The Browns are 2-1 and yet the ghosts of the past will not allow you to enjoy what you have.
I’m not sure what is more shocking, how the Browns defense destroyed former OSU rookie quarterback Justin Fields with nine sacks or the Monday morning negativity over the fact the Browns only won by 20 points.
Think about that. The Browns beat the Bears 26-6 and yet the biggest talking points after the game are that Baker Mayfield still needs to play better, still needs to prove that he’s the quarterback of the future and that fans expected more from the offense.
I was dumbfounded to hear how some fans – hopefully the minority of fans – still don’t believe the Browns will be a playoff team this year.
Meanwhile, at least for one week, defensive coordinator Joe Woods is off the hot seat. The Browns put together a special game on defense, sacking Fields once every five plays.
There were two major things that stood out to me about the game.
First, I can’t remember any time in my life where I wanted to see the Browns defense get on the field to see what they could do next.
Secondly, there was the “Yankees roll call“ cheers for Myles Garrett. It was impressive. You could feel the fans’ excitement through your television.
Bravo, fans. Bravo.
The Browns are at Minnesota this week in a game that’s a return for Cleveland head coach Kevin Stefanski. Before taking over the Browns job last year, Stefanski was a longtime assistant coach with the Vikings, where he was able to learn the game working in countless roles.
Now, enjoy being 2-1 for the moment.
Bengals NFL’s best hidden gem?
If Joe Burrow doesn’t throw three interceptions against the Bears in week two, Cincinnati could be 3-0, instead of 2-1.
This week the Bengals picked up a 24-10 win in Pittsburgh with Burrow and Ja’mar Chase hooking up for two touchdowns.
Cincinnati’s defense came up huge in the fourth quarter stopping Steelers’ QB Ben Roethlisberger twice on downs. It’s amazing how the Steelers fortunes have changed since starting last season 10-0, as this week’s loss to the Bengals could mean the beginning of the end of the Big Ben era in Pittsburgh.
This week the Bengals are headed to Florida to take on former Buckeye boss Urban Meyer and the Jacksonville Jaguars primetime on Thursday night.
Ohio State back to Big Ten play
The Buckeyes’ 59-7 win over Akron was very much expected. We live the days of having a transfer portal allow other programs to scoop up any team’s backup players. So, with that in the background, it was smart for head coach Ryan Day to play back up quarterbacks Kyle McCord and Jack Miller lll and sit C.J. Stroud as he recovers from a shoulder injury. Stroud is expected to be back this week.
We know that K’Vaughn Pope will not be back after he was kicked off the team. During the game, the senior linebacker was waved off the field by fellow linebacker Teradja Mitchell. After not getting in the game, Pope walked to the locker room and was stopped by teammates after an altercation with linebackers coach Al Washington. Pope threw gloves into the stands and took off his jersey before head coach Ryan Day sent him to the locker room. Pope has since apologized through Twitter, but, not before he tweeted his displeasure about his team from the locker room. Day dismissed him from the team earlier this week.
Kids let this be a lesson. Think before you tweet.
Indians era ends
The Indians final home game as the Cleveland Indians ended with little fanfare from the organization. Perhaps it was because a Monday day game marked the moment or the fact that the team meant to downplay the meaning of the game to the fans. We will never know.
For some fans, the last memory of the Indians will be Bradley Zimmer smashing a mammoth home run off his brother Kyle, a pitcher for the Kansas City Royals. It’s only the fourth time in MLB history that has happened as the Indians won their final home game 8-3 on Sept. 27.
Cleveland ends the season at the Texas Rangers on Oct. 3.
It’s hard for me to believe that the Dolan family would have changed the name if not for the pressure put on the MLB after the Washington Football Team announced last year its name change.
But whether the team is called the Guardians, Spiders, Blues or Walleye, it won’t matter if the team wins. In the end, that, and having a team in Cleveland, is what really matters.
Now you can hang on to all of your Indians gear so in 100 years your great grandkids can sell your 1995 American League Championship T-shirt with Chief Wahoo. Goodbye Cleveland Indians. Hello Cleveland Guardians.
Ryder Cup fun
Last point. How awesome was it to watch the Ryder Cup? I love the fact that fans are allowed to have a team to root for. I rolled out of my chair listening to fans yell “get in the bunker,” rather than “get in the hole” to the European team.
It was great fun to watch. It is what makes golf great. And it was a record-setting decisive win for the United States of America in the home state of its team captain, Steve Stricker.
If you have a suggestion for a column idea for Andy Baskin, send him an email at email@example.com. He can be heard on “Baskin & Phelps” weekdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on 92.3 The Fan.