Heat Snuff Out Cavalier Comeback as Dwyane Wade’s Retirement Tour Rolls Through The Land

The Cavaliers’ struggles continued tonight as they lost their sixth straight game. This time, facing the Miami Heat in what will be Dwyane Wade’s last visit in Cleveland. Coming off their loss on Wednesday against Boston,  the Cavs looked to spark some momentum off Cedi Osman’s best game yet as a pro, putting up a stat line of 25-8-2, and shooting 6-7 from 3 point land. For a while it looked like they had.

The game was back and forth, and neither team could gain consistent momentum heading into halftime. The Cavs pulled out a little lead at the end of the second quarter, but it was not to be maintained.

Even with forward Larry Nance JR. back in the rotation, Cleveland had no answer to stop the Heat’s bigs. Miami started to pull away, growing their lead to as much as 18 points, led by Hassan Whiteside and Justice Winslow. Sloppy ball movement and stagnant offense has plagued the Wine and Gold this season, and it seems to what cost them this game early, until two threes made by Colin Sexton and Alec Burks sparked a 13-1 run for the Cavaliers.

The Cavs made it close, but the just could not finish them off. Which seems to be a running theme for this team. The Heat took the win 100-94.

Cedi Osman completed another career high going 29-4-4, Sexton and Burks both contributed 13, and the big man Ante Zizic almost had a double-double dropping 11 points and 9 rebounds. For Miami, they were led by Justice Winslow going 27-7-2. Followed by Hassan Whiteside contributing a double-double having 14 points and 13 rebounds. As for Dwyane Wade’s last ride in the Q, he made it a good one, going 13-6-3, capped off by trading jerseys post-game with Colin Sexton.

Following the loss, head coach Larry Drew was asked about Cedi Osman’s  progress, and what is the team’ next step to finishing out these close games. This is what he had to say:

Video courtesy of Cavs.com

 

The Cavaliers will be back on the court Sunday against the Bulls at 3:30 as they look to earn their 10th win on the year.

Browns Send Falcons Flying Home to Give Greg Williams First Win as Head Coach

 

Written by John Alfieri:

The Cleveland Browns, 2-6-1 entering the day, hosted the Atlanta Falcons. Atlanta came in at 4-4 and had won three straight after a 1-4 start. Many questions still surrounded the Browns as Head Coach Greg Williams and new OC Freddie Kitchens looked lost at times in their new coaching role debuts last week against Kansas City.

On their second drive of the game, Baker Mayfield rolled out of the pocket to avoid pressure and found Rashard Higgins for the the 28 yard touchdown.

In the second quarter after an Atlanta field goal, the Falcons drove down the field and Matt Ryan hit Julio Jones on a 1 yard bubble screen for the touchdown. Atlanta would go up 10-7 before Baker tosses his second TD of the game, this time to running back Nick Chubb, who got the start. Cleveland went into halftime leading 14-10.

The Browns kept the momentum going into the fourth as Mayfield would find his other running back, Duke Johnson, for the 13 yard touchdown. After a punt by Atlanta, Nick Chubb had the play of the game and ran 92 yards to put the Browns up 28-10.

The Browns defense also played well especially in the red zone and on third down. Atlanta has a chance to cut down the lead and went for it on fourth and goal at the 1 yard line, but came up short after a broken up pass. Matt Ryan looked very frustrated at times.

The Falcons did put more on the board as Ryan found his tight end Austin Hooper on fourth and goal to make it 28-16. Atlanta went for the 2 point conversion but the Browns stood tall once again and it was no good.

Cleveland would go on to win 28-16 and move to 3-6-1. Baker Mayfield had a terrific game going 17/20 with 216 yards and 3 touchdowns. Nick Chubb also had another explosive game as he had 176 on 20 carries and 2 total touchdowns.

Baker Mayfield said in his press conference that he “woke up this morning feeling dangerous”. When asked what has changed with the play of this offense, Mayfield responded, “ Guys believing, believing in themselves.Not hesitating, not flinching, juts going out there and doing their jobs.” The rookie quarterback is coming into his own and becoming the leader that this team needs

The Browns are on a bye this week before they travel to Cincinnati for a showdown with the Bengals.

