It’s been a mostly forgettable season for the Browns, but fans likely won’t soon forget this week’s game on Monday Night Football. The team was ready to make the winning field goal when the Baltimore Ravens blocked the kick and returned it for a touchdown as time ran out. The Browns now have a six-game losing streak…. And a 2-and-9 record. WKSU commentator Terry Pluto says just when it didn’t seem possible, the team hit a new low.
Terry Pluto says Monday night's 33-27 loss was an 'Only in Cleveland' game.
Browns kicker Travis Coons, perfect all season, was ready to kick a 51-year field goal for the win. The kick was blocked and run back 64 yards by Baltimore's Will Hill for a game-winning touchdown. It's only happened one other time in NFL history, in 1985.
"Then there's this guy in the stands in this video. He just starts yelling, 'I am done with this team.' He's wearing a Barkevious Mingo jersey. The man is ripping up the jersey, swearing off the Browns probably for the 85th time in his life."
After the game, Pluto says the look on Coach Mike Pettine's face said it all. "The first words out of his mouth at the press conference is, 'It's hard to wrap your mind around this.' That could have meant this game, this season, this decade, this franchise!"
Almost a hero Pluto says Browns fans almost had a hero in the game. Quarterback Austin Davis came into the game in the fourth quarter when Josh McCown broke his collar bone. "He leads them to the touchdown. The Browns pick off a pass; they're driving again. Austin Davis even runs out of bounds, setting up this game-winning field goal. He's 7 of 10 passing for 77 yards. But, Austin Davis now, this is his 'Welcome to Cleveland' moment.
Another quarterback conundrum Now, the question is, who will be the Browns starting quarterback for the remaining five games of the season? Josh McCown is out. Will it be Austin Davis? Johnny Manziel? Pettine benched Manziel last week after a video surfaced showing him partying at a bar in Texas. It comes after 10-week rehab stint in the off-season and other off-the-field problems.
"You know they've wanted to punish Johnny Manziel," Pluto says. "I have the perfect punishment: Make him play. The Bengals are coming in here, they're really good. Johnny you think you can handle it? You think some of your bar activities and the line they talk about among the players is 'getting hammered' in the bar. We'll let you go out there and get hammered by the Bengals, how 'about that?"
A costly defense Pluto says the Browns defense has been among the team's biggest problems all season -- and it's also the highest-paid in the league at $82 million.
"What will $82 million get you in Cleveland? The 30th ranked defense out of 32 teams. That's money not particularly well spent and talent not particularly well coached."
A 2-9 season "The end of the last season, their losing streak was five games. Right now, they are 2-9. That means in the last 16 games, which is an NFL season, they are 2-14. It's already been painful. You know it's bad when you're colleague at cleveland.com, Tom Reed, in the middle of the game starts writing a column about, 'Well if they lose all the rest of the games, at least they might get the No. 1 draft pick.'"
Can it get much worse? "You never say that in Cleveland. It can always get worse if you're a Browns fan."
LISTEN: Terry talks Akron Zips, Ohio State football