The Indians are in the playoffs and the Browns are in first place

by Cleveland Frowns on September 30, 2013

CXNGeNH

I’d like to see some updated odds on who will win the AFC North. With a full quarter of the season in the books, the Browns’ front seven – which played yesterday without Jabaal Sheard, Billy Winn and Quinton Groves in a complete shutdown of a loaded Bengals offense – has established itself as the most dominant unit in the division on either side of the ball, and looks more every week like the kind of group that can keep the team in any game assuming continued All Pro output from Joe Haden and replacement-level contributions from everyone else.

It’s impossible to think the Browns wouldn’t have beaten the Ravens in Week 2 had Brian Hoyer and Josh Gordon played. In the next two weeks the Ravens have to play at Miami then host the Packers, while the Browns play two very winnable home games against the Bills and Lions. If Cleveland is sitting at 4-2 two weeks from today, they’ll be touchdown-plus favorites to beat the Steelers and the Jaguars at home, and will be expected to win in New York against the Jets and at Pittsburgh as well. Beat Baltimore at home then the Bengals in Cincy after the bye week and that would be 10 wins. Split those two and it’s 9 wins, in a season where that could be enough to win the Division. And getting at least one or two at Green Bay, at Kansas City, at New England, and at home against the Bears is well in play.  

As long as everyone remembers where the ceiling is on all the fun, there’s nothing wrong with some excitement over playoff baseball and talk of a legitimate AFC North contender. It’s a breath of fresh air to say the least, and a national spotlight on Chief Wahoo can only help things. Also, LeBron opens training camp with the Cavaliers almost exactly one year from today. Go Cleveland sports.

  • http://www.clevelandfrowns.com/ Cleveland Frowns

    Also, when is the next Dr. Sponaugle press conference? Rizzo said in his opening segment that Bernie was going to come on the show today. Does anyone know if that happened?

    Also, the Browns defense is allowing an NFL best 2.9 yards per carry.

  • http://www.redright88.com/ Tom_RedRight88

    The Browns defense has also allowed just 70 points this season. In yesterday’s game alone, the Eagles allowed 52 points under revolutionary coach Chip Kelly.

    • cscales

      is it time to give props to the individual who was pushing hardest to sign Brandon Hoyer ??
      I forgot who was it ??

      • bupalos

        Brandon? Does he have a better arm than his brother? Because the smarts are obviously there in that family, but I wouldn’t mind a little more zip on the seam routes.

    • Wiseoldredbeard

      Has anyone ever wondered if Banner did that whole thing with Kelly just to lure Lurie into signing him, overpaying him and giving him too much authority? I mean, it’s unlikely, but it is beyond comprehension?

      • nj0

        Lol. Considering how well all the rest of his decisions have gone- sure, why not?

    • Ron

      In fairness to Chip Kelly, everyone has given up a ton of points to the Broncos this season.

  • Wiseoldredbeard

    Sunday at the Browns bar in DC was euphoric. I can only imagine what it felt like at CBS. Or anywhere in Cleveland. From Sunday to this coming Thursday has the potential to be the best five days in the history of Cleveland sports fandom; in the last long while anyway.

    Seriously, the people running the Browns right now might have made a deal with the devil, because EVERY move they’ve made is looking genius right now.

    Bark-a-vicious looks like he could be the real deal. He could’ve even had a pick on that deflection. I want to see him get an INT bad. I bet he could outrun 95% of the offense in a dead sprint.

    Today feels good.

    • alexb

      Barkevious looks real good on pass rush but is having trouble holding up at the point, which was expected. Kruger is the exact opposite, nobody want to run to the right and when they do they can never get the edge, he turns everything inside. The interior guys are going to have more tackles on the RB’s this season than probably are MLB’s will cause Kruger turns every run on his side right into the interior guys. His pass rush though is looking anemic…he can bull rush anybody in the NFL, anybody. He just can’t get there in time.

      • bupalos

        The bull rush is highly underrated, especially in this defense. He can’t get there in time for the spectacular strip sack maybe (except when he does), but he sets the final buzzer on the clock at 3.5 seconds and squeezes that pocket down nice and tight.

        I still haven’t been delighted with any of the linebackers in coverage, but expect Mingo to be a kind of missing link there eventually.

        • MichaelTheRed

          This is true, he never sniffed Flacco when he tried to go around Oher….Oher pushed him way out wide every single time. But when he bullrushed he made Flacco cough it up early. Problem in that game was that our secondary was letting Flacco get away with throwing early. Kruger does need to establish some more rush moves however, he doesn’t edge rush with any leverage whatsoever. Matthews out in GB is one of the best guys in the league at getting low and leaning in as he’s carving off the edge. They need to teach Kruger how to do that. If he can he’ll simply be unstoppable.

    • nj0

      Mike Lombardi must be feeling pretty good right now.

    • Wiseoldredbeard

      To be clear, and before Kanicki has a convulsion reading this comment, I recognize that at least some of their decisions are likely to blow up — no team is 100% in the league on those kinds of things. But, it sure is nice to have a group in charge that is batting above .500 on the big decisions. We haven’t seen that in years.

    • St.Chem

      Is that still Lucky Bar? (I have small children and haven’t gotten out much the last couple of seasons, plus the last couple of seasons were a bit depressing.

