Sorrow. Misery. Pain. Suffering. Hopelessness.
These are synonyms for the emotions that you are likely to feel if: a) you find yourself locked in a foreign prison for the foreseeable future, or b) you are a fan of the Cleveland Browns.
It’s no secret that the Browns have the most tortured fanbase in the NFL by a wide margin, but this weekend seemed to compound that fact thanks to a series of unfortunate events.
First, the hated Ravens came to town, and the gunslinger Josh McCown appeared to be having his way with them early on. After a long run by Isaiah Crowell and two touchdown passes by McCown, Cleveland was up 20-0, and appeared to be cruising to a home victory over their division rivals. That’s when the illusion suddenly broke.
When Lawrence Guy blocked their PAT attempt, and Tavon Young ran it back for a quick two points, I had the feeling that something that seemed insignificant could be enough to turn the tide. Apparently, I was right, because following their 20 point outburst, the Browns weren’t able to do much of anything in Sunday’s game.
Granted, after about a quarter of play Josh McCown’s left arm was as dead as a doorknob, and instead of exiting the game, he did the Browns a solid by sparing them a few extra quarters until the start of the Cody Kessler experience in Cleveland.
Still, this was a close game that came right down to the wire. Driving towards the Ravens end zone and needing a touchdown, Terrelle Pryor caught a pass to put the Browns in striking distance, but was called back for a ticky-tacky taunting penalty after flipping the ball onto Lardarius Webb. This essentially cost the Browns the game, which is unfortunate for them. But hey, you win some, you lose some.
Moving on to the other divisional matchup that took place this past weekend, the Cincinnati Bengals and Pittsburgh Steelers met up on the shores of the three rivers for another installment of one of the NFL’s fiercest rivalries... Or is it?
This game was much lower scoring and much more tame than many thought it would be, myself included. NFL RedZone cut to this game very infrequently, and for good reason. Not much happened in the way of scoring, and no coaches ran onto the field to instigate any fights or pull on any players’ hair.
It did end up being a close one though, and the Steelers may have benefited from a wonky call of their own. Down late and needing a touchdown to tie it, Andy Dalton hit Tyler Boyd for a completion that seemed to keep the ball moving. Instead, the officials signaled catch and fumble, recovered by the defense.
It appeared that Boyd was likely down before the ball came out, but the call on the field was not overturned, much to the chagrin of Bengals fans. Regardless of the tough loss, the Bengals should be happy with how close they managed to keep it against a rugged Pittsburgh team.
Moving onto Week Three, the Ravens head to Jacksonville to take on the 2016 offseason champions. Regardless of their tough start to the season, the Jaguars are very talented. They should not be taken lightly by the Ravens if they hope to keep their winning streak alive.