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This was not a good way to open the season for the Browns.
First of all, a Week 1 loss was a brutal result after the Browns had the lead in the fourth quarter.
The way in which they lost, however, was a much bigger problem.
In the first quarter, when they went down 10-0, they didn't look like they belonged in the NFL. They were undisciplined, unable to complete their assignments and just showed an overall lack of organization or enthusiasm.
The defense looked bad, the offense looked worse and special teams was simply nonexistent, thanks in most parts to Richmond McGee. Luckily, as the second quarter came along, the Browns settled down a bit and were able to play the way we expected them to.
Colt was accurate and efficient, and the defense was stepping up and making stops for three-and-outs. At 17-13, the Browns were dominating the game until Bruce Gradkowski took advantage of a Browns misstep and eventually won the game for the Bengals.
I believe the majority of Browns fans expected a victory today, myself included, and that's where the true problem lies. Cleveland was expected to win today and was beat by a much less experienced and less talented team, which means there are a lot of underlying problems that need to be solved—and solved quickly—so the Browns can still salvage something out of this season.
If they want to win football games, the Browns are going to have to improve on the offensive line first and foremost. A good O-line will allow for a better Colt McCoy and Peyton Hillis, and the ability to put more points on the board.
The defense was killed by field position and the Browns' special teams today, but they need to improve as well, as they allowed 27 points to Andy Dalton, Bruce Gradkowski and Cedric Benson.
I hate to say that today was a sign of things to come this season for the Browns, because I don't believe that is the case at all.
But if things don't start improving by next week, it could be another long year for Browns fans.