      • Wiseoldredbeard

        Yes, I speak of Lucky Bar. The guy who runs the official backers here is a jerk and moved the official bar to RFD without a vote. However, there is still a spirited, rogue Browns backers crowd that watches at Lucky. They play the game over the house speakers, so it still counts as a Browns bar in my book. I’m the tall redhead leading the “here we go brownies” chants. If you make it down I’ll buy you a beer.

        • nj0

          I live in Houston and went to the official Browns Backers bar/club a couple times. I found it to be pretty tame and (sorry) boring. Family friendly though, which I guess is good for some. Wish we had a Lucky Bar style place here.

          • acto

            nj0,
            I made one trip to the Browns Backers bar in Austin last year and they could not find the Browns game on their magic dish, so I went next door. As it turned out the people who stayed missed the first half. What bar do they meet at in Houston?

          • nj0

            Lol. At least my experience wasn’t that bad.

            I’m not even sure anymore. Use to be some place by Willowbrook mall. That was two or three years ago.

          • acto

            I worked at Compaq for 5 years when they first started, there were a lot of Cleveland expatriates, we used to meet on 1960 just south of Champions golf course. It cannot still be the same place.
            Willowbrook Mall trivia, the greatest and most dangerous fireworks display ever was best viewed from the Willowbrook Mall parking lot. The WD-40 refinery across FM149, (now FM249), blew up and sent large helium sized canisters of volatile explosives ripping through the air. We sat in the mall parking lot in my pimped out Fleetwood convertible and stayed drunk enough to ignore the fact that we could have been killed at any moment. It seemed to last for hours. GOOD TIMES!! I miss Houston.

          • Nick

            nj0 and acto: I travel to Houston a lot for work. I usually head to Pappa’s seafood or Pappacitos cantina for dinners. Typically I stay on the West side off Katy or SE in League City…got any food recs for me to try!!?

          • acto

            You already said a few of my favorites. The Pappas family does it up right for the Greek Fest too. I have known sundry members of their family and employees since the early 80′s, they certainly care about food. The Pappas Bros Steakhouse is the best of all of their offerings, but it is way down on Westheimer near the Gonorreia, 20 minutes from Katy.

          • nj0

            If you’re talking about the Greek Fest at Annunciation in Montrose, they’re setting up for it as we speak (type).

          • acto

            It has not always been in Montrose, but yes that is the one.
            Greek Fest may carry a different connotation in Montrose. (Trying to be Homofunny, not Homophobic.)
            I kept my house in the Heights, I bought it before gentrification hit the area full force. I may move the renters out and go back to Houston. I paid cash for that house back in the day, it cost less than most people pay for their cars. The best thing about Houston is that there are so many places open 24 hours.
            And the Browns played the Oilers twice every year. The Dome was always a sea of Brown and Orange.

          • nj0

            The Greekfest is still very much Greek in the non-Montrose way.

            Yeah, I wish I was born ten to twenty years earlier so I could have gotten one of those Heights’ homes for a song. Rents are getting out of control there. As a renter, I’m sure you have no problem with that.

          • acto

            A friend I used to work with is living in my house and paying about 20% of market price. I said that would be fine until his youngest son graduates from U of H next year. They have lived there since 1983. I bought that house when I was 19 and I was straight out of the ghetto. They are building a house in Rockport and moving there in July. If you are interested I will cut you a Cheddar bay deal.

          • nj0

            Interesting. I’d have to run it by the missus first, but I know she’d be interested. We just recently moved into a house that sort of fell into our laps so we couldn’t say no, but it’s not in the best neighborhood and it’s not where we’d be if we had our druthers. Where in the heights is it?

          • acto

            There is a great seafood place in Kemah/League City too, but I have forgotten the name. I will remember it and get back to you.
            Please remember though, extended stays and or eating more than once in the League City area will cause birth defects, blurred vision, skin irritation, hemorrhoids, painful urination, brain tumors and erections lasting more than four hours.

          • Nick

            Haha, are you thinking of Landrys? I haven’t been there, but hear that is a good place.

            I stay at the Hilton on NASA parkway right on Clear Lake. It has a killer diamond lounge on the top floor. You can find me there once a month.

          • http://www.clevelandfrowns.com/ Cleveland Frowns

            I hear that Phi Slamma Jamma throws the best parties.

          • acto

            One of my best friends lives about a mile away from there on Not So Clear Lake. Landry’s is alright, but it is just another chain restaurant.
            The place that I cannot remember is owned by an amazingly accommodating and really fun asian family in Kemah. Former boat people, now living the American Dream and doing very well for themselves.
            NASA parkway? You are a Rocket Surgeon, no wonder you are about to kick my ass at Cheddar bay.

          • Nick

            Haha nonsense – I don’t have the work ethic or the brains to be a surgeon of any type. Just a traveling salesman pushing chemicals to the plastic and rubber industry.

            thx for the Steakhouse rec

          • acto

            Nick, Just a sales guy?? Nothing ever happens until somebody sells something.
            I am proud to be a sales guy and I will never accept another title. I have made it a stipulation with my current employer that my cards shall never say “Major Account Executive” or any of the other bullfritter titles, I am a Sales Guy, it says that on my cards and I shall always be a sales guy.
            I moved to Houston in 1980, used a fake ID that said I was much older and I started selling pipe fittings to oil refineries, labs, et cetera. It was the best move I ever made in my life.
            Sell like hell my good man!
            Now I shall be happy for you when you kick my ass at Cheddar!

