The trip out west to Arizona did not go as planned for the Browns as they fell in decisive fashion to the now 4-9-1 Arizona Cardinals by a final score of 38-24. It was considered a must win game for Cleveland as they were still holding on to some slim playoff chances and came into the game as 3- point favorites. However, the Cardinals had other plans as they took the lead quickly and never looked back en route to a dominating performance that was not as close as the final score indicated.
Cleveland was torched on the ground as Cardinals running back Kenyan Drake had a career day with 137 rushing yards and four touchdowns. Quarterback Kyler Murray also played well, throwing for 219 yards and a touchdown while also rushing for 56 yards. Cleveland saw another impressive performance from Nick Chubb rushing for 127 yards and a score to take over the NFL rushing lead; Chubb now leads Derrick Henry by 79 yards with two weeks remaining in the season.
Nick Chubb Rushing Title Odds
Chubb is now the -305 favorite to win the rushing title in front of Henry +250 and Christian McCaffery at +550. With Chubb the lone bright spot on Sunday the Browns again looked like an incohesive team all around, exactly as they have most of the season. Even with the loss, Cleveland holds onto the slimmest of playoff chances which will hopefully serve as some type of motivation as the red-hot Ravens head to Cleveland on Sunday.
It’s hard to know what to believe when it comes to Browns rumors these days. It seems as though every report that comes out is refuted the following day but I will tell you that where there is smoke, there is fire, and the dysfunction on this team is real and has been there since Week 1. There was a report following the game that the Browns are not planning on getting rid of Freddie Kitchens this offseason and plan on continuing this charade into the 2020 season.
It’s one thing to learn on the job a little and have some rookie mistakes, those can be accepted and looked beyond. But when the players stop buying into the system and stop playing for a coach, it will just never work. Even if only half of the reports are true of the “come get me calls” to the opposing sideline, or how multiple Browns were quitting on plays last week against the Cardinals, or “Not giving 110%” as Kareem Hunt said during his postgame comments. The lack of disciple in all aspects of the game has been a glaring concern since Week 1 and nothing has gotten any better as the season has progressed.
With all the talent assembled in Cleveland it comes down to coaching and installing the proper system to succeed. I feel as though Kitchens has shown he is ill equipped to do so. Instead of wasting all the talent that has been assembled here I believe the Browns should move in another direction and quickly.
The Cleveland Browns Week 16 Odds as They Host the Hot Ravens
This week the Browns will be hosting the Baltimore Ravens for a 1:00 kickoff at First Energy Stadium. The Browns are 10-point underdogs in the game with total Over/Under set at 48.5. This is a rematch of Week Four when the Browns crushed the Ravens in Baltimore by a score of 40-25. Cleveland’s best played game of the year saw Baker Mayfield pass for 342 yards and a touchdown while it served as Nick Chubb’s coming out party as he ran for 165 yards and three scores including an epic 88-yard scamper at the start of the fourth quarter.
However, since that game, both teams have gone in very different directions as the Ravens are now the talk of the league and the +225 favorite to win the Super Bowl. With a win, Baltimore would lock up the No. 1 seed in the AFC and be able to rest players for the final two weeks of the season. After looking at the injury report, there is no question who the healthier team is in this one and that’s the Ravens. The Browns are banged up everywhere and I expect Baltimore to take care of business on Sunday and avenge that Week 4 loss.