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There's always so much going on in Northeast Ohio sports, much more than what can fit in our regular Wednesday conversations with Cleveland Plain Dealer sports writer Terry Pluto. Consider it overtime or extra innings.  This is the place to check out Amanda Rabinowitz's ongoing conversations with Terry that are just too good to miss!

The View Beyond Pluto: Who To Blame For The Browns Losing Close Games

Erik Drost/Wikimedia Commons
Cleveland Browns are 1-2-1

A quarter of the season down, the Browns have already drastically improved from last year with a record of 1-2-1. Still, WKSU commentator Terry Pluto says the team doesn't know how to win close games.


The Browns' week four 45-42 overtime loss to Oakland was the second game the team has lost this season by fewer than three points. And, it's becoming a bad pattern. "Right now the Browns are 1-9-1 in games decided by three or fewer points,” Pluto says. 

'Right now it's a team where the parts are much better than the whole.'

The players
Pluto assesses the players, starting with rookie quarterback Baker Mayfield, who made his NFL starting debut last Sunday. "He’s been up and down but has looked better than most rookie quarterbacks. He’s not happy with how he played, but they still put 42 points on the board."

Then, Pluto says you look at the players around Mayfield. "Jarvis Landry and Carlos Hyde have been good, along with rookie Denzell Ward. Some say Myles Garrett is one of the best defensive players in the NFL."

“Right now it’s a team where the parts are much better than the whole," Pluto says. 

The coach
Pluto says the problem ultimately centers on coach Hue Jackson.

"Some people excuse that record that Jackson had coming into the season where he was 1-7 in those three point games because the team was bad. Well, you tack two more losses on it and a tie with a better roster, and you think, you gotta win some of those games."

The Browns host Baltimore at home this Sunday, which will be a tough matchup. The Ravens are 3-1. “It will be interesting to see Baker Mayfield’s first exposure to the AFC North.”

“They need to win this game, because then you’re 1-3-1 and it’s going in a bad direction.”

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