          • nj0

            Sorry. I’m in the inner loop so don’t really get out to those places. Most of the places I frequent are in the Montrose and the Heights.

          • nj0

            It really is a pretty awesome place once you figure it out.

    • dubbythe1

      Went to my first ever game in Cleveland, in the Dawgpound. It was electric! After the game met up with Frowns at The Map Room and saw the last two innings of the Indians game. The entire city was rockin, but then by 8:30 the entire city was tapped out. We just aren’t used to that much elation toward winning quite yet, let us revisit soon.

  • Chris Mc

    Updated odds to win the AFC North at BetOnline.ag: Bengals -110, Ravens +155, Browns +600, Steelers +1500.

    (from @FSOZJackson)

    • http://www.clevelandfrowns.com/ Cleveland Frowns

      Thanks.

  • Bryan

    Browns RB production in four games this year:

    Game 1: 13 for 47, 3.6 YPC
    Game 2: 18 for 58, 3.2 YPC
    Game 3: 14 for 49, 3.5 YPC
    Game 4: 26 for 82, 3.2 YPC

    T-Rich YPC as a Colt: 33 for 95, 2.9 YPC.

    I love this trade more each week. We literally gave zero incremental production for a 1st round pick. Such a steal.

    • nj0

      Haven’t seen any clips of him in Indy. Does he look the same?

      • Bryan

        I haven’t either. But I did see that he had 20 carries yesterday with a long of 12 and an average of 3 – sounds very familiar.

      • bupalos

        I have. He looks just the same. i mean to get up and x’s and o’s on him as soon as work eases up and the rainbows clouding my eyes clear a bit, but the guy just does not know what an NFL hole is. He passes up plenty of (for him) 6 yard seam opportunities looking for the gaping holes he left in Alabama.

        Someday he will get this and be better, but I don’t think he will ever be better than average.

      • MichaelTheRed

        yeah he looks the same. I really did think we had a stud RB when we drafted him. I thought this guy would “at least” be rushing for 1200 yds for years to come. When he didn’t I thought it was just our o line was that bad. Now they’re good at all mind you, although they did pass block a lot better yesterday. But it isn’t just them. If Bradshaw at this stage of his carreer can get 90 yds against the 9′ers behind that indy line than so should Trent. I don’t like our RB situation I think it’s terrible. But honestly we get another 1st round pick and next season we get Hardesty and Lewis back. Was a really really good move on their part to move him. Just still wish they would have gotten another OLB from Indy in the trade.

        • acto

          “But honestly we get another 1st round pick and next season we get Hardesty and Lewis back.”
          MTR, you do not mean that the Browns should waste yet another high draft pick on a Running Back, do you?
          They could pick up any one of the Buppettes as an undrafted free agent and get just as much production.
          The League has changed!
          They could pick up Hillis, or ten other terrific running backs for free.

          • bupalos

            The buppettes have moves man. Serious moves. They train during games in the rumpus room at Hiram college using student furniture as blocking dummies.

            Serious. Moves.

          • MichaelTheRed

            I absolutey do not think they should use a 1st round pick on a RB unless they used that late round pick from Indy AND the guy had Barry Sanders like potential. And yeah if Thomas wouldn’t cry about it I wouldn’t mind them getting Hillis back. I wanted them to bring Hillis back even when we had Trent cause I wanted Hillis to take on some of that heavy lifting to keep Trent healthy.

        • Steve White

          Hardesty will be long gone. Rumor is that he’s waived as soon as he clears medical.

          • NeedsFoodBadly

            Aaaaaaand Hardesty just got waived.

          • Steve White

            So he cleared medical!

    • acto

      Bryan,
      Very nice observation, I was planning on an injured running back v injured running back comparison. (TRich and McGahee)
      We should all hope that the Browns do not use both of next year’s first round picks to move up one place and select David Glasco II.

    • jpftribe

      Great stats, but the thing that sticks out for me is that Q4 drive was a 6+ minute, clock killing, stick it to you, primarily running drive to clinch the game.

      It has been a long, long time since I have seen one of those successfully executed by the Browns. A long time.

      If this team learns how to play in Q3, it will be a very interesting season. Seems to me they have a strong first half nd come out flat in the second half. They’ve been able to rally in Q4 the last two weeks to win. They could’ve put the game away in Q3 both weeks but let them back in ( which was common place last year as well).

      Will be interesting to see how they come out after halftime next two weeks.

  • Steve White

    Before we get too carried away, since I’m in the Chicago area I had the misfortune of watching the Lions whack the Bears. It was not as close as the score makes it sound; the Bears had a couple late scores in which the Lions clearly loosened up.

    The point: the Lions are not push-overs at this point in the season. Even with the Browns at home, I’d favor the Lions by 2 to 3.

    Nothing wrong with some excitement to be sure. But don’t be angry if the Browns are 3-3, or 2-4, after the next two weeks. The Bills and Lions won’t be easy.

    • bupalos

      Well, we get the bears too, so let a thousand rainbow-flower-ponies bloom.

      But it’s true, as it is every season, that some of the “weak” are actually strong, and vice versa. So not counting any chickens, but just damn glad there is always a chance come sunday (or thurs) with this front.

      How’d Ziggy Ansah look Sun?

  • Nick

    Great win, can’t wait for Thursday night. It really felt like Norv/Chud found the right pass/run balance towards the end of the game.

