EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Here are my final thoughts from the Browns’ 24-13 loss to the New York Jets Sunday at MetLife Stadium:
>>If this was supposed to have been a playing-for-pride game, then pride was severely shortchanged. For the most part, the Browns did not seem to put forth anything closely resembling a prideful effort. For the most part, players appeared to be something less than fully engaged with performing at top capacity. There were too many dropped passes, too many misfired throws, too many missed tackles, and other assorted mistakes on both sides of the ball. How do you get inside the opponent’s 20-yard line FOUR times and come away with only THREE points? Unacceptable. The Jets, who had also been eliminated from postseason contention, had no more incentive to play at a high level, yet they looked more inspired from start to finish.
>>Let’s dispense with any notion that the Browns have a good defense that has been performing poorly of late. That is being far too kind. The Browns’ defense has been on such a steady run of bad play, it’s getting hard to remember when it was good. Bad defenses allow fourth-quarter leads to disappear, as the Browns did in three consecutive games before Sunday. And bad defenses do what the Browns did on Sunday: give up touchdown drives of 80, 81, and 80 yards and 12-of-18 third-down conversions against one of the worst quarterbacks in the NFL, rookie Geno Smith. Smith was able to beat the Browns with his arm and his legs. He threw for a pair of touchdowns (to David Nelson, a receiver the Browns signed as a free agent in the offseason and then released in training camp) and ran for 48 yards, including a 17-yard score. Smith entered the game as the NFL’s lowest-rated passer (with a rating of 62.9) and second in the league with 21 interceptions. On Sunday, he threw no interceptions and his rating was 91.7.
>>The statistics show
>>One bright spot:
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