 

 

WZIP’s Browns 2018 Season Predictions

The Cleveland Browns made plenty of moves during their off-season and in the 2018 Draft. With one win in the past 32 games, you pretty much have to. But how will this season be different than the last two, or are they destined to repeat their failures? The WZIP Sports Department has their predictions for how the 2018-2019 Browns season will unfold:

John Alfieri 

Record: 4-12
MVP: Myles Garrett
Between Hardknocks and the the new faces in town, the Cleveland Browns are poised to be a new and improved team with a lot of potential. Free agent additions Jarvis Landry, Tyrod Taylor, and Demarious Randall will be a bright spot in the Browns season campaign. Two big questions I am curious about are; When will we see Baker Mayfield on the field? And Will Hue Jackson be in Cleveland the whole season and possibly next year?
Baker Mayfield, the number one overall pick, impressed a lot of coaches in the preseason. His skill set is very impressive and his winning mentality is something you just can’t teach. The issue with Baker is at times he rushes throws and looks not ready to compete at the NFL level right now. He’s a project. I believe if the Browns are under 3 wins by week 8, we will see Baker under center. Browns fans shouldn’t expect to see him though if Tyrod is leading the Browns to wins.

Hue Jackson is on the hottest seat any coach in the league has ever been on. Many argue he shouldn’t still have his job but obviously the Browns still believe in him. However I feel that if the Browns don’t make the playoffs (obviously a long shot) the Browns will be moving on from Hue. The good news? The Browns have two head coaching candidates on their staff already in Greg Williams and Todd Haley. Don’t be surprised if they are calling the shots next year.

Zach Bush

I’m predicting the Browns to go 6-10. Hue Jackson will be on the hot seat for the entire season, but he’ll make it to the end without getting fired. Tyrod will play fine, but he’ll get a concussion or something and miss a week. Baker will start that game and play well, but Hue will put Tyrod back in the following week. It will be a controversy for the rest of the year. Josh Gordon will play near a full year for the first time since 2013, but his numbers won’t be as good as they were then. Jarvis Landry will have a great first year in Cleveland, and Myles Garrett will have a solid second year.

*Actually, forget what I said about Hue Jackson. I thought about it some more, and I think he will get fired. I see the Browns losing four straight games in November/December, the last of which coming December 9th against Carolina. I think he’ll get fired after losing that game, and either Haley or Williams will take over for the rest of the year.

Savannah Griggs

For the 2018 football season I believe the browns will be 8-8. Tyrod Taylor will be QB1 however, I believe Baker Mayfield will have an outstanding rookie season and he will start at least 2 games in the season more than likely towards the end of the year. This season my breakout players are David Njoku and Carlos Hyde. Hue Jackson will coach the entire season. Finally our MVP will be Myles Garrett.

Isaiah Houde

I am predicting that the Browns will end the season with a 6-10 record. This team is on a path for a better future, but I still do not believe that the culture and the losing ways have ultimately been reversed. Winning six games is a huge increase from winning zero last year, and I believe that the consistency of Tyrod Taylor will take them there. I believe that Tyrod will start the whole season, and Baker Mayfield will learn what it takes to be a quarterback in the NFL. The defense will improve by leaps and bounds in my opinion because of the changing culture, and the talent that is present.

I do not believe that the team will make it to the playoffs this year, but I feel that the Browns will be there soon. They could possibly be a playoff team by next season if they can flip the culture around and bring winning spirits into the organization. Josh Gordon and Jarvis Landry will play a huge role in that.

Cami Justice

My heart is telling me the Browns will win six games this year. My brain is telling me it will actually be four. I think Tyrod Taylor should, and will start for most, if not all of the season. A minor injury that could displace him from his starting role for a game or two would be the only scenario in which Baker Mayfield starts over Tyrod. The Browns defense should prove to look as incredible on the field as they look on paper. Myles Garrett will be the Browns MVP this season without a doubt. Offensively, the Browns should do better than they have in a very long time. With talent like Jarvis Landry and Josh Gordon, the Browns passing game should be fierce. Their running game could also be explosive so long as everyone lives up to their potential. With  David Njoku, Duke Johnson, and Ohio native Carlos Hyde at Tyrod’s disposal the Browns should have a lot of success running the ball.

As for head coach Hue Jackson, well, I think he better work harder than he ever has in his life if he wants to maintain his position with the Browns. If Jackson loses three to four consecutive games with no wins this season I think he’ll be fired immediately. If he doesn’t win at least 4 games I think he’ll be fired at the end of the season. All eyes are on him right now as he sits in the hot seat. If he pulls off some wins and early on, Hue will stick around.

