Tag Archives: Cleveland Browns

Browns Football – Where’s That Other Shoe?

Admit it… You were scared. In the fourth quarter of the Browns game vs the Bengals, you got scared. You were waiting for the other shoe to drop… But guess what? There’s no other shoe and the Browns were victorious in a fun-filled 35-20 stomping of their interstate rivals.

If you have followed the Cleveland Browns for any length of time then you know – and have lamented the fact – that the Browns find new and unusual way to lose games week after week.  But here’s a news flash for you – this ain’t the “Same Old Browns.”

Continue reading Browns Football – Where’s That Other Shoe?

Crash Course in Analytics

With the Browns filling there office with “analytics” guys like Sashi Brown and Jonah Hills’ character in Moneyball Paul Depodesta I feel many Browns fans are wondering what football analytics is and how it could help the Browns win. For one I consider myself somewhat of an expert on these stats as I have been reading books about sports stats and advanced measures ever since my tutor gave me the Bill James baseball abstracts from the mid 80s back when I was freshman in high school six years ago. From those books I learned how to answer questions about sports with stats and figures and learned the pros and cons of using certain stats to answer questions. For example, example you wouldn’t say that Carlos Santana is better baseball player than Jason Kipnis because Santana has hit more RBIs because RBI chance vary for different players in different lineup. Instead you would want to use multiple other stats or stats that are adjusted so that they aren’t affected by teammates performance.

To understand football analytics the first thing that you should understand is that all yards aren’t created equal. Odds are you already understand this as getting 5 yards on a 3rd and 4 helps the team more than getting those 5 yards when it’s 3rd and 11. The only issue is when looking at the boxscore you can only tell the total yardage and not when those yards occurred or what the value of them are. A better way of looking at plays is not just looking at the yardage but looking at how the play affected the teams chances of scoring on the drive and how the play impacted the the teams odds of winning the game.

The first stat that is critical to understanding football analytics is expected points added. Expected points added is based off the research and models of former navy pilot Brian Burke. Burke went back and looked play by play data going back years and determined how many points on average the value in points of any down and distances at any part of the field. In Burke’s own words:

“For example, if we look at all 1st and 10s from an offense’ own 20-yard line, the team on offense will score next slightly more often than its opponent. If we add up all the ‘next points’ scored for and against the offense’s team, whether on the current drive or subsequent drives, we can estimate the net point advantage an offense can expect for any football situation. For a 1st and 10 at an offense’s own 20, it’s +0.4 net points, and at the opponent’s 20, it’s +4.0 net points. These net point values are called Expected Points (EP), and every down-distance-field position situation has a corresponding EP value.”

With this model you can calculate how many expected points a player made by looking at the teams expected points before and comparing it with the expected points after. This difference is what determines the players value. The good thing about this stat is that you can guess how many points within reason a players passing, rushing and receiving contribution is. The only issue with it is that it doesn’t take into account when the points were scored.

The next stat that I feel is essential to understanding football analytics is win probability added.

Browns Hope to Spoil the Steelers Season

 (Photo by Nick Cammett/Diamond Images/Getty Images)
(Photo by Nick Cammett/Diamond Images/Getty Images)

While most 3-12 teams don’t have many reasons to play hard in week 17, the Browns have plenty of incentive to give their last game of the season everything they have.

First the Browns are going against their biggest rival in a game where they have the chance to keep them out of the playoffs. Second rumors are running rampant that Ray Farmer and or Mike Pettine could get fired, so players will go all out to help their coach, and put more good plays on tape for the potential new staff to look at.

There are some other factors that could keep this game close as the Steelers struggle on the road and they have a porous defense.

When the Browns have the ball:

The Browns are going to need to attack the Steelers through the air as they struggle in pass defense. One player to watch in the Steelers defensive backfield is corner Antwon Blake who is on pace to allow more receiving yards than any corner in Pro Football Focus’ records (since 2007). Odds are even Austin Davis can find ways to exploit this secondary. The Steelers run defense is better than average, so establishing the run could prove challenging. Overall, I feel that the Browns have enough firepower to put 20 or more points against the Steelers. After all Ryan Mallett, Buck Allen, and Kamar Aiken were able to.

When the Steelers have the ball:

The Browns need to get pressure on Ben Roethlisberger if they’re going to have any chance. Tramon Williams and Charles Gaines stand no chance against Antonio Brown, Markus Wheaton  and Martavis Bryant if Big Ben has a clean pocket. Last time these two teams played the Browns did a good job limiting DeAngelo Williams to only 54 yards. Perhaps the Browns can duplicate those results.

