Josh McCown: The (Supposed) Reason We Can't Have Nice Things

Boy, was Josh McCown awful against the Oakland Raiders yesterday. Had Johnny Manziel been in there, this would have been an easy win. But he wasn't. Instead, it was Old Man McCown, and he stunk the place up. Let's look at the stats:

  • Josh McCown gave up 155 yards rushing on just 30 carries against the Raiders, an average of more than 5 yards per run. (5.2)
  • He allowed Oakland to complete 62.5% of their pass attempts for more than 300 yards. Oakland averaged almost 10 yards per completion. (9.8)
  • Meanwhile, because of his poor blocking, the Browns were only able to gain 39 yards. Total. For the whole game. Of course, they only had 14 attempts, but that was because McCown let the Raiders get up 20-3 and 27-10, putting the Browns in a must-pass game plan.
  • He got himself sacked 5 times.
Josh McCown, how do you live with yourself?!

Yes, it was a disastrous day for the QB, and one can only hope that Mike Pettine changes his mind and starts Manziel on Sunday against the San Diego Chargers. With Johnny in there, things will be different. 

Okay, now that we've pacified the noise that surrounds this team, let's talk seriously.

Josh McCown was bad on Sunday. No, I mean it. He moves at the speed of a shifting continent, and he threw passes that went....well, I don't know where he was aiming. His numbers were pedestrian, but numbers don't matter. Unless you're talking about baseball. Then that's all that matters. But this is football. We're allowed to go by the Eye Test. Thank god.

Last week I wrote that McCown should start this past Sunday. I mostly wanted that so that Manziel has some more time to develop because if he doesn't, we're going to be in the market for a quarterback - again - and we're going to be waiting for multiple seasons for the quarterback to develop - again.

And, like a lot of Browns fans, I'm sick of waiting. Unlike a lot of Browns fans, I know making a lot of drastic changes only makes the waiting last longer. I'm really sick of waiting, did I mention that?

In 2009, Mike Holmgren became yet another football savior for Cleveland when he was hired to be the team president. He inherited head coach Eric Mangini. Everyone was sure he would fire Mangini and bring in Bill Cowher or Jon Gruden or the ghost of Vince Lombardi. You know, whichever won the fight amongst the three for the honor of coming to Cleveland and coaching this team.

But he didn't. He kept Mangini.

For one year. Why? Because it wasn't fair to fire the head coach after one season. So instead, he fired him after two. I was very upset. Why? Because I loved Mangini? No. Because I knew we just wasted yet another year of my life, and were probably going to waste a few more while we waited for a new coach who wanted a new system that needed new players.

And who won the Cowher-Gruden-Lombardi steel cage match? Pat Shurmur.

More of my life down the drain. Oh, but worry not. This is Cleveland! We're now two more head coaches away from Pat.

McCown was bad on Sunday, but why do we assume that Manziel would have been better? If Manziel had been forced to throw 49 passes, would he have completed much better than the 57% that McCown completed? I really don't think so.

Of course, if he had started, would he have needed to throw 49 passes? Maybe the Browns would have moved the ball well and scored enough that the game never got out of hand. Who knows? Nobody knows.

The Browns are a mess. Still. They're not playing good football, none of them. The offensive line can't open holes. The defense can't seem to play well against the rush or the pass. Hey! We punt really well!

This team looks really bad early. And here's something else to consider: The Baltimore Ravens look bad, too, and the Pittsburgh Steelers are only a game better in the standings, but without Ben Roethlisberger for 6 more games. (Just in time to play the Browns) The Cincinnati Bengals are 3-0, but only 2 games in front of Cleveland. Maybe a spark like Manziel could turn this season around!

Okay, probably not. Why? Because this whole team is bad. Minus the punter. Everyone wants to see Johnny play because they want to see what we have in him. But can we honestly know? If we can't run the ball and our only hope of getting anywhere in the passing game is a long toss to Travis Benjamin, which teams will eventually take away, would it be fair to judge him based on an almost-zero dimensional offense?

No. Will we anyway? Of course. Just the same way we're judging McCown now. That's life in Cleveland. Why do you think these coaches with reputations of being winners won't come here? Why would they? They'll be 4 games into their first season and everyone will be calling for them to get fired.

Still, I do think they need to make the switch to Manziel. It won't fix our problems, but what the heck? If it's going to suck either way, it can at least suck a little more quietly than it will with Manziel on the bench.

Man, last year, when Hoyer was the quarterback and everyone was screaming - again - for Manziel to play, and then he did and was awful, those people stayed relatively quiet for the remaining games. It was welcome relief.

I hate football in Cleveland, I really do. I mean, my best hope for the year is that I don't have to hear "Johnny Johnny Johnny". Everything seems to be a mess and it's the same year in and year out. Different players, coaches and general managers all producing the same results.

But, hey, next week is a new week and if they win at San Diego, they'll be 2-2. Oh, we'll still be talking quarterbacks, but maybe we can have a little optimism that the season isn't wasted.

Naaaaaahhhhhh, this is Cleveland. Being miserable is all that we know.
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