Another Cleveland Browns Meltdown: Takeaways From Jets vs. Browns

Another Cleveland Browns Meltdown: Takeaways From Jets vs. Browns

Nick Pedone
3 months ago
3 min read
Jets wide receiver Garrett Wilson celebrates after catching a touchdown against the Browns

On a day Nick Chubb had three rushing touchdowns and a Jacoby Brissett-led offense put up 30 points, the Browns took an all-but-guaranteed victory and threw it in Lake Erie.

The Browns are as close to 0-2 as they are to 2-0, so it's another Monday morning searching for answers. Those answers likely won't come from the head coach, who was puzzled postgame and "didn't have an answer" for a deserved line of questioning about how his team bungled another late-game lead.

Those answers also likely won't come from star defensive end Myles Garrett, who took the podium to shame the fans for boo'ing — a page right out of Baker Mayfield's book.

Fans pay hundreds of dollars for home opener tickets, line up at the crack of dawn to start partying in the Muni Lot, and want to celebrate what should have been an easy victory over an inferior opponent. While the fans showered the team in boos during a familiar two-minute meltdown, Garrett was nowhere to be seen, stuck on blocks from two backup tackles on the Jets. 

"This isn't how we play," Stefanski said.

But maybe it is exactly how they play. It was another all-time meltdown, which has become par for the course for the Browns. 

From the Dwayne Rudd helmet toss, to the 18 penalties against the Titans in 2019, it's just another game that was handed away to bad opponents on home turf, regardless of what was painted on the 50-yard line. 

It's symbolic of the last six months for this organization. Perhaps while the universe was debating Mayfield vs. Odell Beckham Jr., the real issue at hand was who the leader of this organization actually is.

The team felt confident mortgaging three first-round picks and $230 million guaranteed in a desperation heave to land a controversial quarterback to be the final piece to a Super Bowl contending squad. After Sunday's meltdown, it seems like that Super Bowl, even with Deshaun Watson, might be further away than they calculated.

While the offense was far from the issue on Sunday, Donovan Peoples-Jones, David Bell, Demetric Felton and Anthony Schwartz combined for nine total yards. That's a lot of mid-round draft capital in players who haven't contributed consistently.

Speaking of which, loudly-spoken Perrion Winfrey didn't play this game because he was being disciplined. Jordan Elliott and Tommy Togiai, Jacob Phillips and Grant Delpit are an array of Andrew Berry drafted defensive players that might not be every-down NFL talent.

The Defensive Woes

The Browns have given up 34 points in fourth quarters throughout two weeks. Against Baker Mayfield and Joe Flacco. The Browns haven't had a secondary in eight quarters of football.

It should be unacceptable, but Joe Woods is somehow in his third season as Browns defensive coordinator. That likely won't change. There's still 15 games to go, and a game just four days away against a divisional rival.

The defense was supposed to be what kept this train on the tracks throughout 11 weeks until Watson steps back on the field for the first time in two years. It's a talented group, highlighted by expensive superstars like Garrett, Denzel Ward and Jadeveon Clowney. But perhaps there's some flaws, too.

It seems like the safety position is one that's set up to fail in recent years under Joe Woods. Andrew Sendejo, Ronnie Harrison, Karl Joseph, and now Delpit and John Johnson III are struggling with coverage assignments.

"Obviously guys weren't on the same page," Stefanski said. "We can't let that happen."

Miscommunication happens all the time. In sports, in the working world, in relationships, communication is always key. But these miscommunications and miscalculations are quietly becoming a trend for this entire regime.

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