Originally posted on Waiting For Next Year  |  Last updated 12/24/12
I’m not making excuses for the Browns, but I honestly didn’t expect them to be competitive this past Sunday against the Broncos. 1 This team was in trouble when T.J. Ward got hurt and when they decided to cut Dimitri Patterson. Add in all the extraneous chatter this week from the locker room about impending change, and no amount of “if” in those quotes could dissuade me from thinking this team was at least distracted and probably just finished with the year. In a lot of ways, Shurmur might deserve some credit for at least one thing 2 this season, and that is that his team played hard almost to the end. And they might have too if not for the injuries and frustration in how they saw their three game winning streak ended by Kirk Cousins and the Redskins a week ago. Regardless of the reasoning, the Browns never should have cut off their nose to spite their face cutting Dimitri Patterson this week. Considering the experiment of Buster Skrine starting earlier in the season, it wasn’t worth cutting Patterson before the final two games unless I’m missing something business-related. So, unless he somehow indicated that he was going to refuse to play, I just can’t understand it. The Browns could have used Patterson in a major way both in the slot to start the game and also on the outside filling in for Sheldon Brown after he was injured. Whether it was a player insurrection or a shot across the bow of Tom Heckert by Joe Banner, it sure hurt the team and the fans yesterday against Peyton Manning. Maybe it didn’t really matter anyway, but considering the 34-12 final score, it bears question whether any of it was worth it for a fanbase that certainly deserved a more competitive game. We are talking about a game that was 14-3 at halftime with the Browns getting the ball. It’s not like it was a blowout wire-to-wire. And yet, in the end the Browns got crushed by long touchdown drives and an inability to respond in kind. And so the Browns will be limping into the final game of the season. Even before reports come out, we know that Trent Richardson is questionable along with starting QB Brandon Weeden who went down with an ankle and shoulder respectively. Sheldon Brown is going to be questionable, presumably with a concussion. But the Browns are going up against a Steelers team with problems of their own. Heath Miller got hurt on Sunday along with Maurkice Pouncey and a couple other role players. Add in that Troy Polamalu has been banged up all year along with Ben Roethlisberger and sprinkle in the bitter dash of spice that the Steelers are now knocked out of playoff contention and they might just well pack it in a little bit too. Of course, I shouldn’t say it too loudly lest this message sneak its way into the Browns locker room. I’d hate for these guys to get the wrong idea that they don’t have to try too hard against the Steelers next weekend. With very little chance 3 that Pat Shurmur will be back, it isn’t like one more win will hurt anything for the Browns. And no, don’t talk to me about draft implications. This is a game against the Steelers. The Browns will earn whatever draft pick they’re supposed to get. And hopefully this rag-tag bunch of wounded warriors with nothing left to play for at least give the fans a reason to watch. ___________________________________ Yes, this is a problem in itself. and probably only one or a couple things zero really
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Seahawks players feel Sherman bombshell story ‘nailed it’

Turkey: Kanter a member of terrorist group, issues warrant

Chad Johnson says Roger Goodell consulted him on touchdown celebration rule change

Kevin Durant is not to blame for the NBA’s lack of parity, and he knows it

Khloe Kardashian called out Cavs fan who mentioned ‘curse’

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Warriors’ Mike Brown: Steve Kerr may be back for the Finals

Dodgers transfer Andrew Toles and Scott Kazmir to the 60-day disabled list

Looking back at 40 years of women racing in the Indianapolis 500

U.S. national soccer teams to wear LGBT-themed jerseys to celebrate pride month

Mike Zimmer: Teddy Bridgewater still has ‘long ways to go’

Report: Clippers concerned about Chris Paul leaving to sign with Spurs

Best of Yardbarker: Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines

The 'More like Whiffer, Texas Ranger...amirite?' quiz

The Rewind: Vince Carter's graduation day celebration that wasn't

Manu Ginobili gave life to the San Antonio Spurs

Stanley Cup Final: A David vs. Goliath matchup that's not as lopsided as it may appear

Why the Indianapolis 500 is called 'the greatest spectacle in racing'

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Box Score 5/26: Bring on the Finals

Why wait? Our too soon Cavaliers-Warriors NBA Finals preview

Kicking It: East is East, and West is West

Three Up, Three Down: Some surprises way out (NL) West

The 'Let's go to the videotape!' quiz

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

Best of Yardbarker: Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines

The 'More like Whiffer, Texas Ranger...amirite?' quiz

Stanley Cup Final: A David vs. Goliath matchup that's not as lopsided as it may appear

Manu Ginobili gave life to the San Antonio Spurs

The Rewind: Vince Carter's graduation day celebration that wasn't

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Kicking It: East is East, and West is West

Three Up, Three Down: Some surprises way out (NL) West

The 'Let's go to the videotape!' quiz

Why the Indianapolis 500 is called 'the greatest spectacle in racing'

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