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Monthly Archives: December 2014
The Cavaliers have some serious issues right now. Even though they’re six games above .500 at (18-12), a disturbing trend has surfaced for a team with championship aspirations. Three times this season, all at home, the Cavs have taken a commanding lead on an opponent into the second quarter only to see that lead evaporate and the team disintegrate during an embarrassing loss.
The first time it happened at Quicken Loans Arena was on November 22, 2014 against Toronto. The Cavs led the Raptors 37-21 in the second quarter and then were outscored 89-56 the rest of the way in the 110-93 loss to Toronto. That’s a 33 point turn around.
The second time it happened at The Q was on December 17, 2014 versus Atlanta. The Cavaliers led the Hawks 41-29 in the second quarter and then they were outscored 98-57 the rest of the way in the 127-98 loss to Atlanta. That’s a 41 point turn around.
Then the third time occurred yesterday in Cleveland as the Pistons were in town. The Cavs led Detroit 32-17 in the second quarter and then they were outscored 86-48 the rest of the way in the 103-80 loss to the former “Bad Boys” who are just bad this season. That’s a 38 point turn around.
Its 30 games into the season and these problems should’ve been corrected by now. You’re supposed to learn from your mistakes and not repeat them. However, nobody from head coach David Blatt to superstar LeBron James to anyone of the Cavs dancers have a clue as to why it’s happened and continues to happen.
The only thing we do know, regardless of what a few individuals might think is, that all three losses were embarrassing and if something doesn’t change soon, there will be more embarrassing nights like these at The Q and a short run in the playoffs this season.
The Browns finished (7-9) in 2014, their 7th straight losing season.
The Browns failed to make the playoffs for the 12 consecutive season.
The Browns in 2014 lost their last 5 games to close the year, and 6 of their last 7.
The Browns in 2013 finished the season losing their last 7 games, and 10 of their last 11.
The Browns scored scored 2 touchdowns in their last 13 quarters in 2014.
The Browns scored a total of 23 points in their last 3 games in 2014.
The Browns scored 13 points or less in 5 of their last 7 games in 2014.
The Browns have now lost 9 or more games for the 7 consecutive season.
The Browns since 1995 have 2 winning seasons, and just 3 winning seasons since 1990.
The Browns have lost 10 or more games 15 times since 1990.
The Browns have made the playoffs twice since 1990.
The Browns have lost 12 straight games in the month of December dating back to the 2012 season when they beat Kansas City 30-7 on December 9, 2012.
The Browns started 3 different quarterbacks in 2014, raising the total to 22 different starting quarterbacks for the Browns since 1999, the most in the NFL.
And last but not least, “The Browns”, after yet another season, are still search of a starting franchise quarterback!
Bonus* – The Browns will have picks #12 and #19 in the 1st round of the 2015 NFL Draft on April 30th.
Here’s the podcast of my show open on Friday, December 26th as we found out that the Cleveland Browns would start Connor Shaw at quarterback against the Baltimore Ravens in the 2014 season finale, making him the 22nd different quarterback to start for the Browns since they returned to the NFL in 1999.
Browns general manager Ray Farmer has made some good decisions this season on acquiring talent, but when it mattered most, the first round of the draft, he dropped the ball big time!
Knowing he had a wide receiver who was going to be suspended for maybe the entire year and in a receiver rich draft, he bypassed highly rated wide outs for a cornerback and a quarterback that will make us all wonder about his grading system when the 2015 NFL draft comes around.
Who would have helped the Browns more this year and in the future, the two players Farmer selected in the first round in Justin Gilbert and Johnny Manziel, or any one of these four wide receivers Sammy Watkins, Odell Beckham Jr., Mike Evans or Kelvin Benjamin?
Justin Gilbert – 29 tackles – 1 interception – 1 td – 8 passes defensed
Johnny Manziel – 18-35-175 yards – 0 td passes – 2 interceptions/29 yards rushing – 1 td
Sammy Watkins – 62 receptions – 925 yards – 6 td’s
Odell Beckham Jr. – 79 receptions – 1,120 yards – 11 td’s
Mike Evans – 63 receptions – 997 yards – 11 td’s
Kelvin Benjamin – 72 receptions – 999 yards – 9 td’s
Plus there is one more game to play which gives all four wide receivers the opportunity to go over 1,000 yards receiving in their rookie year.
Ask yourself, who would have helped the Browns more this year and beyond?
Here’s what Johnny Manziel had to say today as he talked with the media following the Browns 30-0 loss to the Bengals in his first NFL regular season start:
On today’s game:
“Tough. It was tough. We never really established much early in the game to put ourselves in good position to put some points on the board. When we did, I feel like I made a few mistakes throughout the game. When you sit back and look at it, just in the brief time that we’ve had, you tip your hat to the other team. When you get beat, you get beat and you take it like a man and you move on and you try to progress and get better. That’s what we have to do, but when you get beat you get beat. Hats off to them. They obviously had a good scheme and they were ready for what we were trying to do and it disrupted some of our stuff. At the same time, looking at my position and how I felt I played, I need to be better. I felt like it was a fail on my part for the position and it’s tough. It’s going to take time. It’s a progress for sure. The thing that you come out of here with, that gives you a little bit of joy is the way those guys in the locker room after the game, obviously everybody is extremely disappointed – we wanted to win the game – nobody wants to win in there more than I do. It’s tough to come out there and lay an egg like that and I put a lot of that on me. I’m not using the rookie excuse – it’s not me. Yeah, I’m a rookie but that’s out the window. I needed to play better. I felt coming in to today that I was absolutely prepared for today. Being out there, I never felt overwhelmed or that it was too much for me, but when it comes down to it, football is football. You need to make more plays than the other team and you need to play better than the other team, and today we didn’t do that.”
