Originally posted on Cleveland Frowns  |  Last updated 9/18/12

Two games in, and Mary Kay has gone from unrestrained paeans to golden armed redheads to openly trolling us with ledes on Pat Shurmur’s school days. Any way you look at it, it’s progress:

BEREA, Ohio — Pat Shurmur dreaded his statistics class as a business major at Michigan State, trudged clear across the blustery campus to get there, and didn’t really get it.

More on the trudging, please.

But there’s at least one statistic the Browns head coach can wrap his head around this week — if the Browns lose to the Bills (1-1) on Sunday and fall to 0-3, they can pretty much kiss their playoff chances goodbye. …

Mmm-hmm.

“We’ve got to win his game,” Shurmur said.

As it is, the Browns are already facing long odds. Since 1990, only 12 percent of teams starting 0-2 (22-of-184) — have made the postseason. …

“We need to do what we can to win this football game against a team that’s coming off a big victory [35-17 over Kansas City],” he said. “I’ve got a lot of respect for Buffalo because in my opinion they’ve done a lot of things to upgrade their roster in the last couple of years.”

So it’s not the zero playoff appearances and one winning season in twelve years, or the quarterback who makes five turnovers in every other game. When you’re talking about a team that can win a home game against a Romeo Crennel-coached squad that’s missing it’s three best players on defense, you’re talking about something dangerous.

“Right now, it’s easy to just lay down your hat and be like, ‘You know what? The season’s over with. We don’t have it,’” said linebacker D’Qwell Jackson.

It’s easy for the Browns to lay down and give up on the season, says D’Qwell. And seemingly much easier when the head coach starts talking about “must win” games for a young and developing team that has no earthly chance of being involved in any such thing for at least another season. Especially when that “must win” game is against a mediocre team and one of the league’s worst franchises, and the Browns still end up losing it.

Anyway, yes, beat the Bills. Beat anybody. That would be great.

—————

The quote of the day is from Pat Shurmur (h/t Kamov):

“I don’t care how big you are you can’t slip. But [Buster Skrine is] quick and he challenges.”

Note that the Cheddar Bay All Play for Week 4 is Michigan at Notre Dame (early line is ND by 6), and also that the Executive Committee is suffering extreme misgivings about not making it Bills/Browns. Kudos to the Executive Committee as well, not only for suffering such extreme misgivings on our behalf, but also for achieving a near even split of the action with last week’s Broncos/Falcons All Play.

Finally, it’s just as well that there’s a must win clash on tap for our tailgate party this Sunday. As mentioned yesterday, we’ll have it in the Muni Lot, mainly because it’s the easiest lot to get into and doesn’t charge for walk-ins. In addition to the chili cookoff, one special soul has volunteered to bring fresh Cheddar Bay biscuits, and we’ll have a grill with some stuff to throw on it, as well as some beer and a bottle or two. If you plan to come, please let us know by email (clevelandfrowns@gmail.com) or in the comments here. We’ll announce the exact location (i.e., precisely where in the Muni Lot we end up) as soon as we get there, in the comments to the Shurmurball Week 3 open thread that will be posted Sunday, but you can email for that as well.

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