Browns @ Rams – Breaking Down Game #7
Ball security was clearly not a priority for the Cleveland Browns today and it showed. The Browns surrendered four fumbles, and also got dominated in the trenches. Overall, the team played uninspired football and it was their worst lost of the year – let’s remember the game.
Quarterback – He tossed for over 200 yards, but Josh McCown also lost a pair of fumbles and did not find the end zone. I guess the positive is that he did not hurt an interception – but not trying the deep pass surely did not help. McCown left the contest with a right shoulder injury, so his availability for next game is still in question.
Running Back – Robert Turbin was the leading rusher for the Browns on Sunday, however he was only able to garner thirty yards on the ground. The lack of the run game is utterly disappointing, and the fact that this is occurring on a regular basis is beyond alarming. At least Duke Johnson has been a dependable receiver, as he was able to collect seventy-three yards on Sunday.
Wide Receiver – Without Travis Benjamin breaking out in this matchup, the wide receiving corps was less than stellar. Couple that with the fact that Benjamin and Taylor Gabriel lost a fumble – and this unit was a weak point. Brian Hartline finally got involved in a contest; he needs to build upon this performance going forward.
Tight End – Despite the fact that Gary Barnidge did not find the end zone for the first time in weeks, the athlete still put up pretty good numbers (six receptions for 101 yards). I am confident this will continue, but would like to see a counterpart step up. Jim Dray hauled in a pair of passes for ten yards – that is not enough to help out this position group. Maybe E.J. Bibbs can help at some point this year.
Offensive Line – I cannot explain how frustrated I am at the level of performance of the Browns’ offensive line. They cannot open holes for any running backs – and their pass protection is average at best. Oh yea, and they commit dumb penalties that kill drives. Cameron Erving replaced John Greco at right guard late in the contest, I doubt this will be the answer but I would like to see what he can do next contest.
Defensive Line – Well on the positive side, Desmond Bryant, Armonty Bryant, and Randy Starks all made impactful plays for the defensive line. However, that was not nearly enough as rookie Todd Gurley made light work of the run defense of the visiting squad. Danny Shelton could not muster any stats – I know he is a great player, but he must figure out a way to make a consistent impact during contests.
Linebacker – The duo of Chris Kirksey and Karlos Dansby were more than solid in game – as they combined for fifteen tackles and were always around opposing receivers. However, once again, the edge rushers could neither put pressure on the quarterback nor make a play in coverage. Nate Orchard led this group with two tackles, but has to got to be much better than he has been.
Secondary – The cornerbacks and safeties were not expected to make big plays, and they limited Nick Foles to less than 200 yards through the air. Unfortunately the run support was a second or two late consistently and it cost the Browns. Jordan Poyer is trying is best, but he cannot find himself at the best spot during plays.
Special Teams: I guess the Browns won this area, as Travis Coons won the kicking battle. The Rams easily won the field position battle, as the Browns could not move the ball when pinned deep in their own territory.
Coaching: The calls have already arrived for the departure of defensive coordinator Jim O’Neil. The defense cannot stop any opposing running back, and it is not allowing any wiggle room for victories for the orange and brown. I know there is a better way to help this unit, but I (and the team apparently) cannot figure out the answer.