Posted: 4:42 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 17, 2013
By Chris Pokorny
Rob Chudzinski's nightmare, part two.
...and we thought the collapse against the Bengals in 2007 was bad. Cleveland Browns head coach Rob Chudzinski did indeed live through a case of déjà vu in a big game against the Bengals, losing on the road by a final score of 41-20.
The crazy part about this game is that Cleveland dominated the majority of the first quarter. The Browns' defense forced a couple of three-and-outs, and after a drive saw them have a 1st-and-goal at the two yard line, Cleveland had to settle for a 20-yard field goal by Billy Cundiff. On the Bengals' first play of their next series, Joe Haden intercepted a pass by Andy Dalton, setting Cleveland up with great field position. They failed in the red zone again and settled for another field goal by Cundiff, this time from 28 yards out.
Despite the Browns' red zone issues, on Dalton's next pass, he was picked off again by Haden, this time for a 29-yard touchdown to go up 13-0. The Bengals went three-and-out on their next possession and had to punt. It seemed like the Browns were well on their way to taking control of the AFC North. That's when the disaster commenced.
The Browns showed a glimmer of hope when they got a 74-yard touchdown pass from Campbell to WR Josh Gordon in the third quarter to cut the deficit to 31-20. The rain started to pour heavily, as expected, and Cincinnati had the advantage. They eventually went on to win 41-20.
This was a disastrous game for the Browns' special teams and for QB Jason Campbell. You can't blame the defense whatsoever for the outcome of this game. With Pittsburgh winning, the Browns actually find themselves slipping to last place in the AFC North, but it's not all a loss for the wildcard race, which I will get in to later on.
This isn't the end for Cleveland's playoff hopes, but their divisional hopes took a bit hit. Next week's game against the Steelers just got a whole lot more important.