Coming into Sunday’s games it appeared we had two entries in the 0-16 race, with the caveat that the San Francisco 49ers had a decent shot to get off the schneid against the New York Giants this week.
The 49ers did just that. Playing against a listless New York Giants team that clearly doesn’t want to play for coach Ben McAdoo anymore, the 49ers got coach Kyle Shanahan his first career win. The 31-21 win might hurt the 49ers come draft time — the 1-8 Giants will pick ahead of the 49ers if they finish tied due to Sunday’s result — but nobody wants to go 0-16. It’s the scarlet letter of the NFL.
And now we have to discuss the Cleveland Browns.
The Browns bumbled their way through another loss Sunday. They had a 10-0 lead against the Detroit Lions and still lost by two touchdowns. They mangled the end of the half, running a quarterback sneak and watching as time ran out with them at the goal line. DeShone Kizer threw a terrible pick in the end zone to seal the loss. In other words, it was your typical Browns game.
Cleveland is 0-9 and there’s no end to the losing in sight. Hue Jackson is 1-24 as Browns coach. Cleveland doesn’t have a ton of talent, but neither do the 49ers and they got a win. The Giants are terrible, and they got a win too. Cleveland hasn’t shown any signs of hope. The Browns are a razor-thin win against the Chargers late last season from losing Jackson’s first 25 games in charge. The rest of this season’s schedule doesn’t offer a ton of great opportunities to win coming up, either.
At least the 49ers are out of that mess now. They ran the ball very well, Marquise Goodwin had a long touchdown that got them going, rookie quarterback C.J. Beathard had his best game and the 49ers rolled the Giants. You could see in the final minute, as players smiled and exchanged a bunch of high-fives, that getting the first win was big for them. The 49ers could lose the rest of their games and it won’t matter. Nobody remembers 1-15 teams.
But everyone will remember 0-16 teams as long as we discuss NFL football. The Browns could use a day like the 49ers had on Sunday. It’s just hard to figure out when that might happen.
– – – – – – –