    The only part I’m not looking forward to Thursday is when the Lumineers start playing in the middle of the 2nd quarter with words to sing along with like this is some great band of Cleveland. Who picked this song and what is its purpose?

    • nj0

      The Lumineers are based in Denver. Somebody has their finger on the pulse of Cleveland.

  • alexb

    1) why did we waive Hardesty?
    2) The Elf is embarrassing. Dear god I want to strangle every single person in the mkting dept that thought that was a good idea. Than I’d play an audio clip of Vince McMahon saying you’re fired. And I don’t want to hear any of this crap about being kid friendly. F THAT!! This is gut damn football. Just when I thought we were starting to build a team that was centered around a nasty nasty defense…..we go and slap an Elf on them? Is the dawgpound gonna be called the Shire now? What the hell Browns. At least don’t make the thing look like something you’d see naturally walking through the Castro in SF on a saturday night.

    • acto

      ab,
      That is not an elf, it is a Brownie, an evil little minion of mayhem, ready to pop up from the turf and trip opposing players, spread Brownie swill in their sports drink and lull the opposing team to sleep in their locker room at halftime.
      Do not doubt the superpowers of our raucous little Brownies.
      The team was named after these spritely, vicious, little turf monsters. They make “Chuckie” look like “Tickle me Elmo”!

      • alexb

        Is it an “EVIL” elf?( said like dr. evil)

        • alexb

          It’s not,lols. If it was I’d be more ok with it.

    • NeedsFoodBadly

      1) Because he’s injury prone. I doubt he’ll ever have a full season.

      2) The Brownie rules, and get outta here with that homophobic garbage.

      • Wiseoldredbeard

        If for no other reason, everyone should love the Brownie just because Modell hated it so much that he got rid of it. That little minion’s return haunting the spirit of Modell, what’s not to like? Add on that the Brownie was last used when our Browns were a super-power, and there is no reason not to love it.

        For those who want to know more, a little history thanks to our friend Vince. http://www.clevescene.com/64-and-counting/archives/2009/11/18/a-little-history-of-brownie-the-elf

        • alexb

          we were a superpower cause of a man named Jim Brown, not an elf mascot.

        • NeedsFoodBadly

          Art Modell and Steelers fans hating the Brownie makes me like it even more. People against it are clearly aligning themselves with the forces of hatred and evil.

          Woe unto them.

          • alexb

            Dude they don’t hate the brownie. They’re just fine with it, they hope we keep it forever. I’m dead serious. It’s going to be a source of amusement for them for years to come. During this downswing they’re going to experience, they’re going to hang their hats on two things….beating us at least once a season and making fun of our mascot. Did you see the awful “knock knock” joke from Brownie thats going around the internet? Yeah it didn’t land, they’re laughing hysterically in Pgh.

          • NeedsFoodBadly

            Let them laugh. They root for a rapist and haven’t won a game yet.

            It’s profoundly amusing to me that you, who are so obsessed with masculinity, are so sensitive to someone making fun of a cartoon. Cleveland gets made fun of for so many things (river fires! serial killers! economic apocalypse!) that we all should’ve developed a pretty tough skin by now.

            A true sign of toughness would be not worrying about how we look or what others think about us. Not fretting over a logo. It should be irrelevant to you. Tell your mouthbreathing Pittsburgh relatives off for being image-conscious and then proceed to care no further. End of story.

          • alexb

            jesus i’m not obsessed with masculinity. . It looks like something drawn up from a kids fairy tale.

          • NeedsFoodBadly

            You say the Brownie is effete aaaaaaand later on you say if I like the Brownie, I must be culturally emasculated. Sure you’re not obsessed with masculinity. Sure. That’s why you bring up issues of masculinity CONSTANTLY as a measure of whether something is good or not.

            Also, it’s a brownie. An elf. It IS something drawn up from a fairy tale.

      • alexb

        oh for gods sake cause I called him an effete little cnt? ffs people that’s not “homophobic”. I have it on good authority they’re already laughing over the brownie in Pgh, and by good authority I’m talking about family that have been txting me. I won’t relay the language they used if my prior post got deleted. It’s laughing stock material. I WILL have the last laugh on them when we sweep the season series….however, it’s just a new way they can and will make fun of us for.

        • Wiseoldredbeard

          I for one agree that we should alter our behavior just because people in another state send us text messages making fun of us. Actually, that should be the sole guiding principal for how we act at all times. OR, we can do what we want and not give a sh*t about other people calling us names. Now that I think about it, I prefer the second option.

          • MichaelTheRed

            It’s a terrible mascot. It was clowned on back in the day and will be clowned on again. Back then though players were different. These days when players are “vastly” more image conscience then they were back when I grew up, it could absolutely make some players sign for slightly less with another team. Of course the mascot isn’t “everything”, if the browns start going on a super bowl tear than players might overlook the slightly less than masculine face of the team. But all things being equal it will be taken into account don’t fool yourself.

          • nj0

            Think this is one of the more ridiculous, homophobic things I’ve read in a while.

          • acto

            WORB, you are completely incorrect on both, we should all do what the cool kids are doing.

      • MichaelTheRed

        I may be dating myself here but I’m old enough to remember the Brownie in our “glory” days. Never liked that thing. Terrible. I was glad when Modell got rid of it. I’ve been getting clowned about his return from family that aren’t even in the North. I mean maybe if they drew it differently I don’t know…..I just know it looks awfully….well, i’ll just leave it there. It’s not a bad mascot for the kids but for gods sake keep it off our apparel or I will simply not be buying browns merchandise. Under no circumstances.

