Oh, the Browns. Such excitement for a 2-2-1 team. Hope for Cleveland football that hasn’t been felt for literally decades. Just a year ago, this would have been a terrible game, unfit for viewing. Redzone channel cuts to it would have been few and far between. Now, it’s one of the most exciting games of the week. The young, upstart QB versus the old, sage veteran. The playboy going up against a man that believes in natural family planning, to the tune of 8 children (and counting!). This game also features a pair of hungry defenses, with strong pass rushes. Excitement aside, let’s call this what it really is: The “Who’s Going to Fuck This One Up Worse” bowl.
Let’s not forget, the Chargers were kind enough to spare the Browns from an 0-16 season in 2016, and were the only team the Browns beat during their incredibly long losing streak. Both franchises have a long and storied history of screwups. Far too many to recount them all here. This year has been no exception. The Chargers have already hit the esteemed trifecta of giving up a punt return for a touchdown, having a punt blocked for a touchdown, and muffing a punt for a (near) touchdown (the Chiefs scored from the one on the next play). Truly, they are outdoing themselves. Somehow, they’ve overcome these enormous errors to the tune of a 3-2 start.
Now, the Browns being the Browns, have their own set of issues. They’ve had a years worth of field goal issues, packed into these first 5 weeks. First, it was the Zane Gonzales show. In his first game as Browns kicker, he had a 43 yard, game winning field goal blocked, resulting in a tie. “Well, at least the Browns didn’t lose,” read the saddest headline of all time. If you believe in reincarnation, you must have to be a truly heinous person to be born a Browns fan. Their second game was more of the same, with Gonzales missing two field goals, including one in the final seconds that would have sent the game to overtime. Sorry to say that was Zane’s last game for this Browns squad. New kicker Greg Joseph has been better, but very nearly cost the Browns again last week against Baltimore, missing badly in regulation and barely squeaking the game winner through in overtime. It’s hard to tell if this Browns team should be 5-0, 0-5, or 0-0-5.
Clearly, neither of these teams like to win. Both coaches have shown a proclivity for making strange decisions in big moments. The quarterback play will make this a very fun game to watch. Defensively, can Miles Garrett and Melvin Ingram make their lives hard through the pass rush? Can Jabrill Peppers and Derwin James be the playmakers they’ve shown thus far this season? Finally, the most important question of all — WHO’S GOING TO FUCK THIS ONE UP WORSE?!