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Life as a Cleveland Sports Fan

Browns do what many expected. Many still freak out.

browns lose jaguars 1The Cleveland Browns did what many fans expected on Sunday in dropping what should (could?) have been a winnable game against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

But just because it was not unexpected, doesn’t mean it was any easier it witness.

Taking a small-picture view of the game, the numbers show that the game was even uglier that it looked on our TV screen. According to ESPN Stats & Information:

  • The Browns failed to gain more than 1 yard on 65 percent of their plays (48 of 74).
  • The Browns were just four-of-20 on third down. Those 16 missed conversions? Only the most in the NFL this season.
  • The Browns allowed 185 rushing yards to Jacksonville, the worst rushing team in the league entering the game. Denard Robinson, a converted quarterback, had 127 of those yards.
  • The Browns averaged just 2.3 yards per carry, bringing back memories of 2013.
  • Quarterback Brian Hoyer had his worst game as a Brown, finishing just 16-of-41 with an interception, three sacks, a lost fumble and a quarterback rating of 46.3.

Had enough? We know we have.

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Browns vs. Jaguars – What to watch for in Week 7

browns jaguars previewThe Cleveland Browns travel to sunny Jacksonville on Sunday to take on the winless Jaguars in a game that will help reveal whether or not this truly is a new Browns team.

The Browns are coming off a 31-10 beating of the Pittsburgh Steelers and, having won two games in a row, should have no trouble with a bumbling Jacksonville team that has lost nine consecutive games dating back to last season.

The game also is the first in a three-game stretch where the Browns will face rookie quarterbacks Blake Bortles and Derek Carr, and then most likely second-year quarterback Mike Glennon. It would be hard to script an easier stretch of games – at least on paper.

We’ve all seen the Browns in this situation before, where they have seemingly finally turned the corner only to somehow slam into a brick wall. If these truly are not the “same old Browns,” Sunday’s game is a perfect opportunity to show it.

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What if Brian Hoyer had never been injured?

what if brian hoyerThe Cleveland Browns are currently preparing to take on the Jacksonville Jaguars in the third game of what could be a season-defining five-game stretch.

But while the team’s focus in on the Jaguars, there is a potential franchise-altering decision looming on the horizon: namely, what to do with quarterback Brian Hoyer?

Hoyer will be a free agent after this season and both the Browns and Hoyer’s representatives are trying to figure out just what Hoyer’s value is to the team.

The subject came up this week after a story from Jason Cole at Bleacher Report came out stating that Hoyer would not resign with the Browns as long as fellow quarterback Johnny Manziel remains on the roster.

Hoyer wasted little time in debunking the story.

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Browns take big step forward in beating Steelers

browns beat steelers 1Who were those guys in the orange helmets on Sunday and what have they done with the real Cleveland Browns?

We’re sure that thought was going through the minds of a few Browns fans during Cleveland’s 31-10 beating of the Pittsburgh Steelers – and we know it was on the minds of the Steelers as they waited for the “same old Browns” to show up only to be bitterly disappointed.

The win was the biggest by the Browns over Steelers since the season-opener in 1989 and the biggest home win since 1987. The Browns have now outscored the Steelers, 55-13, in the last six quarters between the two teams.

“I don’t think anyone walked into this game on our team fearing playing Pittsburgh,” Browns quarterback Brian Hoyer said after the win. “I don’t know if that’s the mentality that has been around here for a long time, but it’s definitely something that’s growing. And you just got to continue to go out and build on that.

“I know how much it means for these players to beat Pittsburgh. They haven’t had great luck against them for the past however many years. To beat those guys and the fashion we did it, feels really good.”

It was a day that saw the Browns continue their transformation into a real NFL team and one that, come season’s end, we may look back on as a defining moment in the 2014 NFL season.

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Browns vs. Steelers – What to watch for in Week 6

browns steelers previewThe Cleveland Browns return home today to face the Pittsburgh Steelers in what may me the most important game so far of the season.