On Cincinnati’s defense:
“We weren’t very good on third downs. We have to stay on the field and we weren’t able to stay on the field. We put our defense back on the field quick a couple times and we needed to come out. They started strong and fast and we didn’t. That wasn’t a good start. Carrying over from that, we never got enough momentum to push ourselves into a position to really get a grip on the game I guess.”
On the picks:
“You know. You can’t throw the second one whether you’re playing in a Pop Warner league or if you’re six years old playing in the driveway, you can’t throw that ball. That’s a 100 percent on me. The first one, I saw what I wanted to see and didn’t have enough confidence in myself to let it fly. I saw what I wanted and I ripped that all week through practice and when it came down to it, just a split second hesitation and in the NFL, I learned hard today, they can undercut that and they can get to that ball. I felt like Hawk (WR Andrew Hawkins) ran a great route. The play was there, (offensive coordinator) Kyle (Shanahan) called a great play obviously seeing the scheme. For me I have to be decisive and trust what I see and throw it. I felt like I did that all week throughout practice. For whatever reason, a couple drives there I was a little hesitant on some throws. There was another throw right before that to (WR) Josh (Gordon) over the middle that was a little behind him. I felt like I made that throw all week. I saw the field fine today but when I came down to it, I just needed to throw the ball and let it rip, and I didn’t do a very good job of that.”
On if today was a surprise:
“Absolutely. We wanted to win. I wanted to come out here and put points on the board and win. That didn’t happen.”
On Cincinnati’s taunting:
“I didn’t even notice it.”
On the energy today being carried over from the practice week:
“I feel like we didn’t start quick enough to get the energy we needed. We were very pumped up before the game, and obviously, Cincinnati was, as well. They said after this last game that they felt like they could beat us and they came out and proved that today. Like I said from the very beginning, you have to come out and first things first give them credit for what they came out and did. They established running the ball they got off the field on defense and didn’t allow us to continue any drives and when that happened it was going to be a long day for us. We never could quite get over the hump. You get a good drive going, get something sustained and then you get a turnover in the red zone which is absolutely unacceptable. It’s tough sitting here right now. A lot of emotions. It’s never as bad as you think it is sitting up here right now so we’ll go back and look throughout this week, but I need to be better. I felt like I was prepared, when it comes down to the play you have to play better.”
On missing some throws and other opportunities that were available:
“I think they were there. I think there were times where we went through our progressions and didn’t do near enough as much as I’m accustomed to in the past. Like I said, I’ve gotten better throughout the season and felt like we got a little, but at the same time, still got around and moved around a little bit. I just didn’t hit the throws when they were there. Early on in our second drive, there’s another one that was just a little high to (TE) Jim Dray. Those are plays we needed to continue those drives when we needed a big play. We didn’t get a third down conversion until the third quarter to (WR) Josh (Gordon) down the sideline. You’re not going to win when you do that. We have to stay on the field and do better. It’s an all-around team thing. As much as I sit here right now and put this on me, I need to be better, and I felt like I would come out and play better and that didn’t happen. I’m disappointed and these guys are too. For me, it’s a fresh start and we can move on from here to try and build something to carry us into next year. The last two games coming up, we need to improve as an offense and build something for us to grow on into the offseason and into next season.”
On not succeeding in his first start and building for the future:
“I think this was the tip of the iceberg. Obviously, these guys, from management to everyone in this organization, drafted me and I think going into it that one bad start – I’m not going to be written off forever. As me and (offensive coordinator) Kyle (Shanahan) were sitting there in the late minutes of the game, it was teaching me and helping me learn and understand everything that is going on. It’s going to take time and reps. The best quarterbacks to ever play this game have struggled early. It’s tough for a young guy to come in and get accustomed to this league. Even the guys who play their best every week come out and struggle at times. It’s an ongoing cycle and for us we need to continue to progress and continue to get better. From the reps we get in practice to the reps we get in games, we need to work on those and hone in on those.”
On starting his first game and if the speed of the game overwhelmed him:
“Like I said earlier, I never felt overwhelmed out there. Things happened fast and you see certain things that all flash around really fast, but when it came down to it, we just didn’t make enough plays. I don’t know that it was ever too difficult; it was never too difficult. We just didn’t make plays when they gave them to us to stay on the field and move the ball and score points. That’s the name of this game: put more points on the board than the other team.”
On implementing the game plan this week as a process:
“I think that as well as my own growing process. We put in some new things this week, some things we haven’t done since training camp. Obviously, we put them in at training camp and when you put them in there you feel like anywhere throughout the season you should be able to put those back in and plug those back in and be able to run them efficiently, but it was just a little bit of a struggle for us today. The best thing is we have two games left in the season to go out and try and get better and end on a good note. That’s really what we have to do.”
On the Browns bouncing back from the losses to finish the final two games of the season on a positive note:
“What’s done is done. This game is over. This day is over. Come in tomorrow, watch this, go over this, analyze what we saw from this game and then wipe it. Then it’s over. Then it’s onto Carolina and it’s on to the next week. That’s what we need to be focused on. We can’t be sitting there saying, ‘Man, last week this happened.’ What’s done is done. That’s in the past. Now, it’s move forward and go out and win this game next week. I don’t have any doubt in my mind that we can go out and win next week. We just need to put a solid effort together, go out, play as a unit, play as a team and go out and get a win. The playoffs and all that might be whatever the situation may be, but for us, we need to have pride about ourselves and pride about the games that we have left on our schedule and go out and try to be effective and try to be efficient.”