Prediction:

Steelers look rusty again (as they normally do against lousy opponents) but the Browns give up some late touchdowns and lose in some typical Cleveland Brown-like way.

Steelers 26 Browns 24

Browns Vs Steelers: The Mailbag Predictions

By Stephen Thomas (@15Stephen15)
Browns Fan, Comedian And Upset If You Don’t Immediately Know The Opening Quote

And now, the end is near, and so I face the final curtain.

The 2015 Cleveland Browns season is barreling towards its conclusion with the all the subtlety of a flaming train car heading for a cliff in a World War II movie. Fellow fans, there’s really not much left to discuss. About the season, I mean. About the coming OFFseason? Oh, there’s a Great Googly Pile of things to discuss, so let’s focus on that this week, shall we? (I agree that we shall, so the vote on the board is a unanimous 1-0.) I’ll do this final column Mailbag Style, using questions sent in from my legions of pantsless, semi-sober, imaginary fans.

Dear Stephen,

Who will be the Browns head coach next year? Also, do you have any favorite shows to recommend that I might not be watching?

Matt, Hollywood

I’m on record since preseason as saying I think Pett gets another year, so I guess I might as well stick to my guns for one more day, right? (I must admit my stance has wavered since Chip Kelly was let go by the Eagles, not so much because I think he’s a fit in Cleveland, but because I think Haslam wants him.) There was a report early this week that Pett is staying, but Farmer and Defensive Coordinator Jim O’Neil are going to be run like George Bailey and Clarence Audbody getting tossed out of Nick’s. That could still end up being the case, so I’m going down with the ship on this one. If that scenario does indeed turn out to be true, one name I’d like to see considered for new DC would be Jim Schwartz. I like the attacking stye he runs, and while the Browns don’t currently have all of the personnel needed to run it at top level, it’s a much better scheme fit for their current players, in my opinion. Finally, if you’re not watching Episodes, Silicon Valley, Review: With Forrest MacNeil, Galavant, Shameless, House Of Lies and Vikings, you should. Immediately. (I’m assuming most people are already watching Fargo, House Of Cards and The Walking Dead, which is why they’re not on this list)

 

Dear Steve,

What do you want to do about Johnny?

Hayden, Minneapolis

Well, I think he’ll be OK in the trunk until after the meeting with Lenny The Squid. After that, we’ll figure out a spot to dispose of … oh, you meant Johnny Manziel? Not Johnny Two-Face? My bad. As a guy who’s been on the JFF train since September of his sophomore year at Texas A&M, who wanted him drafted, who’s wanted him on the field since this team was 2-4, I say: it’s time to move on. Trade Manziel while his value is still relatively high, and while Jerry Jones is still relatively batcrap crazy.

 

Dear Stevie,

Which is better, bacon or sex?

Sam, Boston

I hate you and I hope you die a painful, flesh eating virus style death for forcing me to even attempt this Sophie’s Choice. But since I’m married and never get to have sex, I’ll go with bacon. Besides, when I get old, bacon may be the only meat I can still get to crisp up. Oh, and if you ever call me Stevie again I’ll abduct you, toss you in the trunk with Johnny Two-Face, and force you to listen to Michael Bolton-Justin Beiber duets until you bash in your own skull with the tire iron.

 

Dear Stephen,

Who should the Browns draft with their 1st round pick in April?

Martin, Seattle

I’m on record for awhile now as saying they should draft a quarterback, whether they hold onto Johnny or not. No, QB play wasn’t their #1 problem this season. Yes, there are other impact players at the top of the draft. However, until you find a Franchise QB, none of the rest of it really matters. There’s plenty of time to get into this more deeply in offseason columns, and I will do so assuming I still have a job here, so I’ll keep it succinct today (succinct being a rather spicy form of broccoli and goat spleen soup in Estonia)(What? look it up!). I’ve been a Jared Goff guy all year, and although I can certainly see the value of Paxton Lynch, I’m sticking with my gut. One more weekend of my tanking slogan “Turn Your Head And Cough For Goff,” and then we get to spend the four most glorious months of the year on BrownsTwitter, screaming at each other with absolute certainty over player projections that are 50/50 educated guesses at best. Also, you should write to my Editors at MTAF and tell them I need press credentials for the NFL Draft in Chicago, so I can report firsthand on who eats the most mini-hot dogs at the parties, which team’s Draft HQ looks most like it came from a Quentin Tarantino movie, and which player’s Moms are too polite to say anything when I cut one while interviewing them.

