Friday 19 January 2018 / 02:14 PM


The title of this article kind of sounds like a mean joke that kicks off an article about how phenomenal Tom Brady’s return was, but the question is serious. Since the start of the season, the Cleveland Browns have had five different players take snaps at quarterback and the team just can’t get a direction.

People were optimistic about the season – the first starting quarterback Robert Griffin III was predicted to have a great campaign. The No.2 pick of the 2012 NFL draft went down with a shoulder injury and is going to spend the next eight games minimum as an injured reserve.

Veteran QB Josh McCown is also out with a shoulder injury. The Browns were down to their rookie quarterback, Cody Kessler, who got steamrolled by Patriots linebacker Dont’a Hightower in Sunday’s game. Kessler went to the locker room to nurse injuries to his ribs and chest, but did not return. This is no surprise – Kessler is 6’1 and 215 pounds, not too small for a quarterback, but Hightower is 6’4 and 270.

This was just not a good weekend to be a rookie quarterback in the NFL. Kessler got crushed by a linebacker, the Eagles’ Carson Wentz threw his first interception and led the Eagles to their first loss of the season, and Paxton Lynch ended the Broncos nine-game win streak on his first start. The difference between the Browns, Eagles and Broncos is that the latter two teams still have quarterbacks.

With Kessler headed to the locker room, the Browns had to use Charlie Whitehurst, who just signed a contract a few weeks ago. Whitehurst threw for a touchdown, an interception and 184 yards before he also had to leave the game with an injury. Wide receiver Terrelle Pryor was thrust into the quarterback role before Whitehurst could get back in the game and take a knee. Luckily for the Browns, the game ended.

Back to the original question, will the Browns be able to win a game this season?

They came close against the terrible Miami Dolphins in a 24-30 OT loss in week 3, but that may have been their only chance. Their next game is against the Tennessee Titans, who just beat the Dolphins 30-17, and a W is pretty unlikely here for the Browns. Cleveland’s schedule doesn’t get any easier at all: Bengals (probably not), Jets (maybe), Cowboys (probably not), Ravens (hell no), Steelers (haha), and Giants (probably not).

If RG3 is cleared to play in Week 8 against the Jets, the Browns might be able to take that one home. Things will obviously change if and when RG3 gets back on the field, but it is going to be incredibly difficult to get in any sort of rhythm playing with four different starting quarterbacks – especially against teams that are already halfway through the season and are into a groove.

Luckily for the city of Cleveland, basketball season is right around the corner and the Cleveland Indians aren’t doing too shabby right now in the MLB. It is pretty unlikely that LeBron James and the Cavaliers are going to want to show up for another blowout loss for the Browns, though.

The last team to go winless was the 2008 Detroit Lions. In fact, there have only been four teams to go winless since 1944, with the 1960 Dallas Cowboys, the 1976 Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the 1982 Baltimore Colts the others.

The Browns, riddled with injuries, could possibly end up being the fifth. The silver lining for the Browns is that it is completely understandable if they do end up going 0-16. Hell, my hometown team is the Miami Dolphins and they are 1-4 with their starting quarterback on deck.

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About the author

Alex Moskov

Alex has come on board with CBS as our basketball and gridiron expert, providing opinions and analysis from the bright lights of the NBA and NFL.

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