Hue Is The Only One Safe; Who’s Worse: ’99 Browns, ’08 Lions Or ’16 Browns?

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In NFL history, there has only been five winless seasons, but only two are repeatedly brought up: the ’76 Tampa Bay Buccaneers (debut season; 0-14) and the ’08 Detroit Lions (0-16). The Bucs also lost the first twelve games of the following season to set the NFL record for consecutive losses at 26-straight. The Lions, as many people forget for some reason, are the only NFL franchise to have TWO winless seasons. In 1942, the Lions went 0-11. There’s three, so who have the other two? Well, the 1960 Dallas Cowboys went 0-11-1 in their debut season, and the 1982 Baltimore Colts went 0-8-1, albeit a strike shortened year. The 2016 Browns are on the verge of recording the sixth imperfect season in NFL history. What’s worse is that they’re just as putrid as the 1999 Browns, and are possibly worse than the 2008 Lions. The only thing that may save them from being worse is the point differential. The difference this year (so far) is -188. Compare that to -220 for the ’99 squad and -249 for the ’08 Lions.

Before I show you the stats, and yes, I know the Browns only have played 14 games this year, let me get a couple things off my chest. First thing is first: Hue Jackson is the only one that’s safe. IF Jimmy decides to clean house, Hue is the only one that’s untouchable. He came into this situation with the idea of possibly being able to coach how he wants to. Well, that’s not the case. Analytics has been running the show, from the draft, all the way down to the decision to kick in overtime against Miami. Analytics is fine in baseball, where it actually fits. Using this insane approach in football makes zero sense. Football is about the players, not the deep stats that many of us really don’t give a damn about. I want my team coached by the coach. I want decisions made by the man wearing the headset on the sidelines every Sunday (or Thursday, whatever). If Hue wants to take the ball after he wins the toss, let him. If he wants to go for two whenever he wants, let him. And keep analytics AND Pro Football Focus out of the draft process. I know damn well Hue didn’t take Kessler. The biggest knock I have on Hue? Signing RGIII. Thank God that experiment is almost over.

Second: Ray Horton’s illustrious defense is garbage. The Browns have a great chance to break the franchise record points allowed in a season of 462, which was set back in 1990. In his first stint with the Browns in 2013, Horton’s total defense was ranked 9th with 332.4 yards allowed per game, compared to this year’s 400.8 yards per game, with is good enough for 31st. His pass defense has never been an issue, with 2011 being the lowest ranked his pass defense has ever been at 17th. It’s his run defense that is an absolute mess. Twice, Horton had his defense ranked towards the middle of the league at 18th (2013-Cleveland, 111.3 yards per game; 2015-Tennessee, 112.3 yards per game). In no way am I advocating that he should stay because he doesn’t have the talent. That’s nonsense, because he does. It’s the 3-4 defensive scheme that’s the problem. Moving to a 4-3 defense would make things much easier on the defensive side, which would mean he has to go. Jonathan Allen or Myles Garrett both would compliment Emmanuel Ogbah on the opposite end of the line. Allen can even move inside and pair up with Shelton, leaving Ogbah and Carl Nassib on the ends. But, we’ll dive more into these scenarios in a couple weeks as I go into GM mode.

Sashi Brown, Paul DePodesta, Ray Horton and Chris Tabor all need to go. Plain and simple. Sashi and Paul have this idea that they can reinvent the wheel, which they can’t. Football isn’t an analytics based sport, and never will be. Just two teams use this process in football: the Browns and the Jaguars. Both teams are a mess. Coincidence? I think not. You can’t change how you draft and sign players based off numbers. You can’t take the coach’s decision making out of the game based off of a mathematical equation. The moment this experiment was set up, I immediately hated it. I’m not a fan of it in baseball, but it occasionally works.

The Browns welcome the San Diego Chargers to town this Saturday. This should be an advantage for the Browns, and I think they can win this game, despite RGIII starting. The Chargers are leaving the warmth of California for the miserable, chilly Lake Erie wind and weather. A cross country trip on a short week should make for the last chance for a win, because next week, the Browns travel to Pittsburgh. A game in which, I don’t see them even being competitive.

If you made it this far, here are the comparative rankings and stats for the 1999 Browns, 2008 Lions and the 2016 Browns. Enjoy. Or Cry. Your choice…..

Offense
Points Per Game

(Ranking)

Yards Per Game

(Ranking)

Pass Yds Per Game

(Ranking)

Rush Yds Per Game

(Ranking)

’99 Browns 13.6 (31st) 235.1 (31st) 163.3 (29th) 71.8 (31st)
’08 Lions 16.8 (27th) 268.3 (30th) 185 (24th) 83.3 (30th)
’16 Browns 15.7 (31st) 306.3 (30th) 209.4 (28th) 96.9 (25th)
Defense
Points Per Game

(Ranking)

Yards Per Game

(Ranking)

Pass Yds Per Game

(Ranking)

Rush Yds Per Game

(Ranking)

’99 Browns 27.3 (29th) 377.9 (31st) 206.9 (11th) 171 (31st)
’08 Lions 32.3 (32nd) 404.4 (32nd) 232.3 (27th) 172.1 (32nd)
’16 Browns 29.1 (31st) 400.8 (31st) 245.1 (15th) 155.7 (31st)

 

***The ’08 Browns were slightly better than the ’08 Lions on defense, but finished them in all but one offensive category. The Browns finished ranked 26th in rushing offense, four spots ahead of the winless Lions.***

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Raymond Bosak About Raymond Bosak

Hello everyone. My name is Raymond Bosak and I live in Cleveland, Ohio. I am a die-hard Cleveland fan, and have been my entire life. I am looking forward to bringing you some excellent Browns, Buckeyes, and Indians coverage, and maybe some Cavs things too. Everything I write will be honest and upfront. I’ll aim to have a couple articles per week, including some game previews and reviews, 5 things to watch for, and game ball and game MVP(s).

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