 

Dear Stephen,

Do your really want MTAF to send you to cover The Draft? You? Instead of an actual journalist, or someone with correspondence school writing training, or at least someone who doesn’t rely on spellcheck for words like “mariachi?”

Dan, Lanford

Yes. They should get me full access press credentials. And travel. And a Per Diem. And an expense account. And a designated driver. And maybe some Skittles. Tweet at them @MTAFCleveland and tell them to send Stephen to the NFL Draft. TWEET AT THEM AND TELL THEM NOW!

 

Dear Stephen,

Are you ever going to get to the actual “predictions” part of this “predictions column?”

Archie, New York

Stifle yourself there, eh? OK, OK, here’s what I think will happen between the Christians and Lions … I mean Browns and Pittspuke on Sunday.

 

-Austin Davis will play decent, because he’s a decent quarterback – no more, no less. The numbers probably won’t show it though, since the Squealers will be highly motivated by their playoff push, and Davis will be running for his life most of the day. I say Davis goes for under 200 yards, no TD’s, 3 INT’s. But given the circumstances, it won’t be that bad.

-Dwayne Bowe will have two catches, giving everyone hope that he reaches nine for the year so they can tweet out their “That’s $1 million per catch!” jokes. Alas, he won’t make it.

-Travis Benjamin and Gary Barnidge will both come up short in their quest for 1,000 receiving yards. I do not believe Benjamin will be re-signed in Free Agency.

-I’m on a ship, so I won’t have to watch this travesty live. Instead I’ll simply chuckle and shake my head as the increasingly bad scores scroll by on the bottom of my screen, while being forced to watch the Patriots or Cowboys. Again. Every freaking week on a ship. #HammerSkull

-Ben Roethlesberger will make half a dozen plays that will, for the millionth time, make me shake my fist at the Kellen Winslow Jr pick. I mean, outside of Wrestling The Dragon in a Boston Market parking lot, when was the last time Winslow contributed anything entertaining?

-I would make a prediction about one of the Browns CB’s getting burned repeatedly, but at this point God alone knows which ones will be active and which won’t, and even He can’t figure out why.

-Duke Johnson will suffer an injury. I’m just hoping it’s not significant.

-The Browns will have less than 250 yards total offense.

-There will be so many Pittspuke fans in the stadium, that anyone who time traveled here from 1987 would be violently sick to their stomach, and wouldn’t believe the apathy that’s come over an entire generation of Cleveland fans. You need to get this fixed Mr Haslam, and soon, or you’re going to completely lose the Millennials.

Browns lose 38-3

#GoBrowns

Browns Vs Chiefs: Closer Than You Think Predictions

By Stephen Thomas (@15Stephen15)
Browns Fan, Comedian And Smarter Than The Av-er-age Bear

OK, let’s dispense with the rest of the discussion about the Browns loss in Seattle and focus on the only thing anyone believes matters: How did Johnny play?

Discussing Manziel is an entertaining activity. Last Sunday evening I was in a Twitter conversation where I defended Johnny’s play, noted the multiple drops by folks posing as Wide Receivers, and was accused of being a Manziel Fanboy. Then on Monday I was in another Twitter conversation where I stated my long-held belief that the Browns need to take a Quarterback with their #1 pick in April, and was accused of being a Manziel Hater. Just for the record: It’s theoretically possible (and legally permissible) to believe that Johnny Manziel is showing much improvement, AND that he may not be the answer. There’s also no law stating that the Browns can’t take Goff/Lynch in the draft AND keep Manziel. (No really, I went to the UCLA Law Library and checked.)(OK, I went to the UCLA Law Library and asked a guy who looked kind of lawyer-ish.)(OK, it was a Buffalo Wild Wings, the guy was my waiter, and we discussed boobs. Shut up.)

