The baby Browns discovered a new way to not net a win, letting the Dolphins slither into the end zone in overtime. It’s now been 288 days and counting since Cleveland last won a football game of any kind.
They were an inch away yesterday, depending on where the ball met the shoe of the newest Brown, kicker Cody Parkey, on that failed field goal at the end of the fourth quarter.
Signed just two days prior as a late injury sub for Patrick Murray, Parkey became the first Brown to miss three field goals in a game since Matt Stover did so in a 1992 win over the Patriots. Ironically, both of them wore the number 3.
The first Brown to wear that number was Mark Moseley, another fill-in kicker. The former league MVP finished his career in Cleveland after Matt Bahr hurt his knee tackling a Steeler kickoff returner in 1986. In his most memorable game here, Moseley also missed three field goals! But in the second overtime period, he made good for the third time in six attempts, sealing an amazing comeback over the Jets, the Browns’ first playoff win in 17 years.
No such heroics in yesterday’s extra frame in Miami. Parkey becomes the first Brown wearing number 3 to miss at least three field goals in a Browns loss.
Special mention goes to Don Cockroft for another memorable playoff stat line. In the epic Red Right 88 game (his last), he missed one extra point and two field goals. His jersey number? 1-2.
As the losses add up, my mind thinks of these things, just for kicks.
Here’s another one: Parkey and rookie quarterback Cody Kessler both made their Browns’ debuts yesterday. Best that I can tell, they are just the second and third players in team history with that first name.
The first one is someone veteran Browns fans should recall: longtime RT Cody Risien. He wore jersey 63, which are the two digits Kessler and Parkey carry on their backs.
And by the way, wouldn’t it have been nice to have the former Pro Bowler at right tackle yesterday?
Austin Pasztor drew a tough assignment in the Dolphins’ fortified front line, but five penalties?! Three for holding, two false starts. I can’t remember (or easily research) an instance of a player committing more fouls than that in a single game. No offensive lineman in the league had more than 13 penalties all last year!
Just as soon as the coaching staff feels that third-round pick Shon Coleman is fully ready to take over without looking back, expect the switch to be made. It fully fits the plan to establish a new and youthful core of contributors.
Finally for now, Mr. Obvious chimes in that Terrelle Pryor has really stepped up! His 144 receiving yards amounted to the highest Browns total since Josh Gordon‘s All Pro season three years ago. Throw in some effective variety lining up at quarterback, and he had an all-around performance for the ages, if only they had won.
It’s time to seriously entertain the notion of extending his contract, as Pryor becomes an unrestricted free agent after this season. If they don’t do anything on this soon, it adds evidence to my suspicion that the Browns are under significant short-term fiscal constraints.
Eschewing a veteran kicker like Robbie Gould in favor of a cheaper but more promising long-term prospect is one thing. But again failing to secure the services of core talent in its prime would be a foolhardy continuation of a process that needs to turn a corner and soon.