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Photo: Genessa Gutzait

The Drought is Dead

Leave it to the Cleveland Browns to send the entire NFL world into chaos.

The Browns kicked off week three by ending their 635-day winning drought with a win over the New York Jets on Thursday Night Football. Of course, the Browns won in the only way they can: beating an equally dysfunctional franchise with a rookie quarterback, Sam Darnold—who started out his NFL career with a pick six—on a short week at home. 

The truly terrifying bit is the Browns should be 3-0, after outplaying the New Orleans Saints and the Pittsburgh Steelers.

The following Sunday was nuts.  Arguably the worst two teams in football, the Buffalo Bills and the Detroit Lions, didn’t just beat but dominated two of the NFL’s most dangerous contenders. The Bills, and suddenly capable rookie quarterback Josh Allen, fleeced the Vikings 27-6 in Minnesota. A Buffalo team that had only managed to put up 23 points in its first two games, dropped 27 against the leagues best defense. That same Bills team allowed 78 points in their first two games—they were so laughably pathetic their Pro Bowl cornerback Vontae Davis quit at halftime—only allowed six points to the dynamic Vikings offense.

It gets weirder. The NFL’s golden franchise, the New England Patriots, and golden boy, Tom Brady, were embarrassed in primetime by the Detroit Lions and former Bill Belichick disciple, first-year head coach Matt Patricia. The 10-26 loss gave the Patriots their first back-to-back losses by double digits since 2002. 

Last week the loss made sense—the Pats fell to a legitimate AFC contender in the Jacksonville Jaguars, who also limped to an embarrassing loss on Sunday. But this week New England were throttled by a team that was dominated by the Jets in week one, allowing Darnold, who looked befuddled against Cleveland, to look like a Pro Bowler, and graced the 49ers the only win of their young season in week two. 

Maybe it’s the Browns lot in life to be perpetual losers. Maybe the Browns’ unrelenting sorrow brought order and stability to the football universe. Maybe they were the lightning rod that kept everything sane. After an insane week three, it’s up to the Browns to get things back to normal. Looking at you Baker Mayfield, don’t (do) screw this up. 

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