    • bupalos

      The elf in theory kicks ass. I think it’s 10 times more intimidating than some lion or tiger or bulldog or something like that. Imagine a qb on the ground having been spun around by Mingo, blasted into next week by sheard, and then squnched and sat on by Talyor, peering through the grass, mud, and haze to see this grinning croft super-puppet thing thing taunting him.

      Now the execution of the actual instantiation can be questioned. It looks a little like something put together on the fly in a dorm room, and the hair needs work for sure. But in theory….

      • MichaelTheRed

        I’m not big on mascots I really don’t care, it just shouldn’t be “that” bad that it’s a target for mockery. It was lightly clowned on back in the day when I was growing up, now…I think it’s going to get tore up. It’s a different culture now. You have to admit it is somewhat incongruous with our new chain gang defense, don’t you think? We’re finally building something that makes people say “shit we have to play Cleveland?”. The other AFC north teams have been enjoying that mystique for a long time now, I don’t want to see anything that could possibly undermine that even slightly.

        • NeedsFoodBadly

          LOL any player that wouldn’t come here because of a goofy mascot I wouldn’t want playing for the Browns.

          Also, that would never happen, because guess what? All mascots look goofy. Doesn’t matter if they’re an elf, a steelworker, a dog or whatever the hell Slider is.

          Mascots meant to be goofy fun, they’re definitely meant for the kids, and the Brownie has absolutely nothing to do with our defense. Have you ever actually SEEN an intimidating mascot? Is that a thing that exists? Excepting the Fort Wayne Mad Ant, of course.

          • MichaelTheRed

            of course when the thing rolls out onto the field it’s gonna look goofy. In fact, Brownie is probably the only mascot that looks better irl than on the merchandise. But only slightly. The elf just isn’t cool. And you can say you wouldn’t want those players playing for the Browns but guess what, that’s how these kids are these days “IF” they’ve got competing value in their offers. How long have the raiders sucked all kinds but yet most kids coming out of college are at least “ok” with playing for them? I read awhile back an article about team perception amongst a draft class and a lot of them said while some of the teams were terrible, like the raiders, they wouldn’t mind playing for them because of the team brand

          • NeedsFoodBadly

            So you haven’t seen the new Raiders mascot, then?

            http://www.raiders.com/assets/images/imported/OAK/photos/2013/September/092613-rusher-story2.jpg

            And kids these days actually love wearing goofy stuff, rather than ToTALLY XXXTREEME faux-hardass gear.

            It’s all moot, anyways, because guess what? Rookies will play for the team that drafted them. Veterans will play for money and winning. Anything else, such as cheerleaders, team colors, and/or mascots, are entirely irrelevant.

          • Wiseoldredbeard

            I had forgotten about that mascot. Thanks for the laugh. His silver shoes are so freaking masculine. No wonder every rookie wants to play for them.

          • nj0

            Think those are technically clogs. Very badass.

          • alexb

            http://www.sportsgeekery.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/raiders-wp-2-1920.jpg

            “THIS” is what’s on the Raiders uni’s. I don’t care what mascot they roll out onto the field, they all look like the ridiculous caricatures they’re “SUPPOSED” to be. It’s more for the kids than anyone else. I previously stated that I don’t care about Brownie rolling out at halftime and goofing off with kids. What goes on the uni’s and the merchandise however is a different story. And if you’re gonna compare our elf with their pirate you’re on hallucinogenic compounds. “KIDS” love wearing goofy stuff, not grown ups. The dog emblems were not “ToTALLY XXXTREEME faux-hardass gear.” That’s a proper football emblem. If you’d rather have the elf, as it’s currently drawn at least, on your merchandise than you’ve been culturally emasculated somehow.

          • bupalos

            Wait, if you prefer the trickster-god elf to that “confirmed batchelor” with the eyepatch and bonnet you must be “culturally emasculated??!” This is insane. I’m guessing you probably consider the flea flicker a “gay” play?

            Wait, were you the one bitching about the Browns win not being really real because they were “relying on trick plays?”

            There’s nothing more pusillanimous to me than trying too hard to look tough.

          • nj0

            Good to see we’re getting closer to the crux of the issue: “The Brownie is gay. If you like him and not something more masculine (like a big, snarling, growling dog! [sorry, dawg!]) then you too are somewhat gay. Putting the Brownie on Cleveland Browns merchandise makes the team, players, and fans open to possibly being gay too!!! Since being gay is being weak and weakness is bad, this cannot stand.”

          • nj0

            I also need to point out that the Brownie, which apparently is a sign of cultural emasculation, came about in 1946. Because those World War II vets weren’t a very masculine lot.

          • nj0

            So you’re saying in the very unlikely case that a player got the exact same offer from Cleveland and another team, mascot very well could be the deciding factor?

            Rather than, say, state income tax, weather, housing prices, nightlife, distance from home, team facilities, coaching staff, offensive/defensive philosophy, fan support, area schools, size of the city, traffic, relationships with players on the roster, relationship with coaches on staff, uniform colors, team history, team record, ownership, etc. Think I’m willing to take that chance.

          • dubbythe1

            Browns should adopt some affliction stenciling into their unis, sponsored by tapout.

          • nj0

            Only non-collegiate mascots that don’t suck:

            The Phoenix Suns Gorilla
            The Seattle Supersonics Sasquatch
            The San Diego Chicken

          • NeedsFoodBadly

            Never seen the Sasquatch before. Amazing.

            Th Supersonics really need to come back.

      • nj0

        The Brownie needs to be a Bugs Bunny/Woody Woodpecker-esque trickster-god who instigates malicious pranks on our foes. That said, a grown man walking around in a brownie costume, no matter how good of a costume it might be, will always be kind of lame.

  • Nahganna

    If a Shurmur-coached Browns team had lost a game to the same Bengals offense, is there any chance at all you say they lost to a team with a “LOADED offense?” It’s a great time to be a Cleveland fan, but no point in inventing facts or shifting your arguments.

    Is it at all possible for an offense to be loaded with Andy Dalton leading the charge along with a sketchy O-Line?

    • jpftribe

      This is a somewhat fair comment. The bungles are definitely loaded on offense, except at QB. Dalton is great at reading defenses, truly very good, but lacks accuracy. He goes to the right places with the ball, but makes a lot of mistakes on putting it in a position for his receivers to make a play.

      Having said that, the Browns secondary made a lot of plays on the ball and broke up some really key receptions. They took a lot away from Cincinnati.

      Truly elite QB’s will destroy this defense. LB coverage is poor, Owens is terrible, Skrine can be exploited and our safeties are marginal. But they will only have 3.5 seconds to exploit it because the front is really tough.

      Very hard to compare with Shurmurball, completely different style of play.

      • Nahganna

        The Bengals have an elite WR1, a couple of good TEs (not approaching elite), a solid rookie RB, and an aging plodder. The line is *maybe* average, and the WR2 and WR3 are *maybe* average.

        • MichaelTheRed

          Gresham and Eifert are more than just “good”. I was shocked that Dalton didn’t get them ball more than he did. I don’t how we did it, how we covered AJ Green and those two TE’s. An x’s and o’s on this would be pretty cool. I had zero hope that we could stop all 3 of those guys, no way.

          • Nahganna

            “Good” is good. Good is not bad. I’m not underselling them.

            If Jimmy Graham and Gronk are 10/10 great/elite, and Vernon Davis/Tony Gonzalez are 9/10, then what are Gresham and Eifer?

            7/10 or 8/10?

            That’s good.

          • MichaelTheRed

            Oh if either of those two was in NO and had Brees throwing to them? If both of them were in NO? omg

      • bupalos

        Totally agree. This d is predicated, as they said, on degrading the opponent’s QB play by getting to him. This works better with marginal QB’s.

        That said, I thought AD was exactly the type of sortof-good QB that might be a problem, making reads and throwing it up, especially with Green to go up and get it. They played conservative. I think they were expecting to completely shut down our O and not give the defense any openings to score. They didn’t realize Hoyer the Destroyer had other plans.

        But yeah, linebacker coverage has been really scary at times and while Owens looked to play better each of the last two weeks, he was super incredibad before that. Like “he must be injured” bad.

    • http://www.clevelandfrowns.com/ Cleveland Frowns

      A Shurmur-coached Browns team never held the Bengals to fewer than 23 points, let alone 6, so it’s never really been an issue. Anyway, an offense that runs out A.J. Green, Jermaine Gresham and Tyler Eifert as targets is loaded by definition. The offensive line has perennial All Pro Whitworth and two more first rounders, and right or wrong I’ve always been high on Andy Dalton here. None of Cincy’s previous opponents this season had held them to fewer than 20 points. When the Shurmurball D created some turnovers to beat them last year despite being outgained by 100 yards, I explicitly gave them credit for it. You can rest easy about shifting arguments.

      • Bryan

        Adding to this: The Bengals averaged 25 points a game in their first 3, and scored 6 against us. The averaged 348 yards per game and had 266 against us. So we did do a good job against them relative to their standards.

        I agree that the Bengals are not an elite offense. But they are solid and productive and we shut them down.

        • Nahganna

          The advanced stats at Football Outsiders have them as the #13 offense, and that normalizes for opponent.

          So yeah “solid and productive” is about right. Certainly not loaded.

          • oxr

            I don’t think they’ve started adjusting for opponent yet, but they will soon. I would expect the Browns to ultimately get a boost to their rating from shutting the Bengals O down so effectively.

          • http://www.clevelandfrowns.com/ Cleveland Frowns

            The Bengals are loaded with talent on offense. What they get out of that talent is a different issue, though that FBO rating had to have been significantly higher than #13 before the Browns game. The Browns completely shut down a good offense that’s loaded with talent, and invented facts and shifting arguments aren’t at issue here. Thanks for keeping an eye out, though.

          • oxr

            This week’s DVOA ratings are up, and it’s the first week that the “D” applies (adjustments made for schedule, fumble luck, etc). The Bengals offense is ranked 20th and the Browns defense is ranked 8th.

            (Last week, without adjustments, the Bengals offense was actually ranked 11th (the defense was 13th) and the Browns defense was ranked 9th. There’s probably not much of a penalty for getting beaten by a top-ten unit, so their system probably also thinks the Bengals have played worse defenses and/or gotten a bit lucky.)

