THE MONDAY MORNING DUMP 11-18-13

I don’t know about you, but as I watched the Browns blow a 13-nothing first quarter lead yesterday by giving up 31 consecutive second quarter points, I started having an Ohio State/Nebraska flashback from two seasons ago.

That’s the last time I can remember a team being in total control and then just losing all momentum in route to losing the game.  In case you didn’t have the same flashback I had, Luke Fickel’s Buckeyes led Bo Pelini’s Cornhuskers 27-6 in the third quarter only to lose the game by giving up 28 unanswered points in a 34-27 loss. Fickell and his staff had no answers on how to turn “Big Mo” back around and that’s how I felt with Rob Chudzinski, Jason Campbell and the Browns yesterday.

With the way the Browns defense was playing, all Campbell had to do at 13-zip nearing the end of the first quarter was manage the game, don’t turn the ball over and there was a pretty good chance the Browns would have beaten the Bengals yesterday.  Instead, Campbell starts the “Avalanche of Negativity” by throwing the first of his three interceptions deep in his own territory that Cincy would eventually turn into 7 points to get them back in the game and get the ball rolling in their direction. 7 points became 14, which became 21, then 28, and before the end of the half, 31 consecutive Cincinnati points for a 31-13 halftime lead. BALLGAME!photo (47)

While Campbell started this disastrous process, Chud’s inability to make adjustments on the fly, especially on special teams was just as costly. You can’t let your special teams get two punts blocked in a single game let alone in one quarter. Chud also has the veto power to step in if he doesn’t like the way Norv Turner is calling the game and to abandon the run like they did after the first quarter proved  to be part of their demise as well.

This was the biggest Browns game in years. You had a chance to get back to .500 overall and be only a half game out of first place in your division heading into a home game against the arch rival Pittsburgh Steelers. Can you imagine what the atmosphere would have been like at First Energy Stadium had that happened?

Instead you squander a dominant first quarter performance and a 13-nothing lead and turn it into a demoralizing loss that puts you at (4-6) and now tied with the Steelers and Ravens for second place in the division, two and a half games back of first place Cincinnati.

Yes there is still time to turn this around and get back in the wild card race and maybe the division race, but a golden opportunity was missed yesterday by the Browns to not only put themselves in position in the division to make the playoffs, but to also galvanize a fan base who has been waiting for years to have something to believe in on the lake front.

Now it’s back to the drawing board to see if you can correct the many mistakes that were made in the Queens city in time to get ready for the hated Steelers, who have won two in a row and will be coming to Cleveland with a lot of momentum, and after watching yesterday’s Browns/Bengals game and thinking back to that Ohio State/Nebraska game, momentum is a dangerous, and sometimes an unchangeable thing!

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