Carlos Hyde

USA Today

Week 4

The Browns didn’t BGB that game, the refs RGR’ed that game.

October 01, 2018 - 10:14 am

Another wild weekend in the NFL.

Frank Reich and the Colts gambling in overtime. And crapping out.

The Steelers looking very un-Steelers, than somewhat Steelers-ish, and then not Steelers at all in their loss to the Ravens. And now they’re staring at a season that might be on the verge of disaster. 

Josh Gordon making his Pats debut.

The Bears throwing up a disco ball for their victory party. 

And Bucs head coach Dirk Koetter going with the rare move of suggesting his own firing: “We should fire every person that was on that field today -- starting with me. That was horrific."

There are so many places to start, but I’m starting with America’s team: the Cleveland Browns. Yeah, I said it. They’re America’s team. They’ve gone from the worst team in the NFL to the most exciting team in the NFL. 

Four games into the season and all four games had you all on the edge of your seats tripping. Hell, Browns not only matter again, they’re exciting as hell. The tie with Pittsburgh. The improbable comeback and impossible loss to the Saints. The epic win over the Jets that liberated a city. And then yesterday, their trip to Oakland.

And it was another one for the ages. I’ll cut to the chase. Yes, it was Oakland’s first win of the year. Yes, it was Jon Gruden’s first win as a head coach in a really long time. And it’s easy to get suckered into the story of the Raiders turning the corner. That now the Silver and Black are back. The flame has been re-lit and it will never go out. Gruden has it figured out. Yeah, not really. And you probably don’t want to bring that crap around here. All that did was prevent the worst case scenario for the Raiders and their ten million dollar a year. And no, I don’t give a damn how much he makes. You’re worth whatever anyone is willing to pay you. I only bring how much chunky makes because he made it a point to say how much Khalil Mack WANTED TO MAKE. Oh and the fact that every time Khalil Mack steps on the field he reminds everyone just how badly Gruden got worked in that trade with the Bears, regardless of who they select with the picks. Sure, even if Gruden works a miracle, which is doubtful, but even if he does, and drafts the next Khalil Mack, it won’t matter because he had the actual Khalil Mack and he’s doing for the Browns what he used to do for the Raiders. And should be doing for the Raiders.  Wrecking shop. But I’m not going to keep going back to that. Well, actually probably will. Anyway….

The story wasn’t about the Raiders busting their losing streak, it was about the Browns breaking their winning streak. 

Oakland 45, Cleveland 42, in overtime. That’s what the scoreboard said and nobody is a bigger scoreboard guy than me. And I’ve always said that if you’re blaming the officials, you should be blaming yourself. And the Browns were blaming themselves after that game, but they did get jammed by the refs. Jammed hard. 

Cleveland was up 42-34 with less than two minutes to go. Third-and-two from their own 17. Get this first down and they can start kneeling down and celebrating back-to-back wins. Carlos Hyde takes the handoff and Hyde appeared to get a first down. But the officials brought out the chain gang, they measured for it, it was ruled a first down, and then they went to replay and overturned it. Fourth down, the Browns punt, the Raiders tie it, and then win in overtime.

If this had happened a week or two earlier, you’d have said the Browns Gonna Brown. But this wasn’t the Browns Gonna Brown, this was the Refs Gonna Ref. I thought former league MVP of officiating Dean Blandino was going to stroke out right there on the air.

It was so egregious that the Cleveland Police department tweeted: Robbery warrant issued for tonight’s Browns game NFL “officials”. Ok. We can’t do that. Just sayin’.

Heyyyyy to the OOOOOOOOO!!!!!

You know it’s bad when the city police department is going with wacky, schticky tweets. But they were right. That was a robbery. The Browns should be headed back to The Land with a win, a 2-1-1 record and being in a playoff spot at the quarter pole.

Now, this doesn’t mean that the Browns are off the hook. I’m not putting it all on the refs. The Browns made plenty of mistakes in that game. Baker Mayfield had 4 turnovers and he was the first to own it: “I’m the quarterback of this team. It’s on me.”

But Baker Mayfield had four turnovers and still had them in a spot to win the game. And they should’ve won the game. They didn’t BGB that game, the refs RGR’ed that game.  

As Mayfield said: "It had to be a heck of a review to turn that over on third down and short. But any time you put it in somebody else's hands, it's not always gonna turn out your way."

Yes and yes. And as always this guy already gets it. The fact that anyone ever dared to compare him to Johnny Football is the biggest joke ever. They literally have nothing in common.

But tell you this right now: the Raiders may have won the game, but they are losing the war. Because I would much rather be the Browns right now than the Raiders. And when have you ever said you’d rather be the Browns than anyone else right now, much less the Raiders. But I would. 

The Browns have a vision, they have a plan, they have a defense with talent and an offense that has serious potential. The Raiders have two extra first round draft picks. Do the Raiders have a bright future? Maybe, possibly. I don’t know. But I know the Browns do. You better buy stock and jump on the bandwagon before it gets full. Because while I don’t know if the Raiders have turned the corner, I know the Browns have even after a loss in Oakland. And even after they were jammed hard by the officials. This isn’t the NBA; I can’t just say they’re going to get the calls. But if the Raiders were in the Association, I know for a fact they wouldn’t. Stars get calls. And this is the NFL; and you are exactly what you record says you are. And the Raiders record is 1 and 3. But they should be 0-4. And yes, I’d rather be the Browns than the Raiders at this point.