Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski was ripped up and down for his fourth-down call.
The tough part about a decision to go for it on fourth down is how much the outcome impacts perception. If you get it, all is well. If you don’t, you’re the goat.
Browns’ head coach Kevin Stefanski fell victim to that phenomenon on Thursday night when he went for it on fourth down at the two-yard line in a 21-13 game.
Stefanski could have taken the field goal attempt and put his team up by two possessions. The fact that he didn’t get any points out of made him the subject of some serious criticism.
Browns fans were furious with Kevin Stefanski’s fourth-down call.
Whether it was the timeout called before the fourth-down attempt, the play call or the context of the decision, a lot of folks on Twitter just didn’t get it.
As much as fans ripped Stefanski, his team got the last laugh.
After the Bengals took possession, Myles Garrett got loose and sacked Bengals QB Joe Burrow, dislodging the ball in the process. The fumble gave Cleveland the ball back exactly where they had it before at the goal line. It’s like they’d never even been stuffed on fourth down.
This time it didn’t come to that critical down. Nick Chubb charged off the right guard on second down for a one-yard touchdown. The score gave the Browns some much-needed breathing room at 28-13 midway through the third quarter.
Regardless of the outcome, it’s clear Stefanski got lucky. He took a huge and unnecessary risk and got away with it when a more conservative decision would have given his team the cushion they needed.
He really should do something nice for Garrett if the Browns escape Thursday with the win.