It was a disappointing finish to a rather exciting game. The Cleveland Browns 45-42 loss in overtime to the Oakland Raiders on Sunday wasn’t the usual game a team allows to get away. For the second time this season, the Browns held a two-possession lead in the fourth quarter and let it slip right out of their grips.
However this time, there is no kicker to blame. It was an overall sloppy day for the Browns who seemingly had the game essentially won with minutes remaining.
Of course a controversial call took place when Carlos Hyde converted a first down to give Cleveland a fresh set of downs with only 1:32 remaining in the game. However the officials reviewed the play and deemed the ball did not cross the line, shockingly overturning a seemingly simple call. Had the play stood, the Browns could’ve entered the victory formation and would have had a 2-1-1 record on Monday.
It led to a fourth-and-one which the team elected to punt from their own 18-yard line giving Derek Carr and the Raiders one last chance to tie the game.
Carr did just that, leading a crucial drive for a touchdown and a two-point conversion to send the game into overtime. The Raiders would go on to win on their second drive by a field goal after both teams could not score on their first possession.
The overturned first down was particularly bad, although it may have not even been the worst call of the day. Earlier in the fourth quarter, the Browns forced a fumble and Myles Garrett recovered and had nothing but an endzone waiting for him.
Despite the fact the ball was out instantaneously upon Carr being hit, the referees ruled the play was dead providing Oakland another shot at putting points on the board. They did just that and it gave them just enough life to stay in the game.
Sure, the refs were quite terrible on Sunday. However, the Browns, again, found themselves in a situation where they allowed one play to spoil their 42-point day.
Good teams are rarely in a situation where an official can make one bad call and it changes the game entirely. There was plenty the Browns did to shoot themselves in the foot throughout the entirety of the game.
The bottom line is that Cleveland has proven they have the talent to win games in the NFL this season.
As a matter of fact, they have some of the brightest rising stars in the league with Garrett, Baker Mayfield and Denzel Ward. Although learning how to properly closeout a tight football game is no simple task for a young team like the Browns. Yet, there are no excuses in 2018 and the team simply must overcome adversity and learn how to win – and they must do it now.
As most people know,head coach Hue Jackson has a 1-31 is the record in his first two seasons with the Cleveland Browns. He told their fans in training camp that this is the year the team will evolve into a winning team. However, we have yet to see that happen outside of the New York Jets getting a surprise dose of Baker Mayfield without any film to game-plan against.
To those saying the Browns could easily be 4-0, well I say settle down. Sure if everything went their way, they easily could be undefeated. But it’s the NFL and it simply doesn’t always work in your favor. But this team should without a doubt be at least .500 right now. But unfortunately they’re not.
A young team that is on the rise has a great amount to learn as they evolve into a competent NFL team. However four turnovers and nine (yes, NINE) drops on Sunday isn’t a method for success at the professional level. A few bad calls late in a tight game never helps, but neither do numerous missed opportunities throughout one, either.
The Cleveland Browns have a chance to redeem themselves as they host division rival Baltimore Ravens next Sunday.
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