The best thing you can say about today's Browns game is it makes Pittsburgh have to play their starters next week and for the 2nd year in a row, the Browns can take a bite out of the Steelers season with a late year win. Unfortunately they can't knock them out of the playoff picture like last year, but they can still derail them and force Pittsburgh into a wildcard playoff game with a victory and a Baltimore victory against Cincinnati.
Considering the Browns need a win next week to beat last year's total of 5 wins, I have a feeling that we've seen the last of the New England coaching tree for awhile. Again, the Browns were beat on offense, defense, special teams, clock management and halftime adjustments.
Plus, Colt McCoy finally looked like a rookie QB today.
It all adds up to yet another disappointing season for the Browns. No one can say that Eric Mangini and staff didn't have more talent to work with this year (as compared to their first season) and they've taken that talent and either matched the win total from last year or might go 1 win up (depending on the Steelers game next week).
Either way, not a ringing endorsement to keep "the Mangini way" going in Cleveland.
The Steelers are definitely a team that could use a first round bye because of all the injuries they have, so I at least hope the Browns deny them that. Just the fact that they have to trot their starters out next week is a minor victory, but of course a victory that was only secured after yet another ugly loss to the Ravens.
If Pittsburgh gets that first round bye then it is likely they'll go deep in the playoffs and even probably get to the AFC Championship game. Here's hoping the Browns can at least interrupt that. I don't need to see another year where the Steelers run deep into January, possibly February.
But since the Browns are SO BAD, that is what were reduced to at this time of year. Rooting against our rivals. One of my Steeler buddies pointed out that I get more excited over late season Steeler losses than I do for late season Browns wins. He's right. Usually any wins the Browns have in the latter part of the campaign mean nothing while losses for Pittsburgh tend to mean more as they drive for the playoffs.
So, it is time, no matter what happens next week, to clean house. Enough is enough. 2 seasons of Eric Mangini and staff, 10 or 11 total wins (at best), no playoff appearances, 2 top ten draft slots.
Time for Mike Holmgren to pick someone he trusts to roam the sidelines, otherwise I'm afraid at this time next year, I'll be rooting harder against the Steelers than I'm rooting for the Browns.
I've had plenty of that. No more.