Browns burn with Baker during MNF

Michael Harms, Courier Staff

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When reality hits, it can feel like a building of bricks falling on top of your head. Some people and organizations operate in future predictions, expected sales and basically count their eggs before they hatch. Then when the future finally rolls around and the expectations aren’t met, the situation is disappointing.

Right now, the Cleveland Browns hit Earth after the hype-fueled plane finally ran out of fumes. After an offseason where they were the most talked about and anticipated organization in all of the NFL, it’s safe to say after a 2-3 start and two blowout losses in primetime matchups that the Brown’s aren’t meeting expectations.

The real question is why should we be surprised? After winning seven games last year and breaking the spell of the winless Browns organization, the world thought Baker Mayfield might just be the next QB in Cleveland worthy of hope. He now has nine wins over six teams. None of those wins have come against an opponent with a winning record.

Everyone believed that Mayfield was poised to lead a playoff caliber team with star studded talent with newly acquired targets Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry. However, not even Deshaun Watson had this hype after going 11-5 and making the postseason last year. The only difference between the two is that Mayfield unlocked the beer after getting a win for the Browns.

Simply because Mayfield won for a team that has not seen success in a generation, all of a sudden meant that he was the next prince; the next man up that will bring football back to Cleveland. For a fan base that has been patient for years, why rush your next quarterback? Mayfield needs to win a game against a winning team for the Browns to start believing in him.

Beckham Jr. dropped multiple catchable balls in Monday night’s blowout loss to the San Francisco 49ers and has not seen the explosion in production that people were expecting. Beckham Jr. struggled with the last losing situation he was a part of in New York. How long will he wait for the Browns to start winning before he starts to complain? Everyone is expecting the Browns to be a competitor this year. What if they aren’t?

Unfortunately, Cleveland is on a dangerous road. When losing, blame is placed. Will the new head coach, Freddy Kitchens, take all the blame, or will Mayfield take all the blame? How will the team handle a losing situation, one they have been a part of for a decade? Now with everyone expecting wins to come consistently, what will happen if losing continues in Cleveland? The future is now in Cleveland, and Mayfield has to be the man.

Cleveland has hope. They should have hope, but not hype. They should have realistic expectations of a mediocre season with a new head coach and a second year quarterback still finding his rhythm with a busload of offensive weapons. Mayfield is no Patrick Mahomes, and he is no Tom Brady. The NFL expected him to compete at that level, but he is not there.

Reality is settling in Cleveland and it hurts. The expectations need to change for the rest of this year. Hype can come later. The Browns may not go to the Super Bowl, but they aren’t the Miami Dolphins. Good luck Cleveland.

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