Pathetic? Lifeless? Are you embarrassed? Pick your word for Browns’ loss to Patriots – Terry Pluto

CLEVELAND, Ohio – I started to write, “This is really hard to watch.”

Then I stopped. That’s too kind for how the Browns played in their 38-15 loss to New England Sunday.

Instead, I’m going to speak for the fans. Those who pay to watch the games in person. Those who invest their heart and emotions in following the orange helmets.

Finally, those who deserve so much better than what this franchise has delivered – for decades.

This column is not about firing everyone. But it is about changing something, but so much is very, very wrong with this team.

Their record is 2-4. They have lost three in a row, each of those games was worse than the previous one.

Some fans will want Joshua Dobbs to replace Jacoby Brissett as the QB. He had two interceptions and lost a fumble.

I’m not ready to make that move. But I would have removed Brissett from this game. He looked overwhelmed and underprepared for what he faced from his old coach, Bill Belichick.

For much of the season, the Browns have had breakdowns on defense. There were costly interceptions on offense. Some key missed field goals.

But there never was … this.

This as in a sense of doom, the players are seemingly waiting for something to go wrong.

This as in a lack of faith, as if they didn’t buy into the game plan.

This as in there were times when they were out-hustled, out-coached and simply outed as a team with no faith in themselves.

Bill Belichick had a game plan that completely confused the Browns.
AP

THIS IS A NEW BOTTOM

Remember, the Browns hit bottom in 2022 not against the Tom Brady Patriots. These Patriots came to town with a 2-3 record and third-string rookie QB Bailey Zappe – and New England savaged them for 38 points.

The Browns defense gave up 309 yards to Bailey Zappe. Maybe he turns into the next Tom Brady, but right now he’s a fourth-round pick from Western Kentucky just trying to stay in the league.

Once again, there were blown coverages, sloppy tackling and the usual defensive sins.

I find it hard to have any faith in what Defensive Coordinator Joe Woods is doing this season. It’s time for a change, either in his approach or the Browns need a new defensive coordinator.

The defensive scheme stinks. The emphasis on tackling this week was completely ignored, at least based on what happened on the field.

Good news? Cade York is back on track – kicked three field goals. After that, I have nothing positive to say about the Browns.

WHAT WERE THEY DOING?

Quarterback Jacoby Brissett and Coach Kevin Stefanski both looked overwhelmed during Sunday’s loss to the Patriots.
Joshua Gunter, cleveland.com

WHAT KIND OF GAME PLAN WAS THAT?

Players are a big part of every game.

But how about some help from the coaches? Kevin Stefanski & Co. must have been seeing tight ends in their sleep, because they kept calling passes to – you guessed it – tight ends.

Not just one tight end, but three.

The first play of the game was to tight end Harrison Bryant for 6 yards. The next one was a long pass down the sidelines to Pharoah Brown, the team’s third-string tight end. It was picked off.

In the first half, the Browns threw the ball as many times to tight ends (8) as they gave it to Nick Chubb. They seemed to enter the game believing Belichick was determined to take away the running game – so why bother to put a sincere effort into making it work?

I’m going to stop. You get the point. I just keep wondering, “Whatever happened to tough, smart and accountable?” And please, don’t tell me about how Deshaun Watson finally playing is going to address many of the problems.

It’s much deeper than that, and Browns fans know it.

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