Three days after
trading last year’s third-overall pickand effectively tanking the 2013 season, the Cleveland Browns beat the Minnesota Vikings 31-27 on the road yesterday.
Coming into the year everyone thought the Browns would be a deeply boring team. They had a decent defence, a limited offence, and no quarterback — a recipe that pointed to an instantly forgettable 6-10 season.
But they’ve become something much different. After basically scrapping the season after two weeks, shipping off Trent Richardson, and hilariously promoting third-string QB Brian Hoyer to starter, they’ve become the weirdest, most intriguing bad team in the NFL.
The Browns have nothing to lose because the Browns are beyond wins and losses. Their goals are explicitly long-term in a league where every team still thinks it can make the playoffs this year, and as a result they’ve become the ultimate spoiler team.
This is a team that traded a guy and made him hear about it on the radio, they care not for feelings.
Yesterday they faked a punt in their own territory and it went for 34 yards. They also faked a field goal for a touchdown from 11 yards out (via @cjzero):
They busted three runs for 20 yards or longer, which is more than Trent Richardson had in his entire Browns career:
Trent Richardson has only 2 runs over 20 yards in 247 attempts. Hard to believe.
— gregg rosenthal (@greggrosenthal) December 14, 2012
Brian Hoyer, who was the emergency third-string QB last week, threw the ball 54 times because why not.
Three of those passes got picked off and three of those went for touchdowns, which is a perfectly fine ratio for this team:
They’re out here leaving the rest of the league shaking its head:
So my daughter is laying here under me and just out the blue she says… I can’t believe you lost to the Browns Daddy! Smh
— Adrian Peterson (@AdrianPeterson) September 23, 2013
The Browns may not win another game until 2014. They might trade half the team and change all 22 starters.
But they’re going to be more exciting than 95% of league.
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