Opinion: The helpless Cleveland Browns

By Spencer Kummer, Staff Writer — The whirlwind of a season continues to go down crashing down for the Cleveland Browns. The Browns are currently in the midst of perhaps their worst season in franchise history. They are sitting at two wins and nine losses, and by the looks of it nothing will be getting better in the near future.

The famous Cleveland saying, “maybe next year”, kicked in a few weeks ago when the Browns still could not manage to settle on a quarterback. This season the Browns have played three different quarterbacks: Josh McCown, Johnny Manziel and Austin Davis. It is unheard of for a professional team to struggle so much with one position, especially the quarterback spot. The franchise has started 22 different quarterbacks since returning to the city in 1998. The franchise, in that time period, had only two winning seasons. With changes in management and coaching in what seems to be be every two years, players have difficulty staying focused. As the Browns went on a bye-week preparing to face Baltimore in a Prime Time matchup the next week, Johnny Manziel was the projected starter. However, after Manziel lied about partying during the week to the organization, coach Mike Pettine demoted Manziel to the third string quarterback spot. This made Josh McCown the starting quarterback and Austin Davis the second string quarterback.

The woes of the Cleveland curse continue after the Monday Night matchup against the Baltimore Ravens. Cleveland was keeping pace throughout the game, led by Josh McCown. As the game progressed, McCown took too many hits which would break his collarbone and end his season. Pettine had to make an unexpected decision. Either put in the grounded Manziel or play the inexperienced Davis. Pettine stuck to his gut; he sat Manziel and played Davis. Davis led the Browns down the field on a critical drive to tie the game at 27. The Browns were right where they wanted the Ravens with three seconds left and a tie ball game. Head coach Mike Pettine elected to send his young place kicker, Travis Coons, out to attempt a 51 yard field goal to win the game and send the Browns to a 3-8 record. It appeared as though a Raven defender was offsides but the referees did not throw the penalty flag. As the perfect snap was placed, Coons kicked a low, line drive that was blocked by the hand of a Ravens defender. The ball was scooped up by Ravens’ Will Hill who returned the block back for a Ravens touchdown as time expired and the Ravens won the game 33-27.

The loss has sent Cleveland to a 2-9 record and gave the organization its’ 15 losing season in seventeen years. Questions have begun to arise for the Browns and need to be answered quickly. The Browns will not make the playoffs for yet another season, but look forward to the 2016 NFL Draft as they hope for a top pick. It seems as though the Browns will look to get a quarterback and hopefully change the Cleveland curse. For now, it seems the curse will continue and the Browns will look to rebuild and wait for next year.

[Updated Aug. 13, 2017: This article has been reformatted for consistency.]