The Browns proved that they were not ready to contend when it came to a big game against AFC North‘s top team. You would not have thought that early on in the game, though. They led 13-0 after Andy Dalton threw not one, but two interceptions to Joe Haden. It was the second quarter when the wheels fell off. By 11:49 in that quarter it was 14-13 with Bengals TE Jermaine Gresham and WR Mohamed Sanu receiving TD passes from Dalton. Not long after Tony Dye (who was promoted from the practice squad only a day earlier) returned a blocked punt for a 24 yard touchdown. Throw in a fumble by RB Chris Ogbonnaya that was returned for a TD & a field goal and the score was 31-13 going into halftime.
Jason Campbell completed 27 of 56 passes for 248 yards, 1 TD and 3 interceptions. His 56 attempts were the 3rd most during a game in franchise history. Fifteen of his attempts went to Josh Gordon who managed to have a great game, hauling in 5 catches for 125 yards & a TD. The stat that jumps out is Jordan Cameron & Chris Ogbannaya’s combined 19 targets for 59 yards. The largest gain between them was for 12 yards which illustrates perfectly the amount of time Campbell focused on checking the ball down. He through the ball 27 times to running backs or tight ends. Greg Little & Devon Bess combined for seven yards and two catches.
The Browns defense is proven – the additions made in the offseason by CEO Joe Banner & GM Michael Lombardi have not gone unnoticed. Now they need to focus on the offense. Jason Campbell & Brandon Weeden are not going to help this organization take the next step, they simply aren’t good enough. The running backs we have on the roster aren’t going to be able to carry the load of a 16 game season.
There are four players who I trust on the offense: Josh Gordon, Jordan Cameron, Joe Thomas, and Alex Mack. The Browns organization will have to focus on getting their offense on track for 2014, because that is what is holding them back for any hopes of a playoff birth.