And now, the finger-pointing starts anew.
It's time to lay blame, as AM radios blare with discontent and fans struggle with another home loss.
The Browns lost to a capable Colts team today, in a game made more frustrating due to the team's inability to hold a 16-0 halftime lead, and an inability to make a big play with the game on the line. With a first and goal on the ten-yard-line and the clock running out, Tim Couch and the Browns offense were unable to punch in a touchdown, and the Browns lost 28-23. The Browns final play was a pass from Couch to Andre Davis which glanced off the rookie's hands and landed incomplete.
Before assessing blame, let us give credit where credit is due. The Colts no-huddle offense put the Browns defense on their heels in the second half and Peyton Manning did a terrific job calling the plays. The Colts adjusted defensively as well, taking a page from the Panthers playbook by stacking the line and dropping safeties deep. The Browns were again unable to adjust.
The no-huddle offense led by Manning swept to four touchdowns in the second half. Marvin Harrison was on the receiving end of two of them, as he Colts WR sped to a single-season receptions record with two games left to go. Harrison ended the day with 127 catches for 1,566 yards thus far this season and nine catches for 172 yards for the day.
The tone for the second half was set quickly by the Colts, who took the kick-off and drove to a score within three minutes. With the Browns going three-and-out early in the third, the Colts crept back into the game and grabbed the lead in the fourth quarter.
Angry and frustrated fans filed out of Cleveland Browns Stadium, their hopes of a playoff spot significantly dimmed. With the Steelers edging the Carolina Panthers this afternoon, the team would require two wins combined with two Steeler losses to get into the playoffs.
More coming tonight from Bernie's Insiders....