Sunday, September 21, 2014

This Sunday was #SoF*ckingBrowns

Hard to believe many things with our beloved football team on the shores of Lake Erie. One, they completely look like a competent, professional, real-life football team. The other is that today ended so predictable, so Browns, it is hard to describe any other way.

Photo from Joshua Gunter/The Plain Dealer
I like Brian Hoyer. I mean, who among us can't relate to him wanting to QB his hometown team. And his stats--including zero INTs in three games, and his current standing as the only "new-Browns" QB to have a winning record--are perfectly respectable. But it's also time to acknowledge that Hoyer can not throw a deep ball. Numerous times this year already, his underthrows cost the Browns huge plays. The fantastic Manziel trick play that was negated by the penalty--should have been a negated touchdown. The fact that the 70 yard pass to Taylor Gabriel in the fourth quarter wasn't an 80-yard touchdown turned out to be the difference in the game, due to the Browns inability to convert field goals. So I guess the report card on Hoyer is--solid performer, doesn't make huge mistakes--but not the answer either. His flaws are hidden in his stats, but clearly shown on the game tape. I am not calling for Johnny Manziel to take over the QB1 position. But maybe mix in a playaction handoff in the Manziel package--deep bomb for him one week and see how that goes? The deep throw seems to be there, and Hoyer just can't seem to put the ball where it needs to be. This is what they need to work on all week long.

Still, it's not Brian Hoyer's fault the Raven's tenth-string running game just ran all over us. It's not his fault our field goal unit fell so flat. The entire ingredient list just led to this game that ended with us all feeling like more of the same: Travis Benjamin inexplicably not fielding a 4th quarter punt, Hoyer throwing the ball a solid four yards past the line of scrimmage, Justin Gilbert's struggles, Joe Haden getting burned at the end, the underthrows, the penalty on West negating the Manziel trickery. All canceling out the killer rookie running game, the solid short throws and decision making by Hoyer, the defensive stands, the legitimate scoring drives,and an energized fan base that wants--and senses--this should and can be different.

Three games in, three games decided by a late field goal. Methinks this isn't good for the population of Northeast Ohio, but very good for purveyors of antacid.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Haiku Tuesday

Shit week, NFL.

But Brownies are looking up?
It's bizarro world!

Monday, September 15, 2014

I'm still not tired of watching this Brian Hoyer to Andrew Hawkins pass.

Kids, don't imitate this throw. (GIF borrowed from Grantland.) 

Possibly the ugliest pass ever thrown, and so close to being incomplete since it likely got caught in the jetstream, but then again, oh so pretty.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Vox in the Box: The 14 Most Memorable Moments of Summer 2014

We meet again, my friends, and thank you, thank you for pit-stopping my column in between your trip from Twitter to Vine. For nearly nine years, SamVox has been the soft porn of Cleveland Culture writers. And by now, in internet years, he's officially your 87-year old grandmother: no filter and no patience but far too vital to the family unit to be properly disowned. So you'll pity her, occasionally patronize her and then sell her on a plastic retirement community that plays more politics than a small-town high school. But you won't ignore her. Nope. Not after five out of six winning seasons and a well-documented net profit of over 35 dimes.  

Last year, I kicked off our NFL handicapping campaign by detailing my cruel summer of 2013. You may recall I lost my dog, my job, my pride, Tony Soprano, and the NBA Finals (cue the Ray Allen-step-back-travel-trey that saved the Heat's collusion legacy). This summer was the polar opposite--chock-full of jubilant jiffies that I'll share with you below in typical Top Ten fashion. Chronologically, I present the summer of my contentment: