You Can Learn an Awful Lot From a “Meaningless” Game

After being in a creative rut for a month, I am back to blogging. However, I have been very active on the blog’s Facebook page and have done a lot of different things. Please take a look and give it a like here: https://www.facebook.com/dylansdosesportsblog/?pnref=story.

My inspiration came from an odd place. The Monday Night Football matchup between hopeless Cleveland and slightly less hopeless Baltimore ended with an improbable game winning blocked field goal returned for a touchdown as time expired by Baltimore’s Will Hill. This “meaningless game” spoke volumes about both franchises.

The Ravens have had issues from day one this year. They had legitimate Super Bowl aspirations. In fact, I picked them to win it before the season. However, key injuries and close losses mounted quickly. QB Joe Flacco, WR Steve Smith, LB Terrell Suggs, and RB Justin Forsett have all suffered season ending injuries. Thus, the Ravens are playing with backups and spare parts everywhere, but no one could tell on Monday. Head coach John Harbaugh was joking with the media in pregame and seemed genuinely excited about building a game plan around journeyman backup QB Matt Schaub and rookie 6th round pick RB Buck Allen. To Harbaugh’s credit his team was motivated and played a smart game. They were rewarded with a win. When a team preforms like that when their season is lost already, it is no wonder why John Harbaugh has never missed the playoffs as a NFL head coach. Even though he likely will this year, Harbaugh and the Ravens will no doubt be back.

Then there is Cleveland. It was night that summed up the state of the Browns perfectly. Dropped passes, poor QB play surrounded by drama, and high priced free agent signings sitting on the sidelines ruled the evening. Johnny Manziel losing his starting QB job due to bye week partying helped no one, but he did not commit a mortal sin. This organization needs to find out what they have in the former Texas A&M star, and they refuse to play him. I do not get it. The Browns secondary was carved up by QB who hadn’t thrown a meaningful pass in two years. One more thing remained constant for the Browns Monday night. They found another creative way to lose. So many of Cleveland’s issues are effort related, like dropped passes and penalties. No coach can fix that. However, at 2-9 head coach Mike Pettine is destined to take the fall. So, the Browns will likely continue to play coach and QB carousel as another awful season wraps up. As long as they do, they will go nowhere. They could learn a lot from their opponents Monday night. Since returning the NFL in 1999, the Browns have changed head coaches an average of every 1.2 seasons. No coach in the history of man can turn this mess around in 1.2 seasons. Unfortunately, there is no end in sight for Browns fans and they deserve much better. From what I saw, fans took this loss harder than the players and coaches. That may be the most concerning thing of all.

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