We've been waiting for these Browns to show up, they did and got a big win on national TV Monday night. Beating the Bengals is always a good thing, division game, instate rival and a game you had to have for countless reasons 32-13.
So as nice as this is, I ask, where has THIS team been all year? Isn't it funny when you finally get it through your head what you do very well - is actually called for executed - you do well. The Browns left little doubt on that night, they wanted it more and outplayed Cincy in every aspect of the game. Being honest, there was a lot on the line for many. A big blowout loss at home on national TV against the Bengals featuring more boned-headed game management may have been too much for the equally bone-headed brass to handle. There may have been some changes.
But, that has been delayed for a few more weeks it seems. The Browns now enjoy a week off before entering a brutal stretch of games that includes the Bills, Dolphins, Bucs and 4 of the next five games on the road as they have already played 5 home games of their first eight going 2-3 which is unacceptable as well. We will learn a lot about the Browns during this stretch. The biggest thing we will learn is - did THEY learn anything from the good fortune of Monday night? Does Stefanski have the self discipline to stick to what we do well? Has he finally learned that he doesn't have Pat Mahomes at QB? Has he learned that not being his own worst enemy is a good thing? Did someone after 3 seasons finally introduce him to Nick Chubb and the amazing offensive line? Seems so!
Many times pride and arrogance finally, and gladly take a back seat when you feel that your job and those around you may be on the line, and that's exactly what happened Monday night. The possibility of a humiliating home loss for the country to see may have provided some much needed football common sense, and the long overdue shutting down of the many times ridiculous analytics computer. Now we can get back to two weeks of double talk saying nothing at press conferences while we prepare for a trip to Miami. Well, as easy as it is to poke fun, you have to hand it to them in a big way Monday night as they easily played their best game of the year soundly and beat the AFC Champs leaving no doubt.
Sadly, unless something drastic happens, it's just a win and nothing more as the Browns have dug a very deep hole by blowing games, and losing other very winnable games early this season. The schedule is tough ahead and that's going to be hard to negotiate, but it never hurts to try to win the division as that is the only real way the Browns can back into the playoffs. They are 2-1 in the division now, with three division games to go, Cincy (there) Baltimore (here) and Pittsburgh (there). But hey, that's why you play the games.
For me, the next two games will decide if they are going to make a fight of this or not. Beat Miami and Buffalo on the road? Tough. If you do you are 5-5 and very confident. If you lose both, you are 3-7 and spring training for the new QB begins. Split it and you're still in rough shape. You see, it's tough when you have to win three straight games in the NFL, to get back to simply being mediocre, but that's what the Browns did collectively.
Enjoy the week off and GO BROWNS!