CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - There are seven games left in the regular season and the Cleveland Browns are still searching for a win.
Cleveland plays against the Jacksonville Jaguars at 1 p.m. on Nov. 19.
Just Like the Jags
Never thought we'd say this, but the Browns must be wishing they were the Jaguars. Maybe they believe they'll get there.
They are trying to follow a similar plan: build a great defense, become the top rushing team (okay, we're working on that one), and get by with an average quarterback (Blake Bortles) until you find a franchise guy.
But for now, Jacksonville is more than a few steps ahead. Like the Browns, they hadn't had a winning season since 2007. Like the Browns, every season somehow turned out worse than the year before.
But unlike the Browns, they hired the right guys to turn it around, bringing in former New York Giants head coach Tom Coughlin to run the show (same title as Sashi Brown: Ex VP of Football Ops. Who'd you rather have running your team?) and promoting Doug Marrone to head coach.
The Jaguars are suddenly a contender. How can the Browns use this blueprint, and who are the people to get the job done? The "Tailgate" team weighs in on that.
The Mighty Mighty North
Of the Jaguars' six wins, three have come within our division, and they didn't just beat the Pittsburgh Steelers, Baltimore Ravens and the Cincinnati Bengals, they embarrassed them, beating the Bengals by two touchdowns, the Steelers by three touchdowns, and the Ravens by five touchdowns.
Now they go for a clean sweep of the AFC North. How can the Browns offense score on this defense, one of the top two in football? Beanie Wells will break it down.
We've seen more than a few from DeShone Kizer, the latest being his decision to try to sneak the ball in from 2-yard line with no timeouts remaining late in the first half against the Lions (Kizer was stopped short, and the Browns came away without points).
He also threw another interception, his 12th of the season, but that was a desperation throw in garbage time.
Still, even Blake Bortles, the Jaguars quarterback who will remind nobody of a Pro Bowl QB, suggested Kizer try to, you know, throw the ball to his own players. Ouch.
Kizer actually played his best NFL game in the loss to the Lions. It just wasn't enough. Can he survive against the #1 pass defense in the league? Our Tailgate analysts explain how.
Tashaun Gipson, the Jaguars safety and former Pro Bowler for the Browns, certainly made the week more interesting with his bashing of the Browns front office. But you know what? He was right.
Sashi Brown was foolish to let a ton of talent walk out that door, including Gipson and offensive tackle Mitchell Schwartz. The guys who left the Browns went on to play key roles for contenders, while their former team continues to flounder in Berea.
Could the Browns have started the rebuild while keeping some veteran talent? In other words, avoid this complete and historic collapse? I believe so, and I'll get Golic's take on that as well.
Yes, we're at the point where we have to ask that question. I know Browns fans are. Of the seven remaining games, which one (or dare we say, two?) is the most winnable? This one? Jaguars seem to be too tough.
In Cinci? Longshot. L.A.? Well, that is the place where dreams are made, and the Chargers aren't good.
The Green Bay Packers are here on Dec. 10th? That could be the day. Ravens here the following week? Coin toss.
But after that, it's the Bears in Chicago on Christmas Eve, and that'll be tough, and in Pittsburgh to close out the season, where the Steelers could be playing for the top seed in the AFC. We'll make our predictions Sunday, on the "Tailgate".
Tailgate will be live at the Burntwood Tavern in Rocky River at 11 a.m. on Sunday.
You can come on down and say hi to Tony, Bob Golic, Beanie Wells and Pierre Woods.