Friday, December 02, 2011
Cleveland Fan Reaction: 2011 Cleveland Browns November Review
December 2, 2011
By Zac Wassink
November 2011 was an especially painful month for Cleveland Browns fans. The Browns didn't just lose three of four games during the month. They were dominated by the Houston Texans, and they suffered heartbreaking defeats against both the St. Louis Rams and Cincinnati Bengals. Now, the Browns have to finish the regular season with two games against the Baltimore Ravens, two games against the Pittsburgh Steelers and one away game against the Arizona Cardinals. Cleveland is just two defeats away from yet another losing season.
When do pitchers and catchers report?
2011 Cleveland Browns November review: MVP
I sure hope the Browns ownership erects some sort of statue in honor of placekicker Phil Dawson once his career comes to an end. Dawson was the most (the only) consistent offensive weapon the team had during the month of November, and he was twice betrayed by poor snaps on what could have been game winning field goals. Dawson, the best player in the history of the new Browns, has once again been solid this season. He just deserves better than to be stuck on another losing team.
2011 Cleveland Browns November review: LVP
Peyton Hillis yet again. Hillis played once in November, during Cleveland's final game of the month against the Bengals. He looked OK during that particular contest, but also showed rust in the latter portions of the game. I hope someday we learn all there is to know about Hillis' bum hamstring, one which had better been severely injured during October and November. I can't remember any player falling down a fan favorite list as quickly as Hillis has since late August. At this rate, I don't see how he can be with the franchise past January.
2011 Cleveland Browns November review: Pain
Being a fan of Cleveland professional sports is rarely easy. The last three games played by the Browns were enough to make any fan want to hit the bottle; hard. They were a 22-yard field, a chip shot for high school, collegiate and professional kickers, away from defeating the Rams on November 13. The snap took an unfortunate bounce, however, and Dawson's attempt sailed well wide of the uprights.
The following Sunday, the Browns were one yard away from losing to the Jaguars. An odd play call saved Cleveland on this day, however, as Blaine Gabbert's pass fell harmlessly to the ground. The good fortune didn't last long. Another bad snap, this time on a 55-yard field goal attempt, set the wheels in motion for a game winning field goal for the Bengals on the final Sunday of November. It was a painfully fitting way for the month to end.
2011 Cleveland Browns November review: Unanswered questions
November was a reminder of how much we don't know about this offense. Is Colt McCoy capable of winning at this level? Will running back Montario Hardesty ever stay healthy for an entire NFL season? Of the trio of Chris Ogbonnaya, Hardesty and Hillis, who will be starting for the Browns in 2012? Can the Browns find a real playmaker among players such as Greg Little, Mohamed Massaquoi or Jordan Norwood? 12 weeks into the season, the Cleveland offense still looks like one stuck in September, one still trying to "find itself." It's a big reason the Browns are 4-7.
2011 Cleveland Browns November review: Overall grade
Shoddy, questionable play-calling. A defense that gave up a 51-yard play during the final meaningful drive of a contest. Three losses in four games. Fans can try to spin things all they want. November was a bad month for the Browns, a month that all but guaranteed the team will finish the 2011 campaign below .500.