          • bupalos

            Seems a little early to be using “adjusted” figures to me. But I think it’s reasonable based on personell to say that the Bengals offense is going to be in the upper half of the league at least.

          • oxr

            Yeah, they ease the opponent adjustments in so as not to overreact to the early games. At the moment the adjustments are at 40% strength and that will increase by 10% per week for six weeks. The drop in the Bengals’ offensive rating (and not just ordinally – they’ve gone from above average to below average) is actually pretty striking.

      • acto

        Frownie, you know I love you and I admire your restraint. Our friend ab wants to change the wrong mascot and you are not pulling out the heavy artillery.
        No one will fault you if you throw in a couple of hundred words on this subject.

  • alexb
    • alexb

      ^^That is the Cleveland Browns mascot. You can make variations of that, fine. But the dawgpound is Cleveland.

      • alexb

        http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y235/KlayElko/LOGO.jpg
        This is what a browns fan came up with. But yeah the elf is way cooler.

        • MichaelTheRed

          wow, I wonder if they even bothered getting player input? I guarantee if you showed the team the above picture they’d go for that over the elf.

          • Wiseoldredbeard

            It is clear to me that you two should get Dawgpound Mike involved and protest the Brownie by not sitting in your seats this Thursday until the opening kickoff. That will show these front office types that don’t understand good marketing how serious you are!

          • MichaelTheRed

            haha, I wish I could get to the game. I’m not gonna let the return of brownie diminish my enthusiasm for the new build though. I like where they’re going. Would have been nice to have a team mystique built up around a different image but whatever, they win they win…that’s all that matters.

        • NeedsFoodBadly

          Which Hoobastank album is your favorite, and what percentage of your wardrobe consists of Ed Hardy shirts? Is it 25, 50 or 75 percent?

          • nj0

            Seriously brah, that ain’t cool.

          • alexb

            I don’t understand the hoobastank reference, I know the name of the band obviously but I wouldn’t know I was listening to their music if I was, well, listening to their music. 2nd, I had to google Ed Hardy shirts cause I never heard of them. Also don’t get the reference, looks like a bunch of overpriced skull and bones tshirts that you’d find on any given weekend in the Jersey shore.

          • acto

            ab and NFB,
            I have a closet full of Andy Hardy shirts, although in a much larger size.
            You can make fun of me if you like.
            I know very little about hoobastank, but Stinky was my nickname in elementary school.

      • nj0

        I find your statement spurious.

        Brownie = 1946
        Dawgs = 1985

        • alexb

          I wasn’t alive back then so I have no idea how you can consider the dawgpound statement “spurious”. I was born not too long before 85 but I was watching my browns football starting right around 85. My uncle introduced me to Cleveland football with a jersey that had the dawg on it. I don’t care what we were doing in 1946. The Elf stinks, period. And I’m not some guy that wants a dog with body parts sticking out of it’s mouth, unless they can clearly be seen to have been wearing Steelers merchandise….or some guy in a hockey mask all bloody and holding a chainsaw. I don’t want something over the top and grotesque. But again, the elf is terrible. I really hope they offer merchandise sans the elf or I’m not getting that 99,92 or 51 jersey I was wanting to. No way.

          • NeedsFoodBadly

            You do know that they’re not putting the brownie on the jerseys and that they’ve been putting it on t-shirts for over a decade now, right?

          • nj0

            You stated that “this” (the dog) is the Cleveland Browns mascot. Since there is a Brownie walking around on the sidelines, one that predates the dog by 40 years, I find your comment factually incorrect.

            That you feel so passionately about this is ridiculous imo. The dog imagery isn’t going anywhere. You enjoy that, we’ll enjoy the Brownie. Don’t see why you need to take your ball and go home because different people enjoy things in different ways.

            And lets shoot straight- the real issue is that the Brownie gives Steeler fans the chance to call Browns fans gay or fairies or pass along some other homophobic scarlet letter. That is childish to me and a lot of other people.

          • Believelander

            Hey, you’re certainly entitled to the opinion that the elf is terrible, as long as you understand that you are in the minority that thinks that way.

            Brownie is a much more contextual mascot for the Browns; the Dawg thing is a product of the 80s Browns players. A Brownie is a mythical creature; Dawgs are not brownies, though they may leave them on the treelawn.

  • cell phone directory

    Nice …I enjoyed while reading it!

  • bupalos
  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I1kbBmlAvdI PML

    Welp, that was fast.

    • jamick6000

      i feel like i have the flu.

  • thebearchoo

    Terrible game to watch (atmosphere was awesome for the first half of the game or so) on all fronts, but Asdrubal is the absolute worst. But hey, it’s only five months or so til he can show up in Goodyear out of shape, make a barehanded play that every other SS in the league makes and win the hearts back. I’d take Jhonny back for less money any day.
    But that’s not to take anything away from our other big bats who went silent. It really got me thinking, but outside of April, I really can’t think of a time all season when Bourn, Swish, ACab or even Kipnis came through in a really high leverage situation. Swish’s last AB and all of Bourn’s were cringeworthy.
    Great season, just frustrating to check out like that. Go Browns

    • bupalos

      It was frustrating. It would have been really awesome to remind the city what an actual playoff series is like. Doesn’t really feel any better that if you ran the numbers for that game randomly back in 100 times, the Tribe would win at least 70 of them. Their hits just came in the right places, ours emphatically didn’t.