After rallying last week against Tennessee to pull out the win, the Browns are looking to post consecutive victories for the first time in more than a year. Just as importantly, they are already 0-2 in the AFC North Division, so another divisional loss would make things exceedingly more difficult.

Today’s game also represents the second game in a five-game stretch where the Browns, while maybe not being favored, will at least be taking on a group of teams that are beatable.

“This is as big of a game in Cleveland in probably a while, just because of their record, our record, the rivalry that’s there,” Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger said earlier this week. “I anticipate it being a hostile environment, maybe like nothing I’ve ever seen up there before.”

But before they can start thinking about Jacksonville, Oakland and Tampa Bay, the Browns need to get by the Steelers, which is never an easy task for this squad.

Here are a few things to keep an eye on today as the Browns look to improve to get on the right side of .500 for the first time this season.

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About those alternate uniforms for the Cavs

cavs navy uniformThe Cleveland Cavaliers announced today that they will be wearing a navy blue alternate uniform this year that features wine and gold letters, numbers and trim.

According to the team’s website, the uniforms will be worn for the team’s season-opening game on Oct. 30 against New York and will rotate with what the team refers to as its gold uniform (c’mon, it’s really yellow) as the official alternates for the 2014-15 season.

“With so much excitement and positive momentum going into this season, this special time called for a brand new uniform to match the energy and mojo of the 2014-15 team,” Tracy Marek, Cavaliers CMO, said on the team’s website.

The jersey is OK for what it is, we’ve always liked navy blue as a complimentary color to burgundy, but it’s not as good as it could have been.

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From the editor’s notebook …

antonio brown steelersWith the Pittsburgh Steelers coming to town on Sunday for what has turned into a rather important divisional game, the Cleveland Browns are facing the usual litany of problems when it comes to the Steelers.

One of those problems may be getting worse with the uncertainty surrounding the availability of cornerback Joe Haden, who may miss the game after injuring his hip in the win against Tennessee. (Defensive tackle Phil Taylor is also out now for several weeks after injuring his knee, which doesn’t help matters, either.)

Even with Haden in the lineup the Browns have had problems with Pittsburgh wide receiver Antonio Brown, who has career highs in receptions (37), receiving yards (610) and touchdowns (four) against the Browns. In the opening game of the season, Brown had five catches for 116 yards and a touchdown.

See what we mean?

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Fun with numbers – Browns vs. Steelers edition

Browns Hoyer Graphic

The legend of Brian Hoyer continues to grow

browns beat titansThe Cleveland Browns were back at it again on Sunday in Tennessee, turning the improbable into the probable in beating the Titans in what has quickly turned into the most entertaining and unexpected season since 2007.

And with the victory, the legend of Brian Hoyer continues to grow.

There is plenty of love to go around after the Browns pulled off what was not only the biggest comeback in franchise history (surpassing a 1966 win against the New York Giants), but also the biggest road comeback in NFL history.

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Browns vs. Titans – 3 things to watch for in Week 5

browns titans preview mainThe Cleveland Browns return to action today as they travel to Tennessee to take on the Titans.

This is the beginning of an important stretch as the schedule takes a decidedly favorable turn for the Browns. While it is never a safe bet to mark down any game as a win at this point, during the next five weeks the Browns face the Titans, Pittsburgh, Jacksonville, Oakland and Tampa Bay – all winnable games if the Browns can keep their act together.

The Browns have had two weeks to stew in the disappointment of a last-second loss to Baltimore, and the game against Tennessee offers a prime opportunity to reclaim the momentum. The Titans come into the contest riding a three-game losing streak where they have been outscored by a combined 66 points, giving the Titans the third-worst point differential in the AFC. (Jacksonville and Oakland are first and second, respectively, not that we’re looking ahead.)

“We can’t think about our schedule or look at our next opponent beyond Tennessee,” Browns head coach Mike Pettine said earlier this week. “That’s just not how we operate. I think it is a dangerous thing. I talked about being confident at 1-2, but it is so hard to win in this league. There’s so much talent parity-wise that your mindset, to me, is equally important or more important than how you are physically.”

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