All week, the Cleveland Browns told fans and media the same thing.
With skepticism thrown their way after benching Johnny Manziel, fresh off the first win of his career, the Browns kept saying they were going back to Josh McCown at quarterback because he “gave them the best chance to win.” The 36-year-old career backup was still seen as the top choice at starter despite Manziel pumping life into a Cleveland fan base sick and tired of seeing the same old futility on a weekly basis.
Personally, I felt Manziel should’ve stayed in, but I also believed the Browns seemed to have solid reasoning for going back to McCown. Manziel still had things he needed to improve, and if the team as a whole felt safer with McCown under center, so be it.
However, when a game like today’s takes place, an embarrassing 27-20 loss to the Oakland Raiders which looks way closer on the scoreboard than it did on the field, I find myself not feeling bad for Cleveland at all. McCown couldn’t get the job done, and the team will be a lightning rod for criticism all week because of it. Unfortunately for the Browns, they invited this criticism upon themselves the second they handed the reins back to McCown.