Browns out played in every aspect of game in 24-14 loss to Bills
BY JEREMY SOMERVILLE
BROWNS BEAT WRITER
Entering Sunday’s game, Buffalo running back CJ Spiller led the NFL in rushing, averaging more than ten yards per carry. This season he has been the Bills only consistent offensive weapon, so when Spiller went down with a game-ending injury early in the first quarter it looked as if it would spell trouble for the visiting Bills in Cleveland.
However, bad teams find a way to lose.
The Cleveland Browns are a bad football team.
Buffalo quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick threw for three touchdown passes and allowed the Bills (2-1) to overcome the loss of their best player to beat the Cleveland Browns (0-3) 24-14 in front of a crowd that was half orange and half blue at Cleveland Browns Stadium.
Fitzpatrick finished 22 of 35 for 208 yards while leading the Bills up and down the field against an overmatched and outcoached Browns defense. Tashard Choice, who came on for the injured Spiller, ran 20 times for 91 yards.
For the Browns it was another day at the office. It was the type of game that Cleveland fans have come to expect since the teams return in 1999.
The team looked outcoached and outperformed in all facets of the game.
After rushing for 109 yards last week, the Browns never established rookie running back Trent Richardson as they only gave the wrecking ball 12 chances to run the ball. He gained 27 yards on the carries he did receive but was never given a chance to get any type of rhythm going, nor was the offensive line able to open any holes for the Alabama product.
Fellow rookie, Brandon Weeden went 27 of 43 for 237 yards and a TD while running for his life much of the day as Mario Williams and the rest of the Buffalo defensive line manhandled Mitchell Schwartz and the Browns offensive line. However, Weeden was intercepted twice in the final four and a half minutes with the Browns somehow still in the game.
That’s right, even though they were outplayed, outcoached, and seemed to be playing a road game in their home stadium the Browns still had a chance to win this game.
After trailing by ten for much of the third quarter, Weeden found rookie wide out Travis Benjamin, who ran a perfect route, in the endzone for a 22-yard TD pass that pulled the Browns within three points at 17-14 with 2:27 left in the third quarter.
Hope, momentum, and the stadium were on the Browns side. But as I mentioned before, bad teams find a way to lose. And that they did.
Fitzpatrick took control of the Bills offense and manhandled the Browns defense in the fourth quarter.
He led a 10-play, 68-yard drive that was capped by his nine-yard TD pass to Stevie Johnson, who had lost cornerback Dmitri Patterson on a double move, that gave Buffalo a ten point advantage at 24-14 with 9:08 left in the game.
From that point on Cleveland self destructed. Mistakes, penalties, and turnovers doomed any hope of a comeback and by the time the clock hit triple zeroes Cleveland Browns Stadium looked and sounded like it was located in Orchard Park, New York as Browns fans filed out and the thousands of Bills fans had taken over.
Luckily for the Browns they will only have a few days to stew over this loss as they play Thursday night this week. Unfortunately, they play the Ravens in Baltimore, and if they do not fix the problems they displayed Sunday, it will be a long and miserable night for the orange and brown.
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POSTED 09/23/2012 17:59