A difficult road trip ends on a good note!
The Cleveland fans have been deprived of football for a month. While next game will take place at Cleveland Stadium on November 19th, the last team's game there took place on October 15th, in what was the lowest scoring game of the season in AFC North (9-3 Win against Baltimore). During that span, the team travelled to Indianapolis (L 17-21), San Diego (L 18-25), Kansas City (L 15-27) and Arizona (W 17-0).
Indianapolis saw the the home team overcome a 14pt deficit in the last quarter and a half to get the winning TD at the 1:18 mark on the clock.
The next game, in San Diego, showed the team's lack of discipline and lack of efficiency in the red zone that ended up costing the game (7 penalties for 55 yards, 2 TD/1 FG for 5 visits).
Kansas City's game ended up being a puzzle. The pass defense allowing 3 TDs but keeping the QB under 50% and even picking him up 6 times, one for a TD. Again, penalties weighed too much (8 for 75 yards) and the offense didn't perform well enough (average starting position: OWN 39, offense scoring: 9).
The light came out in the last game of the road trip: Arizona. The players all decided to show up for good and the shutout that followed showed their good performance. Only 5 first downs and 150yds allowed, a leading rusher with 150yds on 23 carries, 8 runs over 10yds and a QB at 66.6% accuracy. Good sign leading up to a good matchup home against Oakland (7-4).
The last 5 games will be decisive in the outcome of a very dense AFC North where Cincinnati (4-7) could still end up winning the division. Cleveland will have to take advantage of its good defense (173pts allowed - 7th in the NFL, +10 turnover margin - 2nd in the NFL) and step up the pace on the other side of the ball.