I’ve been a Browns fan my entire life, so let’s see how this season goes…
635 days and we stop the clock. The Jets were up 14-3 at halftime and the Browns starting quarterback had just gone down with a concussion. But then the rookie, who I’ve been nervous to see all season, despite his talents, came in and played like a pro. 2 rushing touchdowns and a little bit of nail biting later, the Browns are sitting at 1-1-1.
The only thing I have to say is “bad” is that as a franchise this is nothing new. Since 1999 the Browns have started 29 different quarterbacks and obviously not all of them had bad debuts. Jeff Garcia won the season opener in 1999, Colt McCoy’s technical first start was a 13 point victory over the defending champ New Orleans Saints, Brian Hoyer tossed 3 touchdowns in his debut defeating the Minnesota Vikings. Okay so like 20-25 of them are awful debuts but there are a few good. The Browns have also had a plethora of dazzling rookie quarterbacks they’ve slaughtered the careers of in the past: Tim Couch, Charlie Frye, Brady Quinn, Colt McCoy, Brandon Weeden, Johnny Manziel, Cody Kessler, and DeShone Kizer were all QBs taken in the first 3 rounds of the draft. So far the only one who has lasted longer than 5 years in the NFL, not just for the Browns but the whole league, is Colt McCoy who has been riding the pine for the last 6 of his 8 years as a pro. Every year that the Browns have drafted a hot shot QB they say the same thing, “Well, *insert poor soul who just got drafted for this team’s name here*, isn’t going to start the season-opener and probably not at all this season. We’re going to give *re-insert that poor bastard’s name again here* time to develop as an NFL QB so they can be our guy of the future.” Then every year the random garbage can signed deep into his career that the Browns are calling their starter plays 2 or 3 games and gets injured and is never seen again. Then either the rookie or a 2 year pro they signed from someone else’s practice squad goes in and gets obliterated, but the end game is always the same. The rookie always gets thrashed for a few games and then packs their bags and thus ends their life as an NFL starter. Now, I just put something like 300 words into saying this won’t work, but that doesn’t mean it won’t work. Baker played good, he looked good, as long as he stays healthy things might finally turn around for the Dawg Pound. I just really don’t want to see Baker play 2 or 3 games like a champ and then get hurt and the Browns start back at square one.
The Browns win:
The New York Jets aren’t fielding their best team this year, they won their opener but just watched a rookie QB toss for 200 yards in just the 2nd half. They blitzed Tyrod Taylor’s ass off, but then sat back and eased the pressure on a rookie making his debut. That’s bad coaching not bad playing, their team might be better than this loss makes them look. Their record falls to 1-2 with a rookie QB of their own, but Darnold is doing everything he can with the lineup he was given. As a Browns fan I can certainly find sympathy for them. (Another rookie QB led his Buffalo Bills to a 27-6 victory over a possibly overhyped Minnesota Vikings this weekend)
The Browns roll into Oakland to face the struggling Raiders. At 0-3 with a coach just starting his 10-year $100 million contract already on the hot-seat, things are not looking good for the Raiders. Derek Carr is playing decent, I adore Marshawn Lynch, Jordy Nelson and Jalen Richard are forming a promising receiving duo, the defense looks decent, and Mike Nugent is much better than some of the kickers we’ve seen attempt the goal posts this season, but they’re winless. The Raiders are projected to win but with the season they’ve had and the possibility the Browns just hit the QB lottery it’s hard to foresee how this game will go.
Last week’s edition: Die-Hard Cleveland Browns Fan Analysis: Week 2 ’18-’19