Join the club: Odell Beckham Jr. rants at Freddie Kitchens as Browns' season of failure nears end

Kimberley A. MartinSenior NFL writer

Odell Beckham Jr.'s arms flailed as he voiced his frustration to a captive audience of one.

The exact words of his rant were unclear on TV, but the tone of the delivery was undeniable. 

In a season marked by failed expectations, routine disappointment and utter embarrassment, here was Beckham tossing his helmet on the sideline and voicing his displeasure after the Cleveland Browns failed to complete a two-point conversion against Baltimore. And all head coach Freddie Kitchens could do was listen to another unhappy wide receiver.

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Last week, it was Jarvis Landry losing it on the sideline. This week, it was Beckham. 

And this game was yet another example of a collective failure.

Oh, you thought the Browns had the Ravens "figured out," huh? 

You thought Sunday would be a repeat of Week 4, did you — a replica of Cleveland's 40-25 beatdown of Baltimore back in September?

Well, that's what you get for believing in these Browns.

If it's not the referees, it's the opposition. If it's not the opposition, it's the play-calling. Each week, there's a new source of irritation among players and coaches. And after 16 weeks, no one in Berea, Ohio, has figured out a solution to fix these Browns.

Head coach Freddie Kitchens and receiver Odell Beckham had at least one spirited discussion on the sideline on Sunday in a loss to the Ravens. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Head coach Freddie Kitchens and receiver Odell Beckham had at least one spirited discussion on the sideline on Sunday in a loss to the Ravens. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)

They're the ultimate tease — that handsome dude with the sexy smile and infectious confidence who, at 30-plus years old, still can't hold a steady job because his priorities aren't in order.

They're the physical embodiment of a dream deferred. 

They are a bad team that has been poorly coached.

And these past 16 weeks amount to a wasted season.

People in NFL circles — coaches, players, executives, agents — have repeated the same refrain for months: If you've been paying attention, this is exactly what the Browns were predicted to be. 

The evidence?

And yet there have been moments, like on Sunday, when you find yourself believing that this is the moment, that this is the game where everything comes together. That this is the Browns team we've been waiting weeks to see.

And then, just like that, we're reminded the Browns just aren't good enough. They weren't in March and April when John Dorsey configured this roster. And they certainly aren't now.

Instead of an anticipated playoff berth, they have a head coach who sounds like a broken record each week, a franchise quarterback who has regressed at an alarming rate, an underachieving roster and plenty of questions that need to be answered this offseason.

Meanwhile, the Ravens — who selected a much-maligned, dual-threat quarterback 31 spots after the Browns took Baker Mayfield No. 1 overall in 2018 — have clinched the AFC North title and the No. 1 seed in the AFC playoffs. All thanks to quarterback Lamar Jackson, the clear choice for league MVP.

A spirited effort by the Browns' defense kept Baltimore off-balance for the first 15 minutes of action on Sunday. But, as we've come to see so often, Cleveland choked. Behind Jackson's tenacity, accuracy and all-around wizardry, Baltimore broke open the game with two scores in the final two minutes of the first half and another touchdown to start the third quarter, en route to a 31-15 road victory.

The Ravens — who haven't lost a game since being blown out by the Browns on Sept. 29 — have now secured home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs. 

The Browns? 

They've gone 4-7 since that pivotal game and will finish with a worse record than they had a year ago (7-8-1), when Kitchens was a running backs coach-turned-interim offensive coordinator.

The city of Cleveland deserves so much more than this. 

After suffering through decades of being an NFL laughingstock and a perennial doormat, Browns fans deserve a team that knows how to win and how to execute, a team that understands how to finish ballgames and realizes the collective good is more important than individual accolades.

And these Browns are certainly not that.

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