Browns need to learn how to win
I know it was one game but the Cleveland Browns showed in their Week 2 game against the Cincinnati Bengals that they can have an offense that puts up some points…finally. After not being able to punch it in on offense against the Philadelphia Eagles in their home opener, they managed to score three offensive touchdowns, all by the work of their top two draft picks. Only problem is, the Cleveland Browns don’t know how to actually win a game.
When you only win 18 games over the past four seasons, a team forgets how to win, forgets how to close teams out and this Browns’ team is in serious need of a remedy. Granted, if Joe Haden didn’t need to be up and alert all night doing whatever he did to take Adderall, the Browns’ might have beaten the Bengals. The fact is though, they didn’t. You cannot let a 300 yard passing game from Brandon Weeden and a 100 yard rushing game from Trent Richardson go by the wayside because that does not come often for the Cleveland Browns. Last time they had both a 300 yard passer and a 100 yard rusher was in 2007 against the same Bengals team. A team like the Cleveland Browns, the poster child for ineptitude in the NFL (along with St. Louis), needs to capitalize on games like that and pull out the W.
What made wasting a game like that from the core of your future even worse was that it was a division game…on the road. If Cleveland ever wants to be a considered a possible playoff team, they must start winning in their division. Every teams’ first goal each year should be to win the division because that is a guaranteed home playoff game and once you get in the playoffs anything can happen. Just look at the last two Super Bowl champions, the No. 6 seed Green Bay Packers in 2010 and the No. 4 New York Giants who won their division on the last day of the year.
The good news is, the Browns’ have now shown that their offense can put up points and looks like they will be in a lot more ball games this year. So far they have lost two games by an average of four points when last year, their average defeat was by more than eight points. At some point though, it isn’t good enough to just be competitive. In the words of the late Al Davis, ‘Just win baby!’ and that is what Browns’ fans are screaming for. I hope the team is listening.
Matt Mocilnikar is an NFL writer for TPF and can be contacted at MMocilnikar@ThePenaltyFlagBlog.com.