Week 7: The Good, The Bad, and The Sickening

We’re a mere seven games into the 2022 NFL season and once again, it’s looking like the Browns’ season is going to be over long before the actual one comes to an end. After another afternoon of head-scratching decision-making and self-inflicted wounds, the Browns dropped their fourth consecutive game to fall to 2-5 with a 23-20 defeat by the Baltimore Ravens.

I would like to say that there are portions of this game that were Good, Bad, and Sickening, but the bottom line is that the Browns did exactly what losing teams do. They made critical errors at critical moments in the game. This wasn’t just limited to the players either.

Head Coach Kevin Stefanski appears to be unable to manage a close game in the closing minutes.  Furthermore, he even makes awful choices early in the game. With the Browns leading 10-3, the second quarter began with the Browns forcing a three-and-out. However, on the third down play, quarterback Lamar Jackson was nearly sacked and almost went down. He appeared to be able to keep his balance and rushed for 7 yards. The Ravens were in punt formation and suddenly the whistles were blown after the punt was in the air and Stefanski decided to challenge whether Jackson was down prior to the 7-yard scramble. The challenge was not successful and on the ensuing punt, it was a booming kick that pinned the Browns back at the 12-yard line. The Browns had two consecutive plays to Kareem Hunt blown up for -9 yards. The Browns did not convert on third down and punted the ball away.

Although all of the above occurred early in the game, the Browns’ defense was actually performing pretty well up to that point, and the offense had scored on its first two possessions. The initial punt attempt was not nearly as deep and even had the challenge been successful, it would have merely made it a long fourth down opportunity for Baltimore. I cannot understand who advised Stefanski to challenge this call and he needs to explain himself.

With my rant out of the way, I will say that on the positive side of things, whether it was a mirage or not, the defense did not completely fall apart and get destroyed by Lamar Jackson. I won’t go so far as to say that the defense was good, but the unit did enough for the Browns to win this game.

At this juncture, I don’t want to give Kevin Stefanski a free pass, but I feel like he is getting protected by the excuse that he doesn’t have an adequate quarterback. Look at Bill Belichick and you will see that you don’t have to have an MVP for a quarterback to win games. This comes down to coaching and the lack of accountability by the players and the staff.

The special teams were once again not-so-special. On the fourth quarter touchdown, the snap of the extra point was botched, but the Browns’ caught a break and punter Corey Bojorquez was able to grab the bad snap and make a good enough hold for Cade York to convert the extra point. However, with a chance to tie the game down 23-20, the Browns committed a false start on what was already going to be around a 55-yard field goal attempt for York. Even though Browns’ fans and probably many people watching the game don’t agree with the penalty called, the bottom line is that this was another self-inflicted wound. Ultimately the 60-yard attempt was blocked and the game was all but lost at that point.

To sum everything up, I will go with a bit of a different approach since overall it was another vomit-inducing afternoon of football.

The Good, The Bad, The Sickening

Nick Chubb rushed for 91 yards and carried the load to get the Browns going on their first possession of the game, and was integral on the fourth quarter touchdown drive. He was Good.

Jacoby Brissett’s efforts were pretty good as well, but his two fumbles (one lost) and getting sacked five times deserve a “Bad”. He is who we thought he was, a backup quarterback.

Stefanski and Priefer were SICKENING! If you want to give Stefanski another mulligan for this season, fine, but he needs to stop trying to be so tricky and stop thinking that he’s smarter than everybody else (because that’s how it appears). He also needs to fire some staff members, and cut some dead weight from this team.

On that note, the Browns are on life-support heading into another divisional matchup on Halloween night taking on the surging Cincinnati Bengals. With a win, the Browns’ weak pulse remains, but a loss surely puts the team’s chances of making the playoffs nearly impossible.

What do you think?

Ethan Greenberg

Written by Ethan Greenberg

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