Another game, another injured QB, another loss
The Browns got pummeled as the first stop in the Tom Brady revenge tour, 33–13. Sadly, this isn’t much of a surprise with the Browns on their “let’s get the first pick in the 2017 draft” tour. Brady did exactly what a veteran, future Hall of Fame quarterback should do. He used a Browns defense to pad his fantasy stats.
In his first game back from the Deflate Gate suspension, the 39-year-old put up over 400 yards and three touchdowns, all of which went to the second tight end, Martellus Bennett. Typical Brady finding a new favorite target every week.
That’s not new news and neither is the Browns losing another quarterback. What ended up being different in this predictable game was the Browns having the same quarterback starting multiple games in a row. That may have ended this week. Rookie Cody Kessler might not make it to his fourth-straight start after being slammed to the turf inside his own 10. The play resulted in a fumble, a safety for the Patriots with the ball rolling out of the end zone and Kessler exiting the game with rib and chest injuries. Kessler is day-to-day at this point.
Since Week 15 of last season, the Browns have started five different players at quarterback while trotting out seven different bodies over a span of seven games. That includes wide receiver Terrelle Pryor taking snaps at the position the last three weeks. Until the Browns fix their offensive line problems, it doesn’t matter who they draft to be their quarterback. Carson Wentz would most likely be on the IR at this point if Cleveland had drafted him.
In further illustrating that point, Kessler’s back up almost didn’t make it through the game either. Charlie Whitehurst was almost knocked out in the fourth quarter with a knee injury. Pryor would have been the lone surviving option at QB. If I were him, I’d sue for a hostile work environment. No one should have to operate under those hazardous conditions.
The Browns do have several decent to good offensive lineman in future Hall of Famer Joe Thomas, Joel Bitonio and the solid John Greco, who has played center and guard this year. They potentially found an answer at center in Austin Reiter until he went down with an ACL tear. The Browns drafted Cameron Erving, Shon Coleman and Spencer Drago, but they have either been ineffective or not ready to play. They signed Alvin Bailey in the offseason, but he’s got one strike against him with a recent DUI.
That’s a nice glimpse of the entire roster as a whole. Injuries, inexperience and overall lack of talent compared to their opponents has and will be make this a tough season. But there’s nothing new there.
The Browns are currently 0–5 with the 2–3 Titans next on the schedule. This was considerable a winnable game, one that could have calmed the fears of an 0–16 season. That was until the Titans rolled over a Dolphins team that’s only win this season came over the Browns. Being the underdog is tough enough. Feeling like there’s even less of a chance of winning before kickoff is brutal.
The battle for first pick in the draft continues next week in Nashville.