My heart and my brain tell me two slightly different stories for the Browns but I will follow my heart and say the Browns will be 6-10 at the end of the season and they’ll only go up from there… SUPERBOWLLLLL…SUPER BROWNS!

Justin Miller

Overall record: 5-11

Wins against the Jets, Bengals (x2), Buccaneers, and Broncos

3rd in AFC North
Obviously huge improvements have been made from a win-less team just a year ago. Although expectations are extremely high for this team, I think it is simply unrealistic for a winning percentage close to .500. Baker Mayfield was a good pick, but wasn’t worth first overall. The Browns missed out on Saquan Barkley which will haunt them for the next decade. With Taylor starting week one, I don’t see Mayfield starting until late in the second half of the season once the browns are officially eliminated from playoff contention. Break out player will be M. Garret if you even consider him a breakout. Injury held him back last season but the sky is the limit for him this year. MVP will be Jarvis Landry as he will be key on the offensive side of the ball with multiple receptions per game and being a true possession wide receiver (via Larry Fitz). What will hurt the browns the most is the joke of an offensive line. Even with future HOF Joe Thomas at left tackle, they still struggled to block just about anyone and will be the root cause for Tyrod Taylor and the running game to be consistent. Its an exciting year for the browns, but a true winning culture is not here yet.

 

Kyle Molinelli

I believe this season will shock a lot of people. This team is not the same teams that went win-less last year, or the one who won only one game the year before that. This team is hungry, and they’re going to surprise a lot of people. With talent stocked at WR and a stable quarterback situation, I think they laid the foundation of a winning team, and I think they go 8-8 this year. Tyrod Taylor has a chip on his shoulder, and he will be the leader this team needs, and the mentor Baker Mayfield deserves to be eased in. Josh Gordon and Jarvis Landry will have to learn to share how many catches they get since they will be such dangerous weapons for the offense. The only question we really have is how our Offensive line will be, since Joe Thomas has retired. Overall, look out world because the browns are here to shock the system. (Yes I am probably way too hyped for this and my dreams might be crushed.) 

Ryan Ribinskas

I believe the Browns will go 9-6

Jarvis Landry and Josh Gordon will be in the top 10 in the NFL for receiving and Baker Mayfield will not start a game. I also believe Denzel ward will win DPOY and Myles Garrett will win DPOY.

Deontae Shahid

I believe the Browns will win 5-6 games this year starting with the 1st game of the season against the Steelers. Barring injury I do not believe Baker will get a start this year. If Tyrod stays healthy, I believe he will be good enough for us this year to keep the starting role for the entirety of the season. Standout players this year have to be Myles Garrett, Jarvis Landry, and Christian Kirksey. Denzel Ward might struggle in the beginning of the season, but his play will pick up as the season progresses.

The Zips open up Football Season at home after game cancelation

The University of Akron Football team kicks off the season with the home opener against Morgan State this Saturday at 3:30 pm.

After their first game was cancelled due to weather, the Zips will feature for the first time this season on their own grounds. Five of their seven wins and only one loss were at home last year. They have played Morgan State at home on two previous occasion – both of which were blowout wins for the roos and milestones in Akron. The first was the first game played in Infocision stadium, and the other was Head Coach Terry Bowdon’s first game at home for Akron.

Akron is returning a number of familiar faces during the 2018 season. Senior Ulysees Gilbert, who recorded 141 tackles, 9.5 TFL, five sacks, three interceptions, and a fumble in 2017, is a two-time All-MAC LB. Gilbert was also voted by his teammates to be a captain. WR Kwadarrius Smith saw a breakout in 2017 with 726 yards and seven touchdowns. Speed is Smith’s top weapon. He can use it to create space between defenders and attack zones. He will look to get over the top for QB Kato Nelson. Nelson started in place of suspended QB Thomas Woodson in 2017. He threw 70-140 for 989 yards, and 8 touchdowns. His playing style is different than Woodson’s, so it should prove exciting to see how the offense will shape out around Nelson.

Morgan State is 0-1 on the season after a week one loss to Towson. They are being coached by their defensive coordinator, Ernest Jones, as an interim coach.