Odds & Ends-Volume 224

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We begin this edition of Odds & Ends with the end of a long streak of futility for the Cleveland Browns. Their winless streak,which lasted 635 days,came to an end when they beat the New York Jets at FirstEnergy Stadium by a score of 21-17.

The Browns looked flat and totally flawed on offense with Tyrod Taylor behind center and he eventually left the game with a concussion. Baker Mayfield,the team’s first overall pick this year,came in and looked sensational throwing for 201 yards and leading the Browns back from a 17-3 deficit. Mayfield even caught a two-point conversion

Mayfield2Pt
Baker Mayfield makes a catch for a two-point conversion in Cleveland’s 21-17 over New York on Thursday night.

catch.Carlos Hyde had a great night on the ground with 98 yards and two touchdowns. Terrence Mitchell intercepted Sam Darnold to seal the victory for the Browns.

Mayfield played with great energy,poise,and precision all game long,energizing the team as well as the anxious,but excited home fans.

“He was so ready for this moment,” said receiver Jarvis Landry

After the game, coolers of Bud Light placed all over Cleveland locked until the Browns snapped their winless streak were unlocked as free beer was given to the masses to celebrate the end of a lengthy and futile streak.

“Dilly dilly to the Cleveland fans,” said Mayfield

Coach Hue Jackson has yet to name a starter for the team’s next game against the Oakland Raiders,saying he has to look at the tape, but I can’t imagine Mayfield not starting the team’s next game. It’s clear why they drafted him and on Thursday night he showed why he was the first overall pick this year for a team who has been as bad as bad gets. If he continues play like that,this team can go places. Perhaps not this season,but in many more to come. Congratulations to the Browns and their fans,who deserved this more than any fan base that has to put up with a lot of crap.

NFL: AUG 30 Preseason - Bills at BearsIf there’s anything I hadn’t seen in sports during my 36 years of existence,it was a player retiring at halftime. This past Sunday,it happened as Vontae Davis decided to retire during the Buffalo Bills’ home game against the Los Angeles Chargers. At the time of Davis’ retirement mid-game,his Bills trailed 28-6.

When asked why he decided to stop playing football altogether during the middle of a game, Davis,30, offered an explanation.

“I went to the bench after that series and it just hit me,” Davis said. “I don’t belong on that field anymore.” He also said he didn’t feel right or himself during that first half.
Just before halftime, Davis went up to Bills defensive backs coach John Butler and told him, “I’m done.”

Davis,despite criticism from fans and teammates alike,regrets nothing about his decision.

“Leaving was therapeutic,” Davis said. “I left everything the league wanted me to be, playing for my teammates while injured, the gladiator mentality, it all just popped. And when it popped, I just wanted to leave it all behind. So that’s why I don’t care what people say. That experience was personal and not meant for anyone else to understand. It was me cold turkey leaving behind an identity that I carried with me for so long.”

While I understand players have different reasons for retiring and when they do,it’s usually understandable,but why couldn’t Davis retire after the game? I feel like at that moment he did quit on his team and he did leave at a bad time. I know the Bills are bad and will probably end up being one of the league’s worst teams this year (as I called it in my NFL season preview), but having a player retire at halftime only makes your franchise look bad whether it’s his decision solely or not.

Continuing with football and the never ending story that is the Raiders trading awayGruden2.jpg Khalil Mack and why it’s still a distraction for them. Well,for starters, Mack’s new team,the Chicago Bears have 10 sacks on the years through two games. The Raiders,in comparison,have two,which belong to Maurice Hurst and Bruce Irvin.

When questioned as to why the team has struggled to get to the quarterback,their overpaid head coach Jon Gruden had this to say:

“It’s hard to find a great one,” Gruden said, according Scott Bair of NBC Sports Bay Area. “It’s hard to find a good one. It’s hard to find one; you just said it. With college football, they aren’t dropping back to pass and throwing anymore. They’re throwing laterals and bubble screens and running read options. You have to train these guys, and it takes a little time to learn how to rush the passer. We have some guys who are in that process right now (with Arden Key, P.J. Hall and Maurice Hurst).”

Really,Jon? It’s hard to find a great one? You just traded a way a great one earlier this month. Are you fucking kidding me with that nonsense statement?

It’s no secret that the Raiders aren’t running a functional and competent organization at the moment,especially where they sit at 0-2 with a game against a surprising Miami team in their house coming up tomorrow. This team is no doubt going to be asked about why they gave up Mack when they overpaid their head coach and why the team isn’t winning until they get a win,and even then who knows if that question will die down. What we know for sure is that they’re going to be hard-pressed to live down that trade as long as Mack and the Bears continue to be as dominant as they have been thus far this season.

Gordon.jpgJosh Gordon is now a member of the New England Patriots after being traded by the Cleveland Browns earlier this week for a fifth-round pick. Gordon has had a troubled career which includes being suspended two years and having a troubled relationship with his former team,but the newly acquired Patriot is ready to get out there and work hard for his new team.

His new signal caller,Tom Brady,says Gordon is “really eager to get in there and learn everything”,but also said “…He’s been here for a few days, so we’re working at it every day, and every day you try to make improvements.”

Gordon does one obstacle in front of him,a hamstring injury which has limited him in practice this week. He is listed as questionable for this Sunday’s game at the Detroit Lions.

I think this is a great pick-up for the Patriots,who at press time are missing not only their top wideout,Julian Edelman who is serving a four-game suspension to start the year,but also lack a lot of depth at the position. He is a very talented receiver who I would love to see have a rebirth in his career and I think if he is used correctly by this team and shows he has been working hard that he’s going to be just fine.

Finally this week,the Oakland A’s are moving their Triple-A affiliation away from 51sAsNashville to Las Vegas.

The A’s and the Las Vegas 51’s (who are expected to change their name along with their move to a new ballpark next season) agreed to a two-year player development contract. For the last four seasons,the Nashville Sounds were the Triple-A affiliates of the A’s after having the Sacramento RiverCats as their affiliate from 1998-2014.

“We are excited to have the Oakland A’s as our new Major League affiliate,” said Don Logan, 51s president. “I have known Billy (Beane) for a long time and consider him a friend.”

Athletics general manager David Forst said, “We made it clear that they were our first choice and likewise they said they were hoping we would want to be there.”
While the A’s are ecstatic that their farm system at the highest level moves closer to home, a lot of fans are still bitter about the fact the RiverCats decided to switch to the Giants after the 2014 season.

Here’s what I have to say to those fans: Get over it! Move on! That happened four years ago and you’re still upset about it? Let it go and enjoy the season your team is currently having.

Being upset over where your team’s prospects are playing at the moment is a ridiculous thing to be grumpy over. You should be more upset that your squad is 27th in attendance this year. How about that?

That’s all this week for Odds & Ends! Have a great weekend,everybody!

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