There’s always a guilty feeling when leading a negative discussion about the Browns — especially after a win — but some things must happen for the good of the universe. On paper, Cleveland won. The record books will reflect a W, and the team will hope to build off the much-needed 19-16 victory over the Bills on Sunday.
If all the good things in the world were without flaws, mangos wouldn’t have giant, annoying seeds taking up real estate and fouling the world’s best fruit. The Browns, unfortunately, have a giant derpy seed ruining them from within. And we, as a society, cannot let Browns coach Freddie Kitchens off the hook following a coaching performance so God-awful it will forever live in infamy and the record books.
The Browns are the first NFL team in 26 years to run six plays from an opponent's 2-yard line or closer on a possession without scoring, per @EliasSports— Jake Trotter (@Jake_Trotter) November 10, 2019
Read the words of that tweet again. Digest them. Internalize them. Let the suck wash over you. There are plenty of quotes improperly attributed to Albert Einstein about insanity and repetition, so I’ll attempt to add my own: I haven’t watched this much ass in an afternoon since I smoked a pork butt on the Fourth of July.
Kitchens’ playcalling style is akin to mashing the “A” button in Madden and going with the recommended play over and over and over and over and over and over again. That’s six “overs” — it was tiring to read, right? That’s basically what Kitchens did.
When he wasn’t allowing trash playcalls to almost ruin the Browns’ afternoon, he was calling timeouts like a 3-year-old given its first whistle.
Freddie Kitchens called timeout with three seconds left in the quarter and the Bills trying to draw Cleveland offsides.— Will Brinson (@WillBrinson) November 10, 2019
Then other times he’d swallow his whistle for no reason at all.
Freddie Kitchens, accepts penalty which gives the Bills another chance at 3rd down. Bills convert the 3rd down. Freddie has 3 time outs. 1:30 on the clock. Doesn't use time outs. Bills miss FG but because Freddy doesn't use the time outs there is 18 seconds left. Calls 3 runs.— Liam (@leojokerhart) November 10, 2019
There is only one possible answer for these coaching decisions: Kitchens got Freaky Friday’d with Michael Scott from The Office. This is the only sensible answer I have. Scott found himself on the football field and his only inclination was “I need to be the worst boss on the face of the Earth and make decisions no sensible football coach would make.”
He did it. There was so much more to this week in the NFL, though.
Daniel Jones is the Giants. All of it.
On Sunday ...
- Jones threw for 308 yards and four touchdowns.
- Jones led the Giants with 20 rushing yards.
- Jones led the Giants in fumbles, with three.
That sounds petty because, after all, he did throw for 300+ yards and had a good afternoon. So instead of dumping on Jones, we can stare slack-jawed at Saquon Barkley’s stat line trying to work out what the hell happened.
I cannot fathom how an NFL running back, let alone one of the best in the league, manages to average 0.1 yards per carry. I mean, I get the Jets have a pretty good run defense, but they were still allowing 89.3 yards per game. I know that fantasy owners were watching that game like Krusty the Clown after airing Worker and Parasite without a pre-viewing.
Never, ever look to Bills fans to be your guiding light.
Halloween is in the rearview mirror, but Browns fans dressing up like Bills fans has to be the scariest thing I’ve seen all season.
But at least this new tradition yielded this video, which is now an all-time favorite of mine.
The Bengals are incredible ...
... at tanking. Seriously, I’m in awe. I didn’t think we’d see a team with the tank skills of the Dolphins, but they took their eye off the prize by beating the Jets and Colts, and someone in the NFL needed to be there to pick up the pieces.
It’s not what the Bengals are doing, but how they’re doing it. This is tanking in plain sight — sending out a rookie fourth-round QB to the absolute wolves is a bold move, and I love it. Someone realized the key to good tanking isn’t an obvious all-out tank on both sides of the ball (this was the Dolphins’ folly, which turns a team into such a meme they start trying and accidentally win in the process). Instead, Cincinnati is letting its offense move the ball a little while refusing to play any semblance of NFL defense.
A casual glance at the game and you’ll see the Bengals with 307 yards to Baltimore’s 379. Cincinnati only allowed two sacks. So far this seems like the makings of a close game.
Then you see the score was 49-13.
Now that is how you tank.
The amazing power of transitive properties.
The Dolphins are better than the Patriots.
What the hell is Norv Turner doing?
At this point, the Panthers are a slow-motion train wreck and as a fan it’s impossible to look away. Cam Newton is on injured reserve and the world thinks he’ll be traded in the offseason, which will rank among the stupidest decisions in franchise history and everything hurts.
Enter offensive coordinator Norv Turner. Now Turner is a guy who is leading a charmed life, all things considered. Sure, Newton is out — but at least he has Christian McCaffrey to carry the load and keep him looking good.
McCaffrey has had such a stellar season that there’s legitimate MVP buzz around him. Entering the week, you have a hot running back, a backup QB, and snow on the field at Lambeau. The choice of which offense to run should be obvious to literally everyone.
Christian McCaffrey carried the ball 20 times while Kyle Allen threw it 43 times.
Allen had a good day — that’s not the point here. The issue is that you need to read the situation, Norv. Green Bay had the 21st-ranked pass defense and the 24th run defense. McCaffery was carrying the ball at a good clip of 5.3 yards per carry. You ride that ‘til the wheels fall off.
The Panthers lost, because of course they did.
FOLKS, WE MIGHT HAVE A BLACK CAT CURSE.
The Giants and the Cowboys are now winless after a black cat crossed their path on Monday Night Football.
We will continue to monitor this important development as it unfolds.