K Billy Cundiff Photo by John H Reid III Cleveland Browns

A Tough Division Loss

A Tough Division Loss

Browns 20 Bengals 41

Kate Arhar, Official Cleveland Browns Fan Reporter
Kate Arhar, Official Cleveland Browns Fan Reporter

Have I told you lately how tough the AFC North has been? Well thank goodness we beat the Bengals earlier in the season, because the fates or evil spirits or cursed football gods all came alive during a wacky second quarter that saw the Browns give up 31 points and let the Bengals just run away with the victory. Sigh.

Kate’s Five Takes

1. The talk of the town this week was playoff hopes and possibilities.  In an NFL with over 20 teams stuck near the .500 mark, the playoffs are up for grabs, and the AFC North Division is no different. IF the Browns could’ve won this game, fans would have had secure footing to stand on in their beliefs that we were taking the right steps to get to the next level. Instead, this defeat deflated a beleaguered fan base.

2. Second Quarter Antics: Not one but TWO, yeah I said two, punts were blocked by the Bengals in the 2nd quarter. Only one was run back for a TD, but still… how does that happen?  Yeah, I’ve seen my share of blocked punts… but TWO?  Are You Kidding Me?  OY!

3. More Second Quarter Antics: If it’s not bad enough that the Bengals scored early in the quarter after a Jason Campbell INT, and that they scored on the special teams blocked punt, they ALSO recovered a fumble and ran that in for a TD!  I can’t remember a game when all three phases of a team scored in the same quarter!  OY Again!

4. QB Jason Campbell really struggled and there was just no rhythm on offense. Settling for 2 field goals early in the first quarter was understandable; the weather was cold and rainy and points could have been at a premium so, early in the game, I understand taking the FGs. But a 74-yard TD pass to Josh Gordon in the 3rd quarter wasn’t enough to give the offense more spark, and they just looked like they were playing in quick sand.

CB Joe Haden AP Photo by Cleveland Browns
CB Joe Haden AP Photo by Cleveland Browns

5. CB Joe Haden – pay attention here CBS – it’s spelled H-A-D-E-N! Maybe it’s snarky of me to be angry that they can’t spell his name right but, dang it, he’s the best player we have on this team. He had two INTs and his FIRST CAREER PICK SIX, and the TV graphic had his name spelled wrong?  Come on man! That’s a new level of disrespect, even for the Rodney Dangerfield of the NFL!

So, yes, this was a hugely disappointing loss but never fear, Browns Fans are a resilient bunch.  Oh, we’ll scream and yell and complain on game day, but come Monday afternoon our hopes and dreams are revived, and this week is no different.

Here come the Pittsburgh Steelers! Now, THEY may not consider US much of a rival, but they are enemy #1 here in Northeast Ohio.  This week will bring smack talk, jokes and (mostly) good natured Tweets mocking our enemy before we take the field of play.  As Coach Chudzinski said, the Browns are no longer the Little Brother of the AFC North, and if they want to prove it they MUST beat the Steelers this week.

 

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