Ten Plays That Defined the Browns Season


A special submission from Browns fan and Scene reader P. Rogie. (Aka: Brian Cuglewski.)

With yet another morbid season of football behind us, Cleveland Browns fans once again receive the gift of hindsight this time of the year.

The lesson: things change quickly. Or, more aptly, things return back to normal.

Despite playing for a squad that ranked 30th out of 32 teams in points scored and lost nine of its last ten games, cornerback Sheldon Brown doesn’t feel the Browns are that far away. After the season finale, he told reporters, “We were one or two plays in each game away (from winning).”

Should the trainers be checking Sheldon for concussion symptoms?

After watching playoff football all weekend, this article is composed with two observations in mind. First, professional football is a lot more fun to watch when there are talented players all over the field. And second, Sheldon Brown is right — if you really think about each game played this weekend, you can find one or two plays to clearly separate the winners from the losers.

Texans Defensive End J.J. Watt intercepted an Andy Dalton pass just before halftime to break a 10-10 tie. Sean Payton elected to keep his offense on the field in the fourth quarter, and Darren Sproles converted a 4th and 2 to keep alive a 14-play scoring drive. Atlanta, with all those weapons, are apparently still a 1st round draft pick away from being able to pick up two 4th-and-less-than-a-yard plays. And finally, Tim Tebow might do a lot of things wrong, but he sure comes up big when he needs to make something happen.

Just a couple of plays here or there and those games become a lot different. So Sheldon Brown is right.

You can argue all you want about who the Browns have or who the Browns need to get to make those plays happen in our favor, but that’s what the next four months are all about. We need a ground floor to start from, so it is necessary to look back at the ten plays that most perfectly defined this past season. Some are good, some are bad, but all of them demonstrate how the Browns really are just “one or two plays away.”

Like this story?
SCENE Supporters make it possible to tell the Cleveland stories you won’t find elsewhere.
Become a supporter today.

Vince Grzegorek

Vince Grzegorek has been with Scene since 2007 and editor-in-chief since 2012. He previously worked at Discount Drug Mart and Texas Roadhouse.
Scroll to read more Cleveland Sports articles

Join Cleveland Scene Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.