Browns Winning Despite Vandal Bosses

I miss Trent Richardson so much. Why? WHYYY?! Why did you trade him?

The Cleveland Browns played against the Bills on TV last night. Tied at 24 in the fourth quarter, the Browns got to the goal line, one yard from the go-ahead touchdown.

Trent Richardson is a running back who can bench press 500 pounds and squat 700. Last year was his rookie season with the Browns (following a national-championship run as Alabama’s best player). He doesn’t have a high yards-per-carry average, but that’s because he’s a sledgehammer. You can’t throw a sledgehammer very far, but you can smash through whatever’s in front of you. Double digit touchdowns last year. Richardson bull rushes straight ahead wielding cannonball muscles like weapons, and he has an intangible feel for getting into the end zone. The Browns traded him to the Colts three weeks ago for a draft pick.

That just looks right. Dammit

That just looks right. Dammit

So they got to the goal line Thursday night on NFL Channel against the Bills. 24-24. Disturbing quarterback Brandon Weeden (the sort of terrible player the Browns usually draft in the first round, particularly at quarterback, and you MUST have a good quarterback), handed off to Willis McGahee, the old (he’s my age), oft-injured running back they signed to replace Richardson. McGahee can’t bench 500 pounds. A defender met McGahee, easily pushed him backward, and tackled him for a loss. Terrible first-round quarterback Weeden threw an incompletion and Cleveland wound up with a field goal.

They won 37-24 Thursday night and it was fun to watch, but they’re fucked because of this trade. They have a big, fast game-breaker receiver (Josh Gordon, who’s 6-foot-3 and 225 pounds), and good players on defense for the first time since I can remember. Barkevious Mingo (who’s 6-4, 240) is terrorizing quarterbacks as a freaky athletic stand-up end rusher, and Joe Haden shuts wide receivers down. The win-sealing score against the Bills was a defensive touchdown off an interception by Browns safety T.J. Ward. Like Richardson, these guys (and budding-star return man Travis Benjamin) are young.

This is the AFC North, where defense and tough, buff play prevail. Steelers. Ravens. Both Browns rivals have won multiple Super Bowls in the modern era of Browns dreadfulness. After Thursday’s win, the Browns lead the division. They’ve won three games straight. Cleveland’s a better team right now than Baltimore or Pittsburgh. (!)

At halftime the Browns had a ceremony for Jim Brown, the only player to ever average more than 100 yards per game. He won a championship in Cleveland and is considered the greatest football player ever. HE PLAYED RUNNING BACK.

I watch this year’s badass Browns team and I miss Trent Richardson so much. It’s infuriating. Maybe the Browns will make the playoffs this year, but they’ll be going in with a weaker team than they would be with Richardson. Browns management—stuffy CEOs Mike Lombardi and Joe Banner—made a surprise contender worse. Buttholes.

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