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Public Service Announcement: The Cleveland Browns Are An Embarrassment And Their Season Is Officially Over

Sitting at 5-8 in a division with not one but two 9-4 teams? This season is officially over.

Jason Miller. Getty Images.

But before I begin the eulogy, let's not forget that making it 13 games into the season before being declared dead actually isn't too bad for this God forsaken franchise. While I'm extremely frustrated/disappointed/embarrassed of how this team played not just today, but the entire season as a whole, all the glory must go to God when you think about the fact that we made it 3/4 of the way through the year before packing up our shit and not caring anymore. That's better than 90% of the seasons since we returned to Cleveland in 1999. So for that, I tip my cap to this Browns team.

Okay, that's the glass half full approach. The more realistic approach is to once again call this franchise a dumpster fire. I got hoodwinked into thinking that things were changing, but even with the shiny toys we have, we're still the same old Browns. The problems we saw on the field today were nothing new. The Browns team has made the same mistakes all year, and each Sunday our fanbase is simply appalled at how we could possibly look so terrible. But honestly, shame on us. At least the Browns are consistent in how they lose:

#1 - Penalties / Undisciplined 

Listen, I'm not saying one drive in the 2nd quarter cost us the game, but anyone who watched knows it was 100% the turning point. Joe Burrow and the Bengals could not get ANYTHING going until the Browns so Clevelandly had quite the impressive streak of defensive holding, then forcing a 4th and 15h, roughing the punter, then getting a sack, illegal use of the hands, then defensive pass interference, and culminating in a touchdown. We gave them three first downs on one drive, and shockingly, they found a way to take the lead. From there, we never recovered.

The Browns finished with 9 penalties for 100 yards, while the Bengals had 4. And don't get this confused for sour grapes with the refs. The Browns deserved every last one of those calls because of bonehead decision making. 

#2 - Poor Play Calling

Again, not the only reason we lost, but holy shit how many times does Kevin Stefanski need to outsmart himself before he starts taking some legitimate heat? With a 4th and 1 at the Bengals 25 in the 1st quarter of a 0-0 game, I could've seen one of two things and been okay with it: a run play OR take the points with our 4th round draft pick kicker. Instead, we subbed out our $230 million QB to put in our backup, and we THREW A DEEP BALL!!!! My jaw hit the floor, but again, shame on me. Nick Chubb had 14 carries in the entire game, but we've got our backup QB throwing it deep on 4th and 1. Kevin Stefanski has proven time and time again that he needs to be cool and edgy with his play calling instead of just making the right decision. Same thing on 4th down at the end of the game. A goal line fade? That play NEVER works, and we do it on 4th down?

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I'll say this: my only reasoning for not wanting Stefanski fired earlier this year was to see him with Deshaun Watson. If he was able to take Jacoby Brissett to be a top 7 rated QB in the league, he at least deserved to try his hand with a talent like Deshaun. After two weeks with Deshaun, I would not be upset one bit if we got rid of Stefanski. I do think Deshaun will continue to get better for us, and I think Stefanski could absolutely contribute to that, but there's no doubt Kevin has made enough dumb decisions to warrant the boot.

#3 - Perennial Losers

The Browns suck. That's just a fact, and I need to get it through my big dumb skull. Why do I think that every year will be different? As long as we're still from Cleveland and as long as we're still the Browns, we will still suck. I don't care who the coach is. It's always going to be the same thing. 

I honestly don't even have the energy to talk about next year right now anyways, partially because everyone else in the league is still caring about this year, partially because we don't even have a 1st round draft pick until like 2050, and partially because I'm flat out exhausted of trying to be positive about this team. Everything that can go wrong does, time after time after time. We finally got a franchise QB! He has 25+ sexual assault allegations against him. He only gets a 6 game suspension! Goodell steps in and changes it to 11. We finally get to see Deshaun Watson! Baker Mayfield goes 98 yards in 1:45 with no timeouts to win on Thursday while we look horrible today. We cannot catch a break and I don't know when it's ever going to change. The Browns is the Browns.

The rest of this season needs to be used for one thing and one thing only: getting Deshaun Watson to shake off the rust completely and be ready to compete from Day 1 next year. I honestly don't care if Nick Chubb runs the ball one more time all season or if Myles Garrett plays another snap. This season is over and it should be treated like such. Fire the DC, fire the Special Teams Coordinator, make a decision on Stefanski, rest up the pieces that are for sure going to be here, put everyone else on notice, and get Deshaun Watson ready to earn his $230 million next season.