My apathy from the offseason has been replace by disgust with the actual season. It looks like we're heading for a losing record at this early point in the season, and even if we miraculously end up in the playoffs, its looking pretty unlikely that we could hang with the big boys once we're there. My only hope for redemption is if the team manages to get healthy fast enough to offset the usual injuries that pop up as the season slogs on.
Its impossible to place blame, since pretty much both sides of the ball have been sucking things up, and special teams have looked pretty pedestrian. But I'm here to try.
The offense has been totally ineffective, scoring one TD over the first two games, and even that TD was aided by some key defensive penalties. Derek Anderson has continued with his mediocre play from the end of last season. Even when he manages a decent pass, the receivers are dropping balls left and right.
The receiving corp has looked like a real sham, and I think a big part of that comes from the missing Joe Jurevicis. Last year saw too many series that consisted of a short run (or a short Kellen Winslow completion) and a dropped Braylon Edwards pass that were redeemed by Jurevicis getting the job done on 3rd and medium-to-long. With no Jurevicis this year, we're seeing too many three and outs. Beyond that, the occasional Braylon Edwards big play flashes are even less likely as opposing defenses can concentrate on Edwards since the rest of our receiving corp consists mostly of no-names.
The missing dynamic that we were all hoping for was Donte Stallworth lined up across from Edwards, giving us the twin deep threats. But where is Stallworth? Looks like he's another case of the Cleveland curse. But even when/if Stallworth gets back, we can't forget that he is a very different receiver than Jurevicis. Stallworth isn't going to give us the reliable first downs that Jurevicis does, so even when he's back we probably won't see the three-and-outs disappear, we'll just see a few more big plays that give us a five-and-out with a punt from the 50 yard line instead of the 20 yard line.
The offense could get back on track quickly, but until it does the Brady Quinn watch will only intesify, and deservedly so.
I don't care much about the defense. Sure, they suck, but not any worse than last year, and we've only seen them against offenses (Dallas and pittsburgh) that so far look pretty explosive.
The biggest area of disappointment is the TERRIBLE job done by Romeo Crennel's coaching staff. Between the poor clock management, crappy situational tactics, and complete inability to change the team's approach to match the situation on the field the Crennel regime has probably cost us one winnable game, and will continue making this team worse. Crennel continues to coach as if we're a dominating team (ala the Patriots) whether or not the team can pull it off. His style may pay off once the team gets healthy and starts clicking, but until then he's going to be costing us games that will eliminate any chance of a playoff push late once the team heals up.
I retain the right to get excited by this season, but I am not yet at the point where I'm willing to exercise that option.