Here are my final thoughts from the Browns’ 23-10 loss in their season-opener against the Dolphins Sunday at FirstEnergy Stadium:
>>Another forgettable start. No, the season isn’t already lost. Yes, there is ample opportunity for the Browns to rebound, beginning with next Sunday’s game at Baltimore. But there was a whole lot riding on this game. It represented the start of what is supposed to be an improved team under new leadership. Instead, it merely gets added to the long list of season-opening flops. That makes nine in a row and 14 in the 15 since the Browns’ return to Cleveland. You want to say things are different now, and in many ways, they are, as far as the organization’s overall approach to football and off-field business. However, the results are the results in this bottom-line league. The Browns’ chore of proving that they truly are heading in the right direction from a football standpoint just got a little bit harder. The key is for coach Rob Chudzinski and his staff to prevent the players from dwelling too much on this one and quickly turning its focus to the Ravens.
>>Weeden’s struggles. Of the multiple reasons to be disappointed by this loss, the biggest was the performance of
>>Defense comes through as advertised. If there is a bright spot to take from this game, it is that the Browns’ defense did precisely what it was expected to do after the heavy offseason investment to make it dominant. The team set out to greatly improve its ability to rush the quarterback by adding free-agent outside linebackers
>>Cameron rises to the occasion. With
>>O-line issues. The Browns need to get better on their offensive line, and quickly. The unit was far from sterling in pass-protection, or in blocking for the run. The biggest problems were on the right side, where Oneil Cousins struggled mightily. Not only did he consistently seem to be overmatched, but he also was penalized four times. Right tackle
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