POSTON: Mayfield shines, defense blows any chance of Browns winning

ERIC POSTON

Complain all you want about the officials, they didn’t lose the Browns the game though.

The Browns failed to win back-to-back games, something they haven’t done since 2014 as the Oakland Raiders beat the Browns 45-42 in overtime.

There is no doubt the officials blew some calls, especially where they marked the ball on a critical play wrong late in the fourth quarter turning a first down into fourth down.

The officials weren’t the reason behind losing the game though, the defense was.

The defense gave up over 565 yards of offense to Oakland.

Bad?

Really bad.

Overall, the defense started out well, but when it mattered most, they failed. They couldn’t stop anyone from the fourth quarter on. This trend is nothing new as the defense hasn’t delivered at key times at all this season and much of it is a result of why the Browns have lost so many close games.

It wasn’t just the defense that struggled. Coach Hue Jackson and his staff had another pathetic coaching performance. How pathetic was it?

Quarterback Baker Mayfield was throwing on first down, up 14 points from the Browns 11 yard line. Poor play call? No doubt. Play calling was once again questionable at many critical points in the game.

A well-coached team would be 4-0 right now, not 1-2-1.

The list of problems sure wasn’t short as the receivers couldn’t catch what Mayfield threw their way. Special teams also blew many critical plays yet again. Eight penalties also put a damper on any hope of the Browns winning, an issue they cannot seem to correct.

The highlight of the day was no doubt Mayfield. He finished 21 of 41 for 295 yards with two touchdowns and four turnovers. The four turnovers were costly and were rookie mistakes that shouldn’t be held against him. He can learn from them though, there is no doubt.

So where do the Browns go from here?

Things sure won’t get easier because the schedule is about to get tougher. The fact the Browns couldn’t beat the winless Raiders, is pathetic. Shoot the Browns barely got past the New York Jets.

Next for the Browns will be the Baltimore Ravens and then the Los Angeles Chargers.

The Browns have a quarterback there is no doubt about that, but the rest of the team has much to improve on. Losing another close game is nothing new for the Browns and it shows they don’t have what it takes to win in a critical situation.The Browns were up 14 at one point and then up eight late in the fourth quarter.

If some changes and improvements don’t happen, this is going to be a long season.

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Contact Eric Poston at postoneric09@gmail.com