The Cleveland Browns lost a thriller to the Los Angeles Chargers by a score of 47-42.
This game had everything a Browns fan could want except the all important victory.
There were many lead changes, big plays, and lots of excitement.
Here are the three things we learned in the Browns’ loss to the Chargers.
1. When Your Offense Puts Up 500 Yards, 0 Turnovers, And 42 Points, You Should Win
It should be a given.
Every team before them in NFL history who put up those offensive numbers and had no turnovers has won the game.
This is another one of those stats that Browns fans do not want their team to have, but unfortunately, they now do.
The Browns scored 42 points, had 532 yards with 0 turnovers.
They are the first team in NFL history including the playoffs to lose when having either
– 40 Pts and 0 turnovers OR
– 40 Pts, 500 yards and 0 turnovers
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) October 10, 2021
Considering the offensive line injuries and Mayfield’s injury, the offense played well for the first 55 or so minutes of the game (more on that later).
People will try to pin this loss on the offense not answering the call at the end, but the defense gave up some huge plays especially in the 4th quarter.
#Browns HC Kevin Stefanski on defensive breakdowns on a couple of Chargers' TDs: "It's obviously miscommunication and we had too many of those."
— 92.3 The Fan (@923TheFan) October 10, 2021
There was either extreme exhaustion or a letdown, I am not sure which.
2. The Browns Offense Does Not Have A Good Plan For Late Game Drives
The Browns have two losses this season.
In both cases, there was both time and opportunity at the end of the game to win.
Against the Chiefs, Mayfield threw the interception as he was being tackled.
Today, against the Chargers, the last 3 minutes of offensive play calls were odd.
Focusing on the last drive, there was a lot of time wasted trying to get the first down in the middle of the field.
There was no effort to throw or run to the sidelines when the team was out of time-outs.
The final play, a Hail Mary, looked lackluster at best.
It looked like the Browns never practiced a 2-3 minute drive to win the game.
My thoughts on the #Browns
– Refs directly impacted the outcome of the game
– Defense can’t have any injuries to be elite
– Baker looked great this week
– Stefanski’s play call has to get better. He butchered the 4th quarter
– I’m sick to my stomach and going to bed
— Browns Country (@TheFanDomeShow) October 10, 2021
3. There Is A Big Difference Between 3-2 And 4-1.
The Chargers are a very good team so a victory in this game was going to be hard fought.
However, had the Browns pulled it out, they would have been 4-1 with potentially only the Ravens keeping pace with them in the AFC North.
Not only that, there would be momentum and an emotional boost as the Browns get ready to take on the Arizona Cardinals, the last undefeated team in the NFL, in Week 6.
The Browns are in the midst of an 11-day stretch where they have 3 tough opponents: the Chargers (10/10), Cardinals (10/17), and Broncos (10/21).
This would have been a huge road win.
That one stings a lot. #Browns
— Camryn Justice (@camijustice) October 10, 2021
There are many concerns as the Browns enter Week 6.
One of the biggest ones is injuries.
Every team has their share, but the Browns seem banged up on both sides of the ball, and it is early in the season.
One positive on the day is that Hance and Hudson help up well in covering for Jedrick Wills.
Mayfield was only sacked 1 time for a loss of 4 yards.
Onward and upward, it is time to absorb lessons learned and get ready for Kyler Murray and company.