The point is, as much as I’ve been in Johnny’s corner since long before the draft, I firmly believe that the opportunity to take a Top-Of-The-Draft Quarterback comes around so rarely, you simply cannot pass it up. I was impressed with JFF in the pocket last week (where, by the way, the beleaguered offensive line gave him far more time than I had anticipated they would), his decision making, and the zip he put on the ball into some small windows. I thought he played far better than the final numbers indicated, and took another step forward in his development. All of that being stipulated, the question remains: Can he be “The Guy?” I don’t know, none of us do at this point, but having another QB on the roster who might also be “The Guy” cannot be a bad thing. At the very least, Johnny has played well enough that my preseason prediction of Jerry Jones going full-Jerry and trading a #1 pick for Manziel is back within the realm of possibility. (BTW, for the hard core Manzealots out there, if by some miracle Dallas offers the #5 pick, you take it in a heartbeat, and I will fight you with raid squirrels on sticks in the town square at high noon if you disagree.)(What? It’s a thing.)

So Kansas City…

I know, I know; the Chiefs are among the best rushing teams in the league, and the Browns couldn’t stop the run if the fate of the planet hinged on it. I know, I know; The Chiefs defense is top 10, and the Browns offense couldn’t score on Prom Night at a public high school. I know, I know; the Chiefs are surging, have everything to play for, and have been one of he hottest teams in the league for two months, and the Browns are … the Browns. So why am I going to pick this game a lot closer than most other people and just barely chicken out from picking a win for the Browns & Orange? Well, because …. I don’t know. Just a gut feeling, combined with the fact that Chiefs have a Browns-esque habit of playing down to lesser competition. The Browns will keep this game close, but will fall in the waning minutes. However, it will not be another OIC moment – as I’ve told you, OIC finally left and followed the original Browns franchise to Baltimore following the Kick Six. Mark my words: OIC IS OVER. No, the Browns won’t lose because of OIC, they will lose because they stink. Isn’t that much better? Things are looking up, Cleveland!

What will happen in Arrowhead?

-Johnny will play decent once again, and will have a long TD throw on a vintage College-Manziel play, one of those reverse pivots away from pressure where the defender looks like Wile E Coyote before he falls off of a cliff.. Final numbers: 325 yards, 2 TD, 2 INT.

-Isiah Crowell will score a rushing touchdown. Crowell is a guy who I thought would progress father than he has this year, but if he has a couple more decent games to round out the season, could find himself back on the roster next year in a more defined rotation with Duke Johnson.

-Terrelle Pryor will catch a pass, and the Buckeye Fanboy contingent of BrownsTwitter will be absolutely unbearable for the entire offseason.

-I will be on a plane, flying back to LA from Ohio during the game. Consequently, my in-game chicken wing consumption will drop to embarrassingly low levels. The TSA gets really cranky when you try to carry a bag of 150 wings through security. (Although that little room they have in the back of the airport is actually quite nice. Cold during the strip search, but nice.)

-Gipson will have an INT, reminding everyone that though he’s had a tough, tough contract year, the Browns would be stupid to let him get away in free agency.

-Gary Barnidge will finish with double digit catches, including another TD. He and Gip have had polar opposite contract years.

-Alex Smith will play like Alex Smith, causing portions of BrownsTwitter to start the “Think of how many win the Browns wold have if they just had Alex Smith level QB play.” This will show once again that they don’t understand football, as QB has been problem #27 on the list of Browns woes this year.

-Dansby will once again finish with 10 or more tackles.

-At least two healthy inactives that will cause major head scratching, and give the “Fire Pettine And Shoot Pettine And Cut Out Pettine’s Heart And Let’s Beat Up Pettine’s Neighbors” crowd more ammunition. Even though I think he’s coming back next year, some of the inactive decisions this year have indeed been odd, and seem to follow no pattern.

 

-I will love an avi bet to @TheFakeNed, and will curse his name more frequently than usual all week. Isn’t betting agains the Browns too easy? Vegas should make it illegal or something.

Browns lose 30-24.

#GoBrowns

All I want for Christmas: Browns Edition

It’s the holiday season and children everywhere where will be making lists of all the things they want for Christmas. Some of these lists are short and others are longer than a government document. The Browns list is far more like the latter as they have many holes now and could be losing some key players to free agency. So in theme of lists (I love lists!!!!!) here’s a look at what I believe to be what the Browns and their fans what put on their Christmas list.

1. Josh Gordon to return to 2013 form. Number one for me was an easy pick with Manziel showing enough signs of being a quarterback that can turn this team around. Having Josh Gordon back and focused gives the Browns a dynamic play-maker. Plus if we retain future free agent Travis Benjamin and Gary Barnidge stays healthy Johnny Manziel will have an arsenal capable of putting a chill down the spine of opposing defenses.

