The Cleveland Browns lost a very high scoring and tight game in Week 5 to the Los Angeles Chargers by the score of 47-42.
With the win, the Chargers move to 4-1, and the Browns fall to 3-2.
Reasons #Browns lost yesterday:
1. 2 blown coverages led to 72 & 42 yard TDs.
2. Stefanski coached tight late. He admitted he didn't "want something bad to happen." Can't win with that mentality
3. D out of gas & bodies late
4. Lack of O execution in final :90
— Daryl Ruiter (@RuiterWrongFAN) October 11, 2021
This was a very winnable game for the Browns so in the spirit of Monday morning quarterbacking, here are three major questions that the Browns need to answer sooner rather than later.
3. Does The Team Practice A Two-Minute Drive?
This probably sounds like a dumb question with an obvious answer that they do.
It just does not look like it.
In their two losses to the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 1 and the Chargers in Week 5, the final possession of the game, which executed successfully could have resulted in a win, was a disaster.
It is hard to figure out where the breakdown is.
Is it in the play-calling or the execution?
The Browns play the undefeated Arizona Cardinals in Week 6 so they need to button up the details on a two-minute scoring drive because they may need it as early as Sunday.
2. Why Do Referee Calls Cause Trouble In Big Games?
This question dates back to the Browns’ loss to the Chiefs in the 2020 Divisional playoffs.
Officiating is subjective at best even with the assistance of modern technology and reviewing processes.
The point is calls and non-calls always come to bear in these big games when the Browns are trying to win.
Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield talked about the refs Sunday.
In addition to issuing a brief complaint, he also said the one thing that makes sense of the nonsensical referee decision-making.
The game should not come down to a call here or there; good solid play throughout the game would lessen the impact of those calls.
— CleWest (@erjmanlasvegas) October 11, 2021
Shoddy officiating is not acceptable.
It never is.
But it should not be used as a crutch when there are many plays in the game and opportunities to make a difference on those.
1. Can The Browns Win A Big Game?
Sadly, this is the question that will hang over the Browns head until they do it.
The good news is that they have a chance to win a big one on Sunday against the Cardinals.
In the meantime, their two losses in 2021 are to good playoff-caliber teams.
They have not yet proven that they can play four solid quarters and beat a playoff-caliber team this year.
There have been ups and downs and lots of inconsistency.
Some of that is due to injuries; however, like poor officiating, that is unfortunately part of the game.
The fact is the Browns played with more reckless abandon last year when the bright lights were not shining on them.
In the offseason, there was so much talk and hype about this roster.
This roster has yet to play four quarters of solid football in all facets (offense, defense, special teams) within the same game.
The #Browns are a couple of bad calls/tough breaks/few plays here and there from being 5-0.
That’s oversimplifying but it’s also a fact. And they still haven’t put it all together.
Stay positive. Doesn’t mean we have blind faith either, but the world isn’t falling.
— Joe B (@JoeB_inCLE) October 11, 2021
When they figure out how to do that, look out because the Browns will be a scary team.