Sunday, September 25, 2016

Foreboding Joy - Browns v. Dolphins

He looks like a really nice guy. Good luck today, Cody! Seriously. 

Today is one of those games that I am already regretting spending the time to watch. I just don't see much of a way for the Browns to win this one. With such a young team and so little depth, the Browns simply can't weather an injury storm like the one that has befallen them over the past two weeks.
Starting QB, Back-up QB, Starting DE, Starting DB (questionable), Starting K, Starting WR, Starting C, Starting S. I'm not even sure I've mentioned everyone...

So the logical question is: if a young healthy Browns team can't beat Philly, and a young sort of healthy Browns team can't beat Baltimore, how on earth is a young injury riddled Browns team supposed to beat Miami? Don't sell Miami short here. They are also 0-2, but they have played two of the top teams in the NFL (I'm disregarding your "the Seahawks suck this year; they can't score." comments right now, as you're thinking them. Isn't that amazing, you didn't even know I was thinking about you. Wait. Forget that. Keep reading.) in the Seattle Seahawks and the New England Patriots.

But this is where the being a Browns fan thing rears its ugly head. I still have this glimmer of hope. Everything presented to us, all the facts, all the pundits, all logical thinking would tell you that there is no way the Browns can win this game. But, I still can't wait for kick-off. I'm secretly hoping that Cody Kessler is as good a quarterback as he seems to be a teammate and hard worker.

Hopefully, John Greco will be an upgrade over Cam Erving as he goes against Ndamukong Suh at center... I can't even continue down this line of reasoning; it's making me sad. But, I'm still excited! What is that? Why have we been chosen for this?

My misplaced excitement and hope aside, something interesting to watch today will be how Joe Thomas handles Mario Williams. There have been many in the past few years that have given Thomas a hard time, citing declining skills, and riding out his all-pro rep while not playing at an all-pro level. To be fair, there are as many, maybe more, who feel he deserves every bit of praise he gets. So today will be a great test for the "future Hall of Famer" against a possible future HOFer.

Another interesting aspect of this game will be how Hue Jackson fashions the offense for Cody Kessler. By all accounts we might see some interesting formations and play calls today.

So, in the end, I will gather the family into the car and drive down to our local sports bar and eat lunch as we watch the Browns game unfold in real-time. While I'm afraid that I've become one of Pavlov's dogs as I dutifully sit myself in front of the TV for four hours each Sunday, I'm also just hungry. So in this case, I salivate for a win, or for another quarter like the first quarter against the Raven's last week. Man, that was fun! And then it wasn't. But here I am, hearing the bell and returning to the dog bowl. (Wow, that metaphor ended nicely.)

Go Browns.