Oh, the Browns came so close today. Alas, the team managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, extending its winless start to 0-13, and LeBron James showed that he was suffering through the near-win just like every other Cleveland fan.
James is also a Cowboys fan, but as a native of nearby Akron and a longtime fixture for the Cleveland Cavaliers, he has embraced the city’s other sports teams, including the Indians and Browns. Which means that at least one thing has gone very, very wrong in James’s otherwise fairly charmed life, as the Browns proved once again Sunday.
The shame of it was that the Browns had caught a rare break, getting the Packers in what is presumed to be their final week without Aaron Rodgers and with struggling fill-in quarterback Brett Hundley. In addition, wayward wide receiver Josh Gordon, who hadn’t played in a regular season NFL game in three years, had returned for the Browns the previous week and looked great.
Gordon was effective again, especially in the early going, as was the Browns’ rookie quarterback, DeShone Kizer, and Cleveland built a 21-7 lead going into the fourth quarter. Green Bay scored to make it 21-14 but was still down by that score when it got the ball back with under three minutes left. Even after the Packers returned a punt 65 yards to start their drive deep in Cleveland’s territory, the dwindling time left in the game meant the Browns only needed to keep Green Bay out of the end zone to win, as James was well aware.
The Browns would not get that stop, as Hundley connected with wide receiver Davante Adams in the end zone with seconds left. Still, that only meant that the game was going into overtime, where the Browns could still win it.
That was when Kizer threw one of the worst passes of the NFL season, an extremely ill-advised lob into traffic while under heavy pressure. Of course, there was hardly a guarantee that a member of the Packers would actually catch the ball, given the bodies colliding in pursuit of it, but then again, this was the Browns, so … yes, there was a guarantee.
That debacle had James tweeting out a very appropriate face-palming emoji.
Moments later, Hundley hit Adams again, this time on a short pass that the receiver took 25 yards for a touchdown and an instant Packers win, 27-21. James was reduced to a somewhat NSFW exclamation.
Sorry, LeBron. At least he is doing his part to bring some cheer to beleaguered Cleveland fans, putting up MVP-caliber numbers this year to help the Cavs overcome a slow start and win 14 of their past 15.
Meanwhile, the Browns, who lost 15 of their 16 games last season, have just three chances left this year to avoid joining the 2008 Lions as the only 0-16 teams in NFL history. If that does happen, it may well be worth a quick check of James’s Twitter account.
Read more from The Post: