The news that keeps us Onward On!

The Carroll News

The news that keeps us Onward On!
Since 1925
The news that keeps us Onward On!

The Carroll News

The news that keeps us Onward On!

The Carroll News

Browns fail to bounce back with more names on the injury list

Erik Drost, Wikimedia Commons
Cleveland’s injury-ridden squad attempts to battle but the future looks grim.

On Dec. 3, the 7-4 Browns took on the 5-6 Los Angeles Rams with the Browns hoping to avenge last week’s loss in Denver to the Broncos. The Browns’ quarterback situation was the most intriguing storyline heading into the game. But another big game of injuries led to Cleveland faltering, dropping their record to 7-5.

The Browns had already lost franchise quarterback Deshaun Watson for the season and had promising rookie Dorian Thompson-Robinson suffer a concussion in last week’s loss. The Browns turned to Joe Flacco, a veteran 38-year-old quarterback who spent most of his career playing for the Baltimore Ravens, a division rival. The Browns brought Flacco in, hoping the former Super Bowl MVP had something left in the tank to help them win. Early on in the game, it looked like that was the case.

On the opening drive, Flacco marched the Browns’ offense down the field as he found open receivers and ultimately hit a wide-open Jerome Ford for a 24-yard touchdown pass. However, the Rams also had a former Super Bowl-winning quarterback, Matthew Stafford, who was a pain in the Browns’ side all day.

The Rams responded to the Browns’ opening series with a drive of their own which ended in a field goal. Later in the first quarter, Stafford threw a perfect ball to the Rams’ rookie standout receiver Puka Nacua who gashed the Browns defense by running nearly 50 yards after the catch for the touchdown to make the score 10-7. The Rams got the ball again in the first quarter, but this series ended with a missed 44-yard field goal, giving the Browns’ defense a big break.

In the second quarter, Flacco was able to give the Browns a lift on offense, finding a connection with Elijah Moore whom Flacco had played with before during his time on the New York Jets. Late in the second quarter, Flacco threw a beautiful 38-yard pass to Moore, which gave the Browns a chance to take back the lead. The Browns ended up without a trip to the end zone and had to settle for a 40-yard field goal from Dustin Hopkins to tie the game at 10.

The tie would not last long, as Stafford quickly took the Rams down the field in the final minutes of the half. The Browns’ defense kept the Rams out of the endzone, holding the Rams to a field goal that would make the score 13-10 at the half. At this point, it was clear that both veteran quarterbacks had come into the game prepared and that it would be a fight to the end.

When the Browns came out for the second half, star wide receiver Amari Cooper was not with them. He was ruled out of the game with a concussion after suffering a brutal hit to the head. The Browns were able to stop the Rams on their first possession out of the locker room
and Flacco was once again able to find Moore on a long pass that would put the Browns in scoring position. While they were unable to find the endzone, Hopkins was able to make another field goal to tie the game again at 13. At this point in the game, the Browns’; defense, which has been stellar all season, started to unravel.

On the next series, Stafford, Nacua and rookie running back Kyren Williams picked the Browns’ defense apart, while Stafford managed to Find receiver Demarcus Robinson for a 7-yard touchdown pass.

Nonetheless, Flacco continued to battle and keep the Browns in the game by finding open receivers and getting help in the run game. Flacco hit tight end Harrison Bryant for an eight -yard touchdown pass around the midway point of the fourth quarter. Hopkins hooked the extra point to the right, so the Browns still trailed 20-19.

The Browns quickly stopped the Rams and got the ball back with a chance to take the lead. However, this was the moment where one mistake put a stain on Flacco’s fantastic day. When Flacco threw another deep pass intended for Moore, it was intercepted by Rams safety John Johnson III. Johnson III, ironically, used to play for the Browns himself.

Stafford quickly moved the Rams down the field and threw a three-yard touchdown pass to Cooper Kupp for another touchdown which made the score 27-19. The Browns could not find an answer on the ensuing possession and, at that point, it was clear that the game was over. The Rams scored one more offensive touchdown and sacked Flacco on defense for a safety in the game’s final seconds to make the final score 36-19.

Now sitting at 7-5, the Browns will come home from their west coast trip desperately needing a win against the Jacksonville Jaguars to prevent their season from unraveling further. The Browns also left a second straight game with a critical player concussed, Cooper.

The defense is also reeling from injuries, appearing as a shell of what it was earlier in the season with Denzel Ward out due to a shoulder injury and Myles Garrett appearing to be limited in the game with his shoulder injury. However, one positive takeaway from Sunday’s game is that Flacco showed he still has elite arm talent which could help the Browns win critical games during their push for the playoffs.

The Browns do still sit in 6th place in the AFC and the playoff picture, but they will need to quickly turn things around and avoid more injuries to keep their postseason hopes alive.

Leave a Comment

Comments (0)

The Carroll News allows comments on articles to foster healthy, thought-provoking discussion. Comments are expected to adhere to our standards and to be respectful and constructive. As such, we do not permit the use of profanity, foul language, personal attacks, or the use of language that might be interpreted as libelous. Comments are reviewed and must be approved by a moderator to ensure that they meet these standards.
All The Carroll News Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *