With the Cleveland Browns taking on a Baltimore Ravens team that is probably going to finish 13-3 with the No. 1 or No. 2 seed in the AFC, the Browns need to play a perfect game to have a chance at winning on Sunday.
Now, while being perfect is probably unrealistic, you have to at least try.
Unfortunately the Browns were their own worst enemy on Sunday, falling to the Ravens for the seventh consecutive game.
This was a team loss in every way possible.
From the first play of the game – when Greg Little dropped another pass that hit him square in the hands, the receivers had a day to forget as Little had three catches for 18 yards, Jordon Norwood had three catches (and one weak penalty) and Mohamed Massaquoi had a lone catch.
Josh Cribbs earned the Brian Robiskie Memorial Blutarski Award this week for 0 receptions and 0 yards.
The tight ends did their part, with Ben Watson and Evan Moore both dropping passes that hit them square in the hands – Moore dropping a sure touchdown that would have cut the Ravens’ lead to 10-7.
Running game? How about 59 yards on 17 carries, with 24 of those yards coming on the opening drive.
Offensive line? Three sacks allowed and general lackluster play.
Quarterback Colt McCoy? For every play where his receivers betrayed him, he made just as many bad throws. A interception near the end of the first half set up a Baltimore field goal and McCoy finished with 192 yards on 17-of-35 passing.
McCoy may not throw many interceptions, but he knows how to make the ones he does throw count.
The defense got in on the act as well, giving up 204 yards rushing to Ray Rice and 290 on the ground overall.
After the Browns had to settle for a field goal because Moore dropped a sure touchdown in the third quarter, the defense gave up a 67-yard run to Rice on the first play, taking away what little momentum the Browns had.
The special teams clearly didn’t want to be left out of the fun as they gave up a 68-yard punt return for a touchdown to Lardarius Webb.
And so it goes for the Browns.
They haven’t beaten the Ravens since Phil Dawson’s field goal hit the support in Baltimore in 2007, they are most likely going to finish with 1 or fewer division wins for the fourth year in a row and, oh yeah, they’re heading to Pittsburgh on Thursday night to take on the Steelers.
And when we went to the team website after the game, we got the image you see at the top of this post. Is that what you really want to give someone for Christmas?
Bah Humbug, indeed.
(Photo by Cleveland Browns.com)