What the heck happened in Cincinnati? The Cleveland Browns lost 33-23 to a one-win Bengals team, that’s what happened. The Broulis Beat Report is here with some thoughts from the game and early off-season changes that need to happen.
The Cleveland Browns 2019 season is officially over. And there may be more fans than not that are glad it’s over. After all, so many Cleveland fans had such high hopes, especially after the draft and trades that happened.
I’m not going to get too deep into what happened down in Cincinnati but here are a few things.
Not that I was expecting Browns running back Nick Chubb to actually be used enough, but Chubb only had 13 carries for 41 yards. Just pathetic. Cleveland only rushed the ball for a total of 20 times for 74 yards. Way to keep a defense honest. That’s Browns now former head coach Freddie Kitchens for you.
Cleveland’s run defense isn’t the best, but how do you allow the worst offensive team to run for 179 yards? Bengals running back Joe Mixon had 162 of those yards.
I was disappointed in the entire defense in general. Whether it was defending the pass or the run, just really bad.
Once again, after the first series, the Browns looked absolutely clueless on the field. How do you only have 10 defenders coming out of a timeout? That resulted in a touch down.
About the off-season.
Unfortunately, there are a lot more questions, once again, than answers for the Browns.
Freddie Kitchens has been officially fired. From week one of the regular season, Kitchens looked overwhelmed. A lot of bad play-calling, poor in-game management and conflict with players. I don’t know the reasons why, but I’d like to know what happened between wide receiver Rashard Higgins, David Njoku and Freddie. What was up with all the constant healthy gameday scratches? It may be due to the players and what we don’t see going on behind the scenes, but I still wonder.
I haven’t been one to criticize general manager John Dorsey. Well, it’s time to place some blame on the GM. Dorsey had a very short interview process last off-season. Looking at it now, Kitchens should’ve been kept as the offensive coordinator and a veteran head coach brought in. I’m not sure if that should’ve meant keeping Greg Williams. Dorsey also needs to improve the offensive line and hire a coach that knows what he’s doing and will allow his coordinators to do their jobs.
This team is designed, from a talent standpoint, to win right now. An experienced coach probably would’ve handled the situation better. Also, keep in mind, this team has a lot of different personalities. Again, an experienced coach probably would’ve dealt with those personalities better. A coach that demands respect from his players and has already had his growing pains elsewhere.
Coming into the season, I fully expected Cleveland’s offense to be in the top five. If you would’ve told me at the beginning of the season that the Browns would have Nick Chubb rush for 1,494 yards and have both receivers Jarvis Landry and Odell Beckham Jr. each go over 1,000 yards, then, knowing they have pro bowler Kareem Hunt coming into the fold half-way through, how on earth do they struggle on offense? I understand not playing together, but still, that’s unacceptable.
Both coordinators need to go. Todd Monken wasn’t even allowed to do his job of calling offensive plays because Freddie refused to give up play calling, even though he wasn’t doing a good job at it. Steve Wilks defense left a lot to be desired. Cleveland needs a better defensive coordinator. Special team’s coordinator Mike Priefer was outstanding this year.
Quarterback Baker Mayfield did not have a good second year in the NFL. I hope this season has humbled the young quarterback and he’ll work on his craft and come back better than ever. If he doesn’t, 2020 won’t be much different.
Credit all authors of images used in both article and as cover image : Nick Broulis