The Cleveland Browns are once again officially on the clock.
With the 20-3 loss to the Chicago Bears (5-10), the Browns (0-15) are the first team since the Browns in 1999 and 2000 to have the first overall pick in consecutive drafts.
The Browns are also one loss away from football purgatory by becoming the second team in history to go 0-16, joining the 2008 Detroit Lions.
It was a terrible team effort by Cleveland who just seemed like they didn’t want to be in Chicago for Christmas Eve and it showed in the production by the whole team.
Offensively, the team put up just 257 total yards of offense. Defensively, while they only gave up 290 yards and had five sacks just didn’t seem inspired to try and win their first game of the season.
DeShone Kizer once again didn’t show any promise and with the Browns now owning the top pick, all eyes should be on the top quarterbacks in the draft including Josh Rosen who allegedly doesn’t want to play for the Browns according to an ESPN report.
Kizer finished the game 18 of 36 for 182 yards and two interceptions, bringing his league leading total to 21 interceptions on the season.
Once again, an unbalanced offense was the plan by head coach Hue Jackson who ran the ball 20 times in snowy conditions while deciding to throw it 36 times.
He did feed Isaiah Crowell and Duke Johnson early but once again shied away from it once the Browns went down on the scoreboard.
In the second half, the running back duo had a total of two carries, both going to Johnson.
Duke Johnson was the lone positive on the offensive side of the ball as he had 11 offensive touches (4 carries, 7 catches) for 101 yards from scrimmage (20 rushing, 81 receiving yards). He also broke the franchise single season mark for catches by a running back with 68 catches on the year heading into Week 17.
The defense held the Bears running attack limited to 97 yards, just one yard above their season average which came in 7th best in the NFL. They also recorded 5 sacks which was their season high for a game.
James Burgess, Joe Schobert, Larry Ogunjobi, Justin Currie, Jamar Taylor and Myles Garrett all had at least a half sack or more.
Penalties by Carl Nassib really swung the momentum to the Bears multiple times today. An unsportsmanlike conduct penalty early in the game kept the Bears drive alive and resulted in a touchdown. Then an offside penalty early in the second half negated a 44 yard interception for a touchdown by Myles Garrett and Chicago capitalized on the penalty with another touchdown.
Northeast Ohio native and Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky made his hometown team pay for not selecting him with the first overall pick last April with both his arm and his legs.
Trubisky went 14 of 23 for 193 yards which a majority of those yards came on big screen passes to help set up scores. He also was tied in the rushing category with 44 yards on 7 carries including a touchdown run.
Jordan Howard and Tarik Cohen combined for 53 yards on 24 carries but Howard scored two touchdowns, a two yard score late in the first quarter and a 16 yard score early in the third quarter.
The Browns will wrap up the 2017 season next Sunday against the Pittsburgh Steelers (11-3) who may not have to play their starters. They’re currently the 2nd seed in the AFC and need a Jacksonville loss to clinch a first round bye in the playoffs.
Merry Christmas Browns fans, it’ll get better soon…….I hope.