      I’ve been of a mind all year that these big acquisitions (including Francona) had very little impact on our success. It’s almost all the maturation of the youngsters and a couple out-of-the-blue surprises (Salazar and Gomes especially.) Bourn and Swisher were total 0′s in that game, but they’ve barely been assets all year. And as for Francona, without looking at the numbers, I think the situational production has been really sub-par. It’s a team with a lot going for it next year, I just hope the FO doesn’t read their own press.

      • jamick6000

        I agree that young guys like Gomes were very/most important, but wouldn’t diminish the new guys. Rayburn/Swisher/Bourn were 4, 5, 6 in WAR for us this year.

      • nj0

        I think you’re a little harsh on Swish and Bourn, but do agree that it’s been the under-the-radar acquisitions and the in-house talent progressing that made the real difference this year.

        And I think the FO has been around here long enough to not let success go to their heads.

      • jpftribe

        I don’t think you can under estimate hiring Francona. I never understood hiring Acta. May be a great guy, but never won anything and never even played in the majors. He did not manage the pitching staff well and his teams fell apart easily and never recovered.

        I’d concede Kasmir as a lucky pickup, but Ubaldo came around big time under this staff. Likewise, I can’t imagine the Perez dumpster fire under Acta. Francona managed that pretty masterfully. Also like what they did with Masterson. I thought when he got hurt it was over.

        The Giambi thing is a little overdone, but his PH walk off down the stretch was epic.

    • jamick6000

      really? i thought it was a good game. frustrating, but two good teams playing

  • nj0

    If this is wrong, then Chief Wahoo is wrong. If Chief Wahoo is right, then this is okay.

    http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/cleveland-indians-red-face-fans-accused-of-racism-100213

    • Believelander

      They’re certainly indirectly supporting the racist cartoon, but most people don’t think about the racism of the Chief Wahoo logo. So while you can’t control what people write on their face, you can certainly make a statement as an organization by no longer publicly distributing that racist imagery to a national audience.

      • nj0

        I think it really illustrates the issue. I’m guessing that a lot of people who think Yahoo is okay also recoil at the sight of people in red face. If one is in poor taste, then the other is too.

        • Believelander

          That’s a probably fair assessment of the reality of the psychological compartmentalization that goes into a whole lot of the hypocritical justification common amongst people.

          And it’s one of the biggest barriers we need to push through – peoples’ affection for Chief Wahoo as a representative image of something they care about making them justify around the objective racism of its imagery.

          • nj0

            One of the rationalizations I’ve heard is that Wahoo does not equal a real person. Seeing Wahoo as someone in the flesh kind of destroys that argument and, as you say, the compartmentalization that goes on.

            Also, I just realized that I use Wahoo and Yahoo interchangeable when discussing the Chief. I’m okay with that.

          • Believelander

            Well Yahoo is terrible anyway, so we may as well just lump it in.

        • NeedsFoodBadly

          mmmm. I would actually bet that people who are okay with Wahoo don’t understand why redface (possibly even blackface) is wrong.

  • Believelander

    Can we go sign Josh Freeman? He’s got at least all of the talent that Weeden does, more NFL experience, and he’s like 13 years younger and available at prospector prices.

    • NeedsFoodBadly

      What does he bring to the table? (This is not a sarcastic question).

      I’ll leave it to QB gurus smarter than me to weight it out, but it seems like Hoyer is doing good work. Would it be worth it to replace him with Freeman, who I believe was one of the statistically worst starting QBs over the first 4 games? Is it worth gambling whether that’s him being bad due to being disgruntled/Schiano or due to him losing stuff?

      • Believelander

        Sometimes the opposition adjusts to people, and they can’t adjust themselves to keep up. So maybe Freeman’s first two seasons were a phantom showing, but he’s certainly got size, arm strength, and athletic ability, as well as a few pretty good campaigns as a rookie and sophomore to make you think there might be more under the surface.

        Meanwhile I find it, let’s say, CONSPICUOUS, that Freeman’s performance dropped off when a new coach with a new system and an extreme attitude (even amongst football coaches) rolls into town, one who does things HIS WAY (like get HIS QUARTERBACK in the draft). Also, the latest ‘leak’ about his ‘drug’ issue had to do with a medication switch for a prescription that should never have become public knowledge under basic confidentiality rights.

        Of course, according to Greg Schiano, Greg Schiano had nothing to do with that.

        Tampa Bay has been a pretty inept and toxic franchise, and Schiano is a toxic personality. Considering new franchise cornerstone Darelle Revis made it all of two games into his Bucs’ career before he had harsh comments about his coach, I’m inclined to believe that Josh Freeman’s troubles were, at least in part, not his fault, and that a change of environment might do him wonders.

        All that said, I’m pretty sure Freeman will sign somewhere where he’ll be able to be the starter right away, and even as much as Brian Hoyer is probably nothing more than a journeyman, it wouldn’t look good to the rest of the club to bring him in and guarantee him the guy’s job when Hoyer has been playing well.

      • Believelander

        Oh, also, my thinking was largely based on the fact that Freeman is, on paper, a pretty much across the board upgrade over Weeden.

  • Believelander

    Okay, now that crisp, relatively efficient Brian Hoyer just made a brilliant scramble and looks to have blown up his leg, can we sign Josh Freeman? Ugh.

  • cell phone directory

    Sounds Good but does he have a better arm comparatively to his brother?

    No doubt he is most smart to his family but still!

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