Originally posted on Cleveland Frowns  |  Last updated 9/28/12

“We battled, we came up short and we fought our [tails] off.” — Brandon Weeden

“He battled.” — Pat Shurmur on Weeden

“Browns quarterback Brandon Weeden and his young, inexperienced receivers grew up a lot in Baltimore Thursday night, making the Ravens sweat it out until the last play of the game when they had a chance to tie it.” — Mary Kay Cabot

“Nobody gets more excited about a seven point loss than Browns fans.” — @TheKardiacKid

—————

As happy as folks were to see the NFL referees back on the field last night, Ravens tackle Michael Oher had to be forcibly restrained from dismembering one of them for making a phantom holding call on a 23-yard Ray Rice run with four minutes left that would have iced the game for Baltimore. Until about three minutes after that, with some 30 seconds left in the game, the Ravens did anything but “sweat it out” last night against the Browns.

At least the Plain Dealer got it half right with the headline to Terry Pluto’s game wrap: “Night of low expectations instead brings some real optimism.” The fans had low expectations for the Browns, the press had low expectations for the Browns, Las Vegas had low expectations for the Browns, and so did the Ravens. Of course the veteran team, coming off an emotional comeback win over the Patriots on the heels of the tragic accidental death of receiver Torrey Smith’s younger brother that same day, playing its fourth game in seventeen days, had every reason to overlook a desperate winless team that it had beaten in eight consecutive match-ups going into last night.

If the Ravens list into a game like that against any other team in the league, they get blasted out of the stadium. But against the Browns, who, according to Trent Richardson, looked past the Bills last week because “[they] were trying to get more prepared for [Baltimore] more than anything,” they hold the lead for the entire game despite a litany of drive-breaking penalties, special teams breakdowns, and a lazy Joe Flacco interception in the Browns’ end zone.

So let’s do backflips, just like we did when the Browns could have sort of almost tied the Bengals only to come back home the next week to get their faces smashed by the Bills. Pluto said the Browns “did some things very right, and that kept [him] watching intently all night.” Everybody keep watching intently, then read all about it in the PD. These future stars are growing up fast.

But we knew Brandon Weeden had a strong arm. We knew the Browns had some really nice young players. How could they not after using so many high draft picks? “Anybody can gut a roster and replace it with rookies and first-year players.” When do we get to see these pieces used to make winning game plans against legitimate NFL opponents? So the Browns avoid complete embarrassment when the expectations for them couldn’t be lower. When do we get to see if they can handle any other kind of expectations well?

Ten losses in a row and counting. After three weeks, and still after four, one of two winless teams left in the NFL.

—————

Here’s a must read on NFL and Browns fandom by Pete Beatty at The Classical; and here’s The Baltimore Sun’s Mike Preston calling it “basically a foregone conclusion” that “[o]nce this season is over, the Browns will fire Coach Pat Shurmur.” Preston adds that “President Mike Holmgren will probably be dismissed as well,” and that “[t[he Browns are a minor-league operation with minor-league talent.”

The rest of this weekend’s action, including our NCAA and NFL picks will be in the Cheddar Bay open thread. Hope everyone has a decent go of it until Monday.

Tweet
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Michael Jordan wants Warriors to break Bulls record

Joe Mauer says concussions have affected his hitting

Kobe once tried to recruit Dirk Nowitzki to Lakers

Report: Broncos waiting on Manning to talk with Osweiler

NBA commish wants to look into hack-a-player issue

Report: Jose Fernandez has 'soured' on Marlins brass

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Zach LaVine dedicates dunk contest win to Flip Saunders

Alleged Manning sexual assault cited in Tennessee lawsuit

Arian Foster: It's hard for me to watch football

Isaiah Thomas recruiting players at All-Star weekend

Report: Charles Woodson joining ESPN's Sunday NFL crew

Best and worst from NBA All-Star Saturday night

DeMarcus Cousins on looking angry: 'I'm an ugly dude'

WATCH: Dustin Johnson's son steals Jordan Spieth's club

Fans want Floyd Mayweather to buy their soccer team

Tennessee shares Valentines-themed photo of packed stadium

NY Post writer takes harsh shot at Jason Pierre-Paul

LaVine, Gordon put on best NBA dunk contest in years

WATCH: Thompson beats teammate Curry in 3-point contest

NFL teams, players hand out awesome Valentines

Earl Campbell ‘disappointed’ in Johnny Manziel, wants to help

Big man Karl-Anthony Towns wins NBA skills challenge

MLB commish: Cubs will host All-Star Game in near future

WATCH: Memphis forward recreates Vince Carter's elbow dunk in game

Bruins forward is goal scoring machine after suspension

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

LaVine dedicates dunk contest win to Flip Saunders

Ranking the ten best free agent pitcher signings

Who had the best NBA All-Star Game of the last 40 years?

The winners and losers of the 2016 MLB offseason

On Kobe Bryant and taking greatness for granted

Bucks need to choose between wins, development

Fantasy booking WrestleMania 32

Unrestricted free agents each team must consider re-signing

QUIZ: Name the winners of the NBA Slam Dunk Contest

Thank you Daniel Bryan

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker