final possession...well, you saw it too.
Every time they needed a guy to step up and make a play, he didn't. In contrast, you could always count on a breakdown at the worst possible time. Both turnovers led to Houston scores, as did the ridiculous kick coverage. The Browns dodged the bullet on Richardson's 10 yard masterpiece only because Houston's kicker whiffed on a 36 yard field goal. I also think it was telling that the Browns didn't get a penalty until the last two minutes of the game--in other words, when they could afford it least.
Face it, the Browns are losers.
That's why Romeo Crennel's weekly comments to the effect that "we needed one play, and we just didn't get it" are really starting to grate on me. Earth to Romeo: you don't have enough winners on this team to get that one play--so you better put yourself in a position not to need it every week.
If you give them a chance, losers will lose, and that's the one area where the 2005 Cleveland Browns haven't disappointed.