Never let it be said that I bury the lead! So many things to talk about regarding the Cleveland Browns vs the New York Jets Thursday night game but I figured I’d start with the most important fact of all – BROWNS WIN!
635 days since their last victory. 1,413 days since their last win on a Thursday night. 30 quarterbacks since their return in 1999. Three games into the season and they’ve scored 21 points in all of them. These are just a few of the fun and crazy and sometimes heartbreaking numbers that belong to the Browns.
Hopefully, one of those numbers – 30 QBs – will be held for the next 10+ years. Due to an injury to Tyrod Taylor, fans finally got to see the number one pick from the draft, Baker Mayfield, and they were not disappointed.
For the second week in a row, the Cleveland Browns put up a great fight but came away empty, largely due to problems with the kicking game. After settling for a tie in week one vs the Pittsburgh Steelers, they tried to get that first win in two years down in New Orleans.
Placekicker Zane Gonzalez really struggled, missing two extra points and a field goal to the left, then missed a chance to tie things up with a field goal attempt that went way right.
The offense, while not spectacular, did enough to win but you can’t leave eight points off the board when you are facing a great opponent. Even the defense recovering fumbles by wide receivers Michael Thomas and Ted Ginn Jr. wasn’t enough to keep the Browns ahead on the scoreboard. They’ve won the turnover battle the last two weeks, but the offense has only come away with 10 points as a result.
Quarterback Tyrod Taylor played an adequate game, and while fans were clamoring to give rookie Baker Mayfield a shot, Taylor managed an amazing deep pass to rookie wide receiver Antonio Callaway for a 47-yard touchdown that could give them the lead, if they had managed to get the extra point. All for naught…
While everyone knows that the Cleveland Browns finished a dismal 0-16 last year, few fans remember that they went an undefeated 4-0 in the preseason.
Does the preseason matter? Not really. But there are still important lessons to be learned, schemes to master and starting position battles being fought.
Preseason Week 1, the Browns traveled to New Jersey to face the New York Giants and their rookie running back Saquon Barkley. The game began with a couple solid series’ and seven points from veteran quarterback Tyrod Taylor.
After trading with Buffalo to acquire Taylor in the offseason, Browns Head Coach Hue Jackson told everyone he would be the Starting QB for this year. And then Baker Mayfield was drafted #1 in April and the speculation began.
Did the three-quarters Mayfield played meet fans expectations? Is there a QB Controversy AGAIN in Cleveland? You make the call.
For the Bills, finding a franchise quarterback has been as epic a quest as the one for the Holy Grail. Since QB Jim Kellyretired in 1996, eleven different players have been at the position for Buffalo. That means, except for Drew Bledsoe (three seasons) and Ryan Fitzpatrick (four seasons), Bills’ starting QBs have lasted no more than one or two seasons each.
And the quest continues. Despite leading the team to the playoffs for the first time in seventeen years, current QB Tyrod Taylor is no lock to be the starter next season.Many NFL analysts believe the Bills will be looking to replace Taylor either through free agency or the draft.
In a strange set of occurrences, this writer was at the Jacksonville Jaguars vs Buffalo Bills playoff game. One hour before kickoff, a friend walked into my house waving tickets that her customer just gave her because she decided not to go.
The mad dash we embarked on was one that would’ve won the Great Race. Sometimes everything goes your way, from green lights to little traffic to finding the perfect parking spot because one person inexplicably left. We watched the first three drives on my phone as we walked from the car, and up the ramps. In one hour and ten minutes, we got dogs out, two females change (including make-up), stopped for cash and drove 23 miles. It was worth it!
I’m sure the Bills Mafia will be out in full force based on how quickly the seats sold out. They are ending their own playoff drought and are overwhelmingly and understandably excited about this game. However, Jacksonville is pretty stoked as well. It’s going to be a loud game. Believe it or not, Jaguar fans have caused delay of game calls due to the noise. Two of my sons will be there, as long-suffering fans who’ve been to a lot losing games, they’re beyond excited. And they’re raucous like their mama!
Along with the turkeys, Christmas lights, and the shopping frenzy of late November/early December comes another seasonal hallmark: the posting of the NFL playoff rankings during the televised broadcasts.
You have your three columns: Division Leaders, Wild Card, and, the ever-hopeful, “In the Hunt.” Over the last 17 years, the Bills have become such regular members of the “In the Hunt” club, the players should be issued camo and a tree stand along with their helmets and pads.
Head Coach Sean McDermott stunned everyone at his morning press conference announcing he was making a change at quarterback, benching quarterback Tyrod Taylor for rookie Nathan Peterman. McDermott said it’s about “becoming a better team.”
There has been a lot of wheeling and dealing this week! The San Francisco 49ers have a new quarterback in Jimmy Garrapolo, running back Jay Ajayi is now with the Philadelphia Eagles and wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin is now with the Buffalo Bills! For some teams, this bye week is a welcome time of rest and rejuvenation.
Now there are six teams on a bye deserving some much needed rest: Chicago Bears, Cleveland Browns, Los Angeles Chargers, Minnesota Vikings, New England Patriots and the Pittsburgh Steelers.