Monday, December 23, 2013
Upon Further Review: Browns Week 16
By Pat McManamon
A review of five hot issues from the Cleveland Browns' 24-13 loss to the New York Jets:
Injured coach: Secondary coach Louie Cioffi left the locker room on crutches after hurting his knee on the sideline. Cioffi took the worst of it when Browns linebacker Barkevious Mingo shoved Geno Smith out of bounds at the end of a run.
Other injuries: Defensive tackle Phil Taylor left the game with a concussion. He will go through the league's concussion protocols. Cornerback Joe Haden played with a badly bruised hip. After the game, he told the media in the locker room the adrenaline had worn off and the pain had increased.
What happened: There were times early this season when many thought the Browns defense was playing well and it has been a strength of the team. But the past month has been the exact opposite. Ray Horton has been accountable, candid and up front when he has addressed the media, but his players have simply not gotten it done. The Browns defense gives up too many scores late in halves, and too many long drives at key points of games to consider itself a top defense.
Steeling for Pittsburgh: The season finale will be against the Steelers for the fifth time in six seasons. The Browns haven't won any of them. They lost 24-10 a year ago, 13-9 in '11, 41-9 in '10 and 31-0 in '08. The Steelers have something to play for, so this visit figures to be as difficult as any.
What a win means: The Browns have four wins. A win against Pittsburgh would give them five, which would at least match the win total in the last of Pat Shurmur's years as coach. If they lose, they'll tie for the third-worst mark since the expansion ere started in 1999. The worst two records came in 1999 and 2000.