2. Our offensive line to be fixed for next year. One of the most perplexing things about this team is figuring out how good the Browns O-Line is. Pro Football Focus has been adamant that the Browns offensive line has been good and that been issues are with the rest of the team are responsible for the offenses shortcomings. Others look at our high sack rate and sky-high rate of being stuffed and put it more on the O-line. Regardless, Mitchell Schwartz will be a free agent after the season. Schwartz is one of the best pass protecting right tackle in the NFL and could command a 7-9 million dollar a year contract. Alex Mack if he wants to can opt out of his contract and become a free agent. He could get more on the open market than the 8 million that’d he’d get if he stays with the Browns. The Browns knew this and drafted a Cameron Erving, a versatile lineman who could replace either if they left. Sadly Erving has been playing terribly lately and is not giving the fans any reason to believe that he can replace them without a significant dip in production. The offensive line has more complex parts than Santa’s workshop, and the Browns really hope they can figure it out, because a poor offensive line can hold back and otherwise competent offense.

3. A clean bill of health for Joe Haden. It’s been a tough year for Joe Haden injury wise. He started out the year with a bum hamstring and only got worse when he broke his finger and had a rib contusion. Then against the Ravens he suffered a concussion and has not seen the field since. Having Joe Haden come back healthy is the first step in making the pass defense worthy of the nickname Lock-down at the Lake.

4. Our young defensive players to continue improving. Danny Shelton started out the year a little slow but has shown more recently. Xavier Cooper is showing promise as a rotational defensive lineman. Armonty Bryant has had some really good games and has shown flashes of being a good pass rusher. And finally Christian Kirksey has shown he can do many things at the linebacker position. If these players can develop in to quality starters our defense will be greatly improved for next year.

The Sad Decline of the Indianapolis Colts Continues

It’s been a long time since we’ve heard the words “Super Bowl” and “Colts” in the same sentence. Looks like it’s going to be a lot longer before we hear it again.

The Houston Texans came into Lucas Oil Stadium and wrested the division lead away from the Colts by virtue of a 16-10 triumph on Sunday afternoon. The Texans (7-7) now hold a one-game lead over Indianapolis, who fell to 6-8 with two games remaining in the regular season.

For the third straight week, the Colts held an early lead before imploding. After trailing 10-0 in the first half, Houston scored 16 consecutive points to win their first ever game in Indianapolis (the Texans were 0-13 coming into this contest). The Colts had an unprecedented 16-game winning streak within the division snapped last week against Jacksonville; now they’ve lost two in a row against the AFC South.

The quarterback matchup in this game was not exactly one for the ages: backup QB Matt Hasselbeck going for Indianapolis, while Houston had to play their third-string signal caller, T.J. Yates. Neither quarterback played particularly well, and when Yates went down with a non-contact knee injury after scrambling late in the second quarter, things looked even worse for the Texans.

Enter Brandon Weeden, the former starting QB in Cleveland, but currently number four on the depth chart in Houston. Weeden was the hero in this one, coming off the bench to go 11-for-18 for 105 yards and a touchdown after Yates’ injury. Most importantly, Houston scored all 16 of their points with Weeden at the helm, as he gave the Texans the shot in the arm they needed after falling behind early 10-0.

The Colts offense was anemic, gaining a paltry 190 yards for the game. QB Matt Hasselbeck had a tough day in more ways than one, going 17-for-30 for only 147 yards, and feeling pressure and taking hits from the Texans’ defense all afternoon. Indianapolis RB Frank Gore ran hard, but had nowhere to go, averaging 2.8 yards on 16 carries.

Aside from Brandon Weeden’s heroics, Houston didn’t exactly light it up either. The Texans’ running game was mostly held in check, other than Alfred Blue’s 41-yard run in the second quarter, which didn’t actually lead to any points for Houston.

The turnover battle was even, but the Colts only lost fumble was a very costly one. Indianapolis was driving late in the fourth quarter, trailing 13-10, when WR Griff Whalen took a short pass from Hasselbeck and coughed it up after a good hit by Houston CB Johnathan Joseph…this effectively ended the Colts’ hopes.

Indianapolis did get the ball back one more time, only to have Matt Hasselbeck throw a deep interception on the first play of the drive when he “misinterpreted the angle” WR Donte Moncrief took on his route.

The last three minutes of this game continued what has been a pattern of late with the Colts – key moment, key mistake(s).

Now that the AFC South lead has vanished and a playoff berth is becoming unlikely, what do we make of the 2015 version of the Indianapolis Colts? It would be easy to blame this disappointing season on injuries, particularly when your star quarterback has missed significant time on the field…but that’s not why this team has underachieved.

It all starts with a flawed roster, a fact that was previously covered up by QB Andrew Luck’s emergence as an NFL star. Even he could not continue to perform at a high level with a struggling offensive line in front of him. Colts GM Ryan Grigson chose not to address the offensive line to any large degree in the offseason, and it’s coming back to haunt the team now. In general, Grigson has just had far too many “misses” in the draft and in free agency, and they’ve led Indianapolis to where they are now.

Another key issue is coaching. Chuck Pagano, the Colts’ head coach, has not proven to be a top-flight coach in either game preparation or motivation. Consistent errors such as penalties and turnovers, especially at crucial times, are the mark of a poorly-coached team. As the season has worn on, the team is also playing with less and less desire and enthusiasm.

What a difference in outlook from Week 1 to now. The Indianapolis Colts were a trendy pick to win the AFC Championship this season, now, they’ll have to finish strong and hope for some help just to barely make the playoffs – in a weak division. Unless something spectacular (and unexpected) happens, some heads are going to roll when this train wreck of a season is over.

Browns Vs Seahawks: And The Walls Came Tumblin' Down Predictions

By Stephen Thomas (@15Stephen15)
Browns Fan, Comedian And Still Not Sure What “On Fleek” Means

So for at least one week, we got to see how the other half lives.

Not only did the Browns win last week against San Francisco, they dominated. They dominated and the outcome wasn’t in doubt from about the middle of the 3rd quarter on. That’s rarified air for all of us Clevelands down here in Clevelandville, who are used to our few-and-far-between victories going down to the final agonizing ticks of both the clock and our hearts. After the game I thought “Is this how Patriots fans have felt every Sunday for the past fifteen years? Wow, no WONDER they’re such a bunch of arrogant jerkweeds!” It was nice, wasn’t it? Odd, in that I wasn’t really sure what to do on a Sunday evening without taking to Twitter and cursing everyone in Berea, but nice. The offense moved the ball both on the ground and in the air. The defense … actually played defense. No one from the coaching staff did anything so insanely stupid that it made me want to order an F-15 napalm strike on my television set. All in all, the Cleveland Browns looked like a professional football team.

(Hey Steve, talk about Johnny!)(Yeah, Johnny!)(We want to hear about Johnny!) (TALK ABOUT JOHNNY, JERKFACE!)

OK, OK, calm down! We all know what we saw. Johnny looked good, In fact, Johnny looked unquestionably, by far the best he’s ever looked, and that’s a great thing. However, taken as a single game, Johnny looked “decent.” I know he’s still young, I know he’s still learning, but if “decent” is not only by far the best he’s ever looked, but also enough to make half of BrownsTwitter coronate him as a Super Bowl caliber starter, I’d postulate that that says more about how disappointingly low the bar for quarterback play in Cleveland has been set than anything else. Those who regularly read me know that I’ve been on the Johnny train since the September before he was drafted. (Those who regularly read me also tend to drool quite a bit, but that’s neither here nor there) I’ve been in the guy’s corner, and I still am. The best thing for the Browns as a franchise would be for Jonathan Football to ball like he’s on Heisenberg Blue these next three games and prove that HE IS THE GUY. Realistically, I don’t see that happening. Let’s face it, the 49ers are abysmal, and the next three teams on the schedule are … well, not abysmal.

I’ll say the same thing about Johnny last week that I said about Cardale Jones when everyone lost their minds about his three game stretch last year: It was fun, it was great, it was nice, but it’s much, much easier to play quarterback when your team runs for 200+ yards and your defense stifles the other team like Edith Bunker. It was great to see the kid perform well, and I hope he keeps it up. However, until he puts on a similar performance against the Seattle/Kansas City/Pittsburghs of the world, I’ll hold back on fitting him for a gold jacket and a ticket to Canton.

So let’s see what the kid has. If he can keep this team competitive, with the dearth of talent at most of the offensive skill positions, then maybe the first round draft pick next year could get interesting. As it stands right now though, I’m 100% on a quarterback. (Currently Goff, but could easily be swayed to Lynch)

So what will happen in the land of Frasier Sunday?

-Johnny will make a couple of long plays with his feet. Mostly because he’ll have to – no one in the Browns WR corps will be able to create any separation. The Seahawks DB’s will be on them so tight, it’ll be like they’re standing next to the Browns WR’s at a urinal. (No talking. NO talking. NO TALKING AT A URINAL!) Because of JFF”s level of God-given athletic ability though, his numbers will end up looking better than they actually will be within the flow of the game. I’ll say 250 yards passing (a lot in garbage time), 40 rushing, 1 TD, 3 INT’s.

-The Browns running game will continue it’s spot-on impression of Punxsatawny Phil: A brief appearance last week, held up by morons in front of a cheering crowd, followed by six more weeks of brutal, cold, dark, miserable winter. Sorry, I can’t see the running game cracking the 50 yard mark (outside of Johnny scrambles).

-The game being on the west coast means I’ll have three extra hours of chicken wing and booze absorption before kickoff. I may just call that punk Kobayashi over and show him what a real chicken wing eating machine can do. Anybody can eat hot dogs by the pound. Whatcha gonna do with that little part of the wing in between the bones, eh Kobayashi? Huh? That’s where we separate the men from the … men with common sense! That’s right, you BETTER stay away from my couch. (Chicken wing bone drop)(Stalks offstage)(Heads directly to mens room and laments a lifetime of poor eating decision making)

-Duke Johnson will have a touchdown catch. He’ll also have several juke-filled plays that look great on film but only accomplish turning a 9 yard loss into a 2 yard gain.

-Paul Kruger will have two sacks. This will be the highlight of the defensive effort.

-The defense as a unit will give up over a 75% 3rd down conversion rate.

-The Terrelle Pryor contingent will be approached in annoying-ness only by the anti-Dwayne Bowe contingent.

-If Pryor catches a pass, someone somewhere will tweet about how “We don’t need to draft a WR next year.” I will sincerely hope this person gets repeatedly punched in the spleen.

-If Bowe catches a pass, then … HAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHHAA Yeah I almost got through that with a straight face. (“Bowe catches a pass.” Damn, I’m funny!)

-Mike Pettine’s sideline demeanor will once again embody all of the fun, craziness and unpredictability of a Buckingham Palace Royal Guard.

-My daughter will continue to insist that Die Hard is not a Christmas movie. During timeouts, I will Google “Methods Of Disowning Disappointing Children.”

Browns lose 38-14.

#GoBrowns

4 Reasons the Browns May Win

Throughout the season I have always done my best to remain positive and focus on the reasons the Browns could do well. Today I’m doing the same thing, but because no sane person would pick the Browns to beat the streaking Seahawks, I’m giving myself a little handicap. I’m looking for 4 reasons the Browns may win against the +14.5 spread.

1. The Seahawks don’t have a running back. After Thomas Rawls went down last week with a broken ankle the only remaining running backs on the roster are third down back Fred Jackson, Bryce Brown, and the newly signed Christine Michael. One of the main strengths of the Seattle Offense has been their ability to move the ball on the ground but injuries may not allow them take advantage of the Browns poor run D. Plus it is very hard to run up the score and cover large spreads without a solid running game.

2. The Browns pass rush has stepped up immensely. Last week the Browns sacked 49er QB Blaine Gabbert 9 times and young players like Nate Orchard, Armonty Bryant, and Xavier Cooper accounted for half of them. These young players could give the Seattle O-Line, which has allowed the third most sacks, plenty of trouble. Russell Wilson has been performing great over the past 4 games mostly because he hasn’t been pressured. If Orchard and Bryant can generate pressure we can do what the Vikings and Ravens couldn’t, which is stay within 14 points.

3. Gary Barnidge presents problems Seattle hasn’t dealt with. Seattle’s defense is very solid and should be able to stifle our practically weaponless offense. Luckily for us though Seattle usually allows lots of receptions to TEs. Plus Kam Chancellor is questionable which could give Gary Barnidge more space to make plays.

4. Johnny Manziel presents unique challenges for any defense, Seattle is very good at hindering QBs but they haven’t gone against a QB with his mobility since Cam Newton put up . Manziel’s play-making could be the key to creating big plays to keep the game close. If all these things happen and the Browns play a clean game we can keep within 2 touchdowns of the mighty Seattle Seahawks.