by Hal Bent
The Cleveland Browns are coming off a disappointing loss to the New England Patriots in Foxboro, MA last Sunday. The Browns lost 27 to 26 when they blew a twelve point lead with less than three minutes to play in the game.
The Browns were hurt by two questionable penalties that had a major impact on the game. Both calls went the home team’s way and helped allow New England to come back to win. The first was the unnecessary roughness call on backup cornerback Jordan Poyer that allowed New England to kick-off from mid-field for their onside kick attempt. Poyer did not launch himself or go helmet-to-helmet and yet still was penalized.
After backup running back Fozzy Whittaker could not cover the onside kick attempt New England had new life down by five points. On first down at the 30 yard line with 40 seconds to play, Leon McFadden was penalized for a questionable pass interference penalty in the end zone. At worst, it could have been called a five-yard penalty for holding before the receiver Josh Boyce neared the end zone. It was tight coverage on a contested pass.
What really hurt the Browns the most in those last three minutes was that the defense which had harassed Patriots quarterback Tom Brady throughout the first 57 minutes of the game took their foot on off the pedal. Now the Browns have nine losses and are left playing for next season. They can look back at this game against New England like their earlier games against Kansas City (week 8), Baltimore (week 9), Cincinnati (week 11), and Jacksonville (week 13) where they had ample opportunity to pull out an important victory and fell short.This week the Browns welcome the 7-6 Chicago Bears to Cleveland for a Week 15 match-up. While the Bears are coming off their big Monday night win last week against the Cowboys, the Browns are looking to play them tough at home and wipe away any remnants of last week’s collapse in New England...Click here for more: Cleveland Browns Need a Bounce-Back Win Vs Strong Chicago Bears