The Cleveland Browns can’t seem to build much momentum five games into the season. They’re 2-3 after an embarrassing 31-3 loss to the San Francisco 49ers on Monday night. WKSU sports commentator Terry Pluto said from the coaching to the quarterback, nothing about the Browns looked good this week.
"After the game, Baker Mayfield and Freddie Kitchens were not very defiant. They looked pretty humble. They always talk about eating humble pie, well it tastes awful on national TV."
Pluto acknowledges they've had a tough first half schedule.
"But if you were to say in two of those three losses one would be by 28 points and the other would be by 30 — this is the NFL, it's not college. You don't get games like that."
Pluto said the Browns looked unprepared and then were unable to adjust after halftime.
"They talk about getting an identity or a blueprint. They don't have any of those things right now. I think you have to look at the players and ask them if they're doing their homework and taking this seriously."
A tough first half
The next few weeks of the season don't get any easier. This Sunday, the Browns host the 4-1 Seattle Seahawks. Then after the bye week, they travel to Foxboro to play the undefeated New England Patriots.
"That's why I thought if they got through the first eight games at 4-4 that would be pretty good. And you can learn from losses. When they lost to the L.A. Rams 20-13 at home, they showed some progress, especially defensively. And then the next week they went and beat Baltimore."
And Pluto said another factor is the fans.
"Seattle comes to Cleveland and what happens in that game is that if the Browns are not ready to go early, the fans are going to be very angry and cranky because their expectations have been raised. "
A second half surge?
The second half of the season looks more promising. The slate includes the Steelers (1-4) twice, the Bengals (0-5) twice and the Miami Dolphins (0-5).
"They can win these games because they have talented players. This is teaching time for Freddie Kitchens, and he's brought in all of his coordinators from different teams. So they have many new players and new coaches. Now maybe they will rise up and play well because they have the talent to go out and do that."