Brief Analysis of Game #15 – Browns @ Jets
It was yet another unimpressive effort by the Browns as they were defeated in New Jersey by the score of 24 – 13. Jason Campbell completed just eighteen of his forty passes for 178 yards and threw a pair of interceptions. Not surprisingly, one went to Ed Reed, who now has twelve career picks against the Browns. This was a very poor outing by the signal caller, who will see one final game as the Browns’ starter. For the second time in two weeks, Edwin Baker found the end zone on the ground. The rusher only accumulated sixty-four yards on the ground, but was a threat when given the ball. The wide outs were completely ineffective; Greg Little and Josh Gordon each had a drop while attempting to score but the latter led the unit with six grabs and ninety-seven yards (however, it took sixteen attempts to get to that amount). I was rather intrigued with Josh Cooper, who made some nice grabs. He is the second-most reliable wide receiver on the team and I hope he stays on the team in 2014. The offensive line had a less-than-stellar outing, yielding three sacks of the signal caller. Overall, the offensive performance was one where wasted opportunities hurt the team.
The most disappointing part of the Browns’ performance was definitely the defense. The front seven could not put pressure on rookie quarterback Geno Smith, they failed to garner any interceptions (by the NFL leader in that category), and they allowed another 100-yard rusher in Chris Ivory. The injuries to Phil Taylor – concussion – and John Hughes – sprained knee – did not help either. The secondary really killed this unit, especially on third down (once again) – as the Jets converted twelve of eighteen in this scenario. Former Browns wide out David Nelson had a career day, scoring a pair of touchdowns. There appears to be a lot of needs in the secondary, and nothing is guaranteed going forward – outside of Joe Haden. I thought the Browns won the special teams battle, as Billy Cundiff outkicked Nick Folk and Jordan Poyer had a few nice punt returns. Chud made some gutsy calls in this game, but the fourth down attempt in the red zone backfired (as Gordon caught it out of bounds). At the end of the day, the Browns’ season inches closer to the end as the fan base prepares for another offseason and a hope for improvement.