DETROIT — Hello everybody from Ford Field in downtown Detroit, which turns out to be the home away from home for the Buffalo Bills. They rally against the Browns by the end of the first half and then dominate the game in the second half to come away with a much-needed 31-23 win to halt a two-game losing streak.
The Browns now drop to 3-7 on the season, coming home next week to take on Tom Brady and his Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
You know, when you think about it, there's a "sameness" to these losses. It's not just that the Browns don't finish games; you can boil it down to be more specific. They don't finish drives, and then that accumulates as the game goes along and suddenly they're coming up empty too many times.
It was only a matter of time before Josh Allen and the Buffalo Bills would get going, which they did, and really by halftime when they took over the lead only by a few points, you just had a bad feeling that it's going to be the same old script and the Browns are going to wilt in the second half, which they did.
But you go back to critical points in the first half. The Browns come out storming once again and score right away, going ahead 7-0 in the game. But then their next drive, let's go inside of that.
First-and-goal at the 8-yard line, a direct snap to Nick Chubb. Now, I know that worked a couple of weeks ago in the Browns' greatest win of this season against the Cincinnati Bengals on "Monday Night Football," but remember where Chubb was on that play: He was at the 1-yard line, not the 8-yard line. The direct snap to him took a six-yard loss.
Then, in consecutive plays — bang, bang — Browns tight ends dropped passes in the end zone. Harrison Bryant first, and then Pharaoh Brown, eliminating the Browns from getting a touchdown and they settle for a field goal. And really, that was it.
Another promising drive going, and the Browns fumble a snap. Now, there's a reason for that: Ethan Pocic, their starting center, went out with a knee injury early in the game, and Hjalte Froholdt went in on an emergency basis (he's really, on their depth chart, their fourth center). There were problems, and the Browns lost the ball there.
Buffalo took advantage of that and got a field goal before going in and getting the late touchdown at the end of the half. Then, they came right out and double-dipped, going right at the Browns at the start of the second half. The defense gave up point after point after point, and in total gave up six field goals to Tyler Bass.
But, once again, the "sameness" to the loss. In the second half, the Browns completely deteriorate. Arm-tackling leads to running plays by the Buffalo Bills backs, no matter who it was — Singletary and Cook just running through a paper-thin Browns defense for big yardage.
Then, more special teams problems. The Browns give up a big return in the first half when ends in a Buffalo field goal, but then they have a blocked field goal. Cade York has one put back at him, it looks as though there was a real problem with communication and blocking up on the front of the ling, and the Browns come away empty once again.
So, as this goes along, the disappointment is this: Nothing is changing right now. The Browns always seem to come out like a house of fire, go right down and score. But after that, they never really add to the lead, they never continue to keep their foot down on the gas pedal, and they always seem to make mistakes. They really come up with big mistakes that unplug drives and then lead to a situation where they fall to far behind and they end up losing once again.
So, what's left? They're 3-7, one more game for Jacoby Brissett next Sunday at home against Tom Brady and the Buccaneers. It would be really great to see Brissett get a win. He's done a very admirable job in a tough situation to have to play the first 11 games while we wait for Deshaun Watson.
And about that wait, it's not much longer. One more game and then Watson's up for the final six, when the Browns head down to Houston at the beginning of December to take on his old team, the Texans.
But this is pretty glum right now. It really is. 3-7 for still, I think, a pretty talented football team. But now, the problems are completely across the landscape. The offensive line is struggling — a bit battered, but struggling. The running game that was really the calling card for the Browns offensively? It's not there. Nick Chubb is running into walls, Kareem Hunt has to hurdle over people, the running game that really opened up so many things for them is failing them, certainly in the last two weeks against Miami and Buffalo.
The Browns' season is gone right now, and so all we can do is sit back and hope Brissett gets a win next week in his final game, and then we'll what Deshaun Watson has for the final six games of the season.
But 3-7? Very, very tough to take.
Listen to Jimmy's calls from today's game in the player below: