Both teams came into the season with a lot of expectations. One team made the playoffs last year playing inspired football down the stretch and one team just barely missed the playoffs after choking away winnable games down the stretch. But 2008 was going to be the year for both teams. Talented, young players set the stage for what was going to be a memorable year. Now, for both teams, 2008 will be remember not for the great glory but for the great crappiness.
Of course I’m talking about the Cleveland Browns and the Washington Redskins. If there was any doubt about what grouping the Redskins were in, it was answered yesterday with a stellar performance in losing to the Cincinnati Bengals. (BTW; their grouping is “Teams that suck so bad you’d think Detroit would beat them.”)
Both the Browns and the Redskins seasons are over. For Browns fans, we knew it and accepted it a few weeks ago. I think Redskins fans were still holding a little bit of hope. If there was any hope, it went out the way window with Cedric Benson and Ryan Fitzpatrick’s dominating day yesterday.
So what has been worse, or a bigger disappointing year? I’m not sure but let’s take a look at some of the factors to help make the decision.
Expectations – The Browns were rewarded with five prime time games for an exciting 2008 season. Playoffs and Super Bowl talk were fun and didn’t seem that far out of the question (playoffs at least). For the Redskins, they went to the playoffs last year and that was the goal again this year. Jason Campbell was the next big thing in fantasy football and they had a new Taylor playing on defense who wasn’t dead (at least not literally). Advantage: Redskins because they were actually a playoff team and the Browns weren’t in 2007.
Early season – The Browns start with bad loses against the Cowboys, Steelers and Ravens. Then beat the Bengals, play the game of the year in beating the Giants, lose a crappy game to the Redskins, beat the Jaguars to be 3-4 and sitting OK. The Redskins look horrible in the season opener against the Giants but then win six of the next seven games and sit 6-2 and are being talked about as one of the best teams in the league despite the fact they lost to St. Louis, should have lost to the Browns and struggled to beat the Lions. 6-2 was a gift because they weren’t playing good football. Advantage: Redskins, they filled their fans heads with false promise.
Where it fell a part – For the Browns it was the consecutive blown fourth-quarter leads to the Ravens and Broncos. After the Ravens, Derek Anderson was replaced by Quinn and there was hope Quinn would spark a turn around but when the Broncos game was deja vu of the Ravens, everyone knew there was no shot at anything this season other than getting a high draft pick and disappointed a talented college player. For the Redskins, they should have know after the lost to the winless Rams they weren’t met for anything good this season. If that wasn’t it, the lost to the Steeler who dominated them should have been the end. But I think Redskin fans held on hope until the lost to the Bengals yesterday. Advantage: Redskins, the Browns knew their season was over a long time ago and saved us a little heart break.
Why it went wrong – For the Browns; The Chocolate Dumpling, Brick Hands Edwards, DA thinking he was actually a Pro-Bowler, the defense being easier to penetrate than a drunk college girl with no self confidence and injuries. For the Redskins; Zorn, Campbell being as good as DA, Portis hating his coach, their best receiver is 5’4”, they signed Shaun Alexander. Advantage: Browns, much more to change there.
Overall – As Browns fans we knew the season was over a long while ago. Coming into the season there were all those expectations and we bought into them. Completing one of the worse seasons in franchise history sucks but that’s what we get for buying into hype. We should be used to it. Going 4-12 is what the Browns do. Being a disappointment is what the Browns do. It’s the same story every year but you never get numb to it. The Redskins fell even faster and harder than the Browns. To go from 6-2 to 7-7 (with the only win against Seattle who could have won that game) is very Browns like. Well, not really because the Browns would never win six out of eight games, but they would lose five out of six. It might be harder for Redskins fans to accept that their team is one of the worst in the NFL than it is for Browns fans but that’s where both teams are. Advantage: Redskins. As hard as it is to believe, and as much as Browns fans don’t want to give up the title, I think the Redskins have a far worse season than the Browns. Welcome to the world of hating to watch your team play every week and you end every game with the same “why did I just waste three hours of my day watching them suck worst than the suckiest bunch of suckers that ever sucked.”