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September 29, 2023

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Garcia looks sloppy playing at quarterback for Browns

Jeff Garcia has nothing to show for his most recent NFL game. Zero. Really.

Cleveland’s quarterback put his name in the NFL record book last Sunday, but years from now, it’s a safe bet that he’ll never bother to look it up.

Garcia had the worst day of his pro career — and maybe of his football life — with a 0.0 passer rating in Sunday’s loss to the Dallas Cowboys.

“Did he really?” tackle Ross Verba asked Wednesday. “Wow. I’m sure he never wants to do that again.”

Garcia went just 8-of-27 for 71 yards and threw three interceptions, numbers that when plugged into the complex QB rating formula spit out a pair of round numbers, very round ones.

Garcia’s double-zero is a rare feat in the NFL. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, he became just the fifth quarterback since 1970 to stoop so low and just the second since 1976.

So how does he handle it?

“Put it behind me,” he said. “I know I haven’t had many of those experiences in the past. I don’t want to be that person that says everyone has a bad day. It’s a situation that I don’t want to have repeated.”

Garcia’s performance was so brutal that duplicating it would be difficult.

Beginning with his third attempt, when he missed a wide-open Quincy Morgan streaking down the right sideline for what could have been an easy touchdown, Garcia was off the mark all afternoon.

The three-time Pro Bowler with San Francisco rushed throws, hesitated on others, looked flustered in the pocket and was picked off on consecutive possessions in the fourth quarter when the Browns were still within five points.

Statistically, it added up to a big, fat zero. One Garcia never wants to see again and one he needs to forget quickly as the Browns (1-1) prepare to visit the New York Giants this week.

“Anytime you experience a low like we went through last Sunday, you look forward to that next opportunity to bring yourself out of it and turn things around,” he said. “I have no doubt in my mind that I will be a better player this week. Obviously, I have to be.”

All of the Browns need to step up their game this week after the club was ravaged by injuries on Sunday.

Six Cleveland starters were injured in the loss. The most significant were rookie tight end Kellen Winslow Jr., out at least two months with a broken leg, and defensive end Courtney Brown, who has been lost for the season with a torn ligament in his foot.

Right tackle Ryan Tucker will miss this week’s game with a strained quadriceps, defensive tackle Gerard Warren is out after aggravating a strained muscle in his chest, and cornerback Daylon McCutcheon may sit after having three pins surgically inserted into a broken middle finger.

Those injuries compounded Garcia’s nightmarish day, which came one week after his celebrated debut when he threw a TD pass and ran for another as the Browns shocked Baltimore in the first week.

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