OPINION: Browns go back to old ways

Jake Adams headshot

Jake Adams

The Baker Mayfield era kicked off in Oakland, and the Browns were tested by a Raiders team looking for their first win.

The Browns offense was slow to begin the game. A three-and-out and an interception taken to the end zone was not what Mayfield believers were hoping for.

Mayfield put his arm around wide receiver Antonio Callaway, who the ball took a deflection off of, and said “we’ll bounce back.” Mayfield’s arm strength was on display as he barely missed a 65-yard pass to Callaway. His running ability was also on display, as he rushed on a fourth down to get a crucial first down. However, some questionable play calling led to only a field goal from the drive. 

Another Browns’ rookie impressed, as tailback Nick Chubb ran 63 yards for a touchdown. The Browns went for a two point conversion and failed, another questionable play call. I say this considering they should know every point is valuable after the Saints game.

They did redeem themselves on the next two point conversion as Duke Johnson, Jr. won the race to the pylon. This was after a nice throw and catch to veteran tight end, Darren Fells.

The Browns defense responded well to the offense giving up a touchdown, but they did allow a Amari Cooper to reach the endzone before the half ended. They also had an interception right before halftime as the Raiders were looking to get a field goal. The Browns led 17-14 at halftime.

After the half, the Browns’ offense moved right down the field, but again had to settle for a field goal. Points are points, but you would like the Browns to be able to find endzone on their redzone trips.

The Browns had another crucial interception and set up the offense in scoring position. After a pass interference call on Jarvis Landry, the Browns were inside the ten yard line and primed to extend their lead. Mayfield then floated a ball to Landry, who made a phenomenal catch. Johnson had another two point conversion after Hue Jackson challenged the spot and won.

Mayfield had a costly fumble for the second straight game, and put the Raiders in a scoring position. The Browns defense could not stop the Raiders and they cut the lead to 28-21.

The Browns defense again were tested as the Raiders were looking to tie the game, but they held strong only allowed a field goal. However, Mayfield had a fumbled snap, and the Raiders took the lead with a rifle pass from Derek Carr to Jordy Nelson.

Per usual, the Browns do not like to make things easy. They had a two possession lead but squandered it, and now the offense had to get the ball moving. It was a tale of two halves for the unit. First half, it looked like they could score fifty points: second half, it was turnovers and punts.

Mayfield finally got to reconnect with Callaway; a 59-yard catch that brought them down to the one yard line. Carlos Hyde would punch it in and the extra point would give them a 35-34 lead.

Chubb bursted for a 41-yard touchdown, the rookie got to show his explosiveness.

A very questionable overturned first down left Cleveland fans with cardiac problems. A moment where many thought offense wrapped up the game, was actually wrong. The defense once again had to hold the lead.

The Raiders brought the ball into the red zone and flashbacks of previous blown leads began to come to mind. The Raiders scored on another Jared Cook touchdown and Jordy Nelson leaped for the two point conversion to tie the game 42-42. The Browns faced another overtime.

The Raiders got the ball first and got into Browns territory. However, a sack on third down forced the Raiders to kick a long field goal that went wide left.

Any type of score would secure a victory for either team. The Raiders once again drove down field with time running low. They would not miss twice and the Raiders would come out victorious.

A brutal game for fans to watch as the Browns blew a lead and reverted back to their old self. Jon Gruden finally got his first win after struggling the first three games.

It’s going to be a tough pill for the Browns to swallow because so many things went wrong.

They’ll have to go to the film room and make a ton of corrections on all three sides of the ball as they head home to face the Baltimore Ravens Sunday.

Jake Adams is a columnist. Contact him at [email protected]