The Cleveland Browns have lost three games in a row since beating the Baltimore Ravens back in Week Four, now 2-5 on the season. The Ravens have done the exact opposite since then. The Pittsburgh Steelers wish that both of them would have fallen somewhere in between to make their life easier.
And Browns wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr., the centerpiece of the ‘new-look’ Browns that was supposed to help them turn the corner and win the AFC North, wishes that he would be getting the ball more.
Part of the storyline heading into yesterday’s loss to the New England Patriots—during which they turned the ball over on three consecutive plays—was that Beckham was due for a breakout game, and that his patience while not getting as many looks as he is used to has been an asset that would be rewarded.
It wasn’t. He received seven targets, catching five passes for 52 yards. He now has just 34 receptions on the season for 488 yards with one touchdown. He is slightly on-pace to have a 1000-yard season, but his average of 70 yards per game is by far a career-low, outside of the 2017 season in which he played just four games.
“I just feel like we didn’t challenge as much as we could have”, Beckham told reporters after yesterday’s game, and after he gave Tom Brady his cleats while Baker Mayfield watched. “I think we kind of shied away from it. I was expecting and looking forward to it, but that wasn’t the case today. We had a couple plays, but for whatever reason, we didn’t do as much challenging the matchups that we all talked about”.
A losing streak capped off by one of your most important yet volatile players is not exactly what Freddie Kitchens needs right now, and frankly, the rookie head coach has shown signs of being testy over lesser things so far during his first lap around the track.
“Whatever came my way I pretty much caught”, Beckham added. “Whatever opportunities I had, I made the most of them. But you can only control what you can control”. Translation: I’m still not getting the ball enough.
One reporter later asked him if he would go to Kitchens to talk to him about getting the ball more. He responded by saying that he has never been that type of player, “but at the same point in time, I’m hungry, I always want to eat”.
For what it’s worth, Kitchens also said that recently that they weren’t getting Beckham the ball enough after Jarvis Landry expressed that sentiment.