The question needs to be addressed after the team lost their second winnable game Sunday, losing to the Kansas City Chiefs at home 16-14 as the team once again failed to score points in the second half.
“Our starting point has got to be us,” said Browns coach Eric Mangini. “When you have a turnover that goes for a touchdown and you have another turnover that sets up three points, (you have) a ten-point swing in a game that’s decided by a very small margin.”
The turnover that killed the Browns on this day was a pick six thrown by QB Seneca Wallace, who was playing for an injured Jake Delhomme.
The pick and TD by the Chiefs Brandon Flowers came after the Browns had built a 7-3 lead early in the second quarter. Wallace and the Browns did come back with a 65-yard TD to go up 14-10 at the half, but two Ryan Succop field goals in the second half was the Browns undoing.
“I take full responsibility; I have no problem with that,” Wallace said. “That was a ball that I shouldn’t have thrown. I know that. That’s what happens, you have to go out there and you have to be aggressive, but you can’t be dumb aggressive like I was.
“I threw a ball out in the flats late and I shouldn’t,” he added. “They pretty much walked away with the win today because of my mistake. I’ll take full responsibility and make sure that I continue to get better and don’t make those mistakes twice.”
The second half saw the team once again go though series after series without doing much. They had the ball for 9:29 in the second half as compared to 19:41 for the Chiefs. They also had just 41 yards in the second half.
Chiefs defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel made the adjustments to stop the Browns offense, and the team simply couldn’t answer the bell. The offense has sputtered in two games after the first 30 minutes, and the Chiefs and Bucs have taken advantage of it.
Wallace was 16-for-31 for 229 yards with a TD and a pick. The run game was again not that good, going for 73 yards on 26 carries, a 2.8 yards per carry average. Peyton Hillis led the team with 35 yards on 8 carries. Jerome Harrison had 33 yards on 16 carries.
On a day when the team had their first “Ring of Honor” the club could not live up to its proud past, and now there are more questions than ever.