The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly: Browns vs. Patriots Recap

The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly: Browns vs. Patriots Recap

Nick Pedone
2 years ago
3 min read
The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly: Browns vs. Patriots Recap

There's no reason to play the blame game after the Browns were stunned 45-7 to Bill Belichick's New England Patriots.

As playoff chances slim, let's try to make sense of what happened yesterday at Gillette Stadium.

The Good: The AFC North Might Stink

Take off your black clothes, even after that nightmare, the funeral for the 2021 Cleveland Browns has not yet commenced.

Don't look at the AFC Wild Card standings. It's not happening.

But the Browns are somehow still alive in the AFC North, which is probably not the best division in football anymore. After Baltimore suffered an ugly primetime loss to the Dolphins and Pittsburgh tied the Lions, Cleveland still has life and controls their own fate.

The Browns next three opponents are the Lions, Ravens, and Ravens again. Win those three games, and you're likely sitting all alone at the top of the AFC North.

The Bad: Baker Mayfield

Here we go again.

If you have read any of my columns, you know I am very supportive of Baker Mayfield and this situation he has been placed in. But yesterday was an eye-opener.

Mayfield is now battered. A torn labrum, a fractured humorous, a sore foot, and a bruised knee. He was without both running backs. Even with Odell Beckham Jr., this wide receiver group was extremely underwhelming. 

But the Browns won't care about these circumstances when it comes time to talk extensions. The fact of the matter is, Mayfield isn't going to rise above the garbage. He's not Aaron Rodgers. He needs things to be right, and they weren't yesterday, and his offense scored just seven points.

National reporters who are in the know are starting to call for Mayfield's replacement, or at least a contingency plan if this situation sours. 

The cards are stacked against Mayfield, both in the short and long term, just how he likes it. It's time to leave that mantra behind and take the next step.

The Ugly: Coaching

It's going to be impossible to win the next three games, or even keep this season afloat, if the Browns quit on the reigning Coach of the Year and his staff.

The Browns looked unprepared yesterday. They were beaten before they even took the field. It took Bill Belichick just one drive to figure out Kevin Stefanski.

"We didn't make adjustments on the sideline or when we had time to," Myles Garrett said.

One team adjusted and one team didn't, and the final score was a byproduct of that.

Defensively, the Browns were a nightmare. They have been all season. It's not up for debate that Joe Woods is on the hot seat. This is a group that spent big, notable money on players that have underperformed all season long. It's officially a trend.

"They went back to a bunch of plays we got hit on all year," safety John Johnson III said.

In what felt like a clinic, Mac Jones somehow didn't even throw for 200 yards. The Browns allowed the rookie quarterback to have an efficient outing in a beautifully schemed offensive game plan.

Checkmate. Josh McDaniels looked like the real deal while Stefanski and Woods looked stumped all game long.

"I don't have any explanation besides we got outplayed and outcoached," Joel Bitonio said.

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