Browns vs. Cardinals – A Look Back at Game #8
It looked very promising in the second quarter, but that halted quickly in the third period for the Cleveland Browns. It went from a 20 -7 lead from a big deficit for the home squad, and that seemed to be enough for the home team. Well, the orange and brown could not cut it at crunch time and lost the game going away. Let’s look at the misery on Sunday.
Quarterback – Josh McCown played as best as possible, but he also made a few mistakes and was relieved of his duties. He flung three touchdowns in this contest, but he also tossed an interception at a critical spot in this contest. I would like to see that he can bounce back, but the hits and concussions can be put to the side and he can continue to compete at the professional level – but I have little to no faith in McCown (or even Manziel at this at this spot).
Running Back – I would have thought that Robert Tubin would have made the most of his opportunities during this contest – However putting the team in the worst spot as possible was not what occurred for this roster. Turbin put that ball on the ground twice, and Isaiah Crowell could not muster many yards in this matchup. Duke Johnson was solid once again, but he was only good as a receiver – I don’t really know what to make of this unit but it is what it is.
Wide Receiver – It appeared that that Brian Hartline finally resurrected his 2015 season in this matchup. He collected a pair of touchdowns but that was enough for a victory in this contest. Travis Benjamin was on the receiving end of a few passes as well – he is a solid player but needs help with at his receiving group. Dwayne Bowe certainly has not helped and continues to be a punch line for this franchise.
Tight End – Outside of a few fine plays from Gary Barnidge, what else is there from the tight ends of the Cleveland Browns? Barnidge had a great touchdown grab for the orange and brown – but it would be nice to see a complement from a teammate of his. E.J. Bibbs is the guy I would like to see – but the team still cannot give him a chance.
Offensive Line – The guys upfront were decent in this matchup; they held their own at some spots but were not effective in others. John Greco looked iffy at best, I suppose he can continue going forward; but many will want to see Cameron Erving in his spot. I hope the rumors about trading Joe Thomas and Alex Mack are not true – the duo has not been incredible all season long, but they are needed to have a decent offensive line in the NFL.
Defensive Line – The guys upfront for the Cleveland Browns weren’t completely terrible this week. Armonty Bryant was exceptional in this meeting – including a fumble recovery and return leading to a touchdown. Desmond Bryant was solid as well; I would have like to have seen more of a performance from Danny Shelton and Randy Starks but that was not the case in this matchup. I might be hoping for too much, but perhaps this unit can finally improve.
Linebacker – Well once again the linebackers were relatively (and that’s putting it nicely) invisible for the Cleveland Browns. Barkevious Mingo and Paul Kruger could not get it done on the edge. Meanwhile, Chris Kirksey and Karlos Dansby were only so good in the middle positions. The Browns desperately need a dynamic player in this unit, but it appears that this will not come in 2015, hopefully next season.
Secondary – Joe Haden returned and was hurt again in this matchup. Johnson Bademosi could not pick up the slack in his absence; however he will likely be the man to be in coverage on the edge while Joe is out. Donte Whitner left the contest with a head injury as well – can Ibraheim Campbell play solid as well? I have my doubts but the Browns have no choice.
Special Teams: I guess the special teams did not fail, and the missed extra point by Travis Coons did not decide the contest. However, I am greedy and I would have liked to see the Browns excel in this area – maybe that will change in the future.
Coaching: I don’t know what could more could be done by this coaching staff to win this game – maybe play a bit more conservatively on offense? It did not work out for the orange and brown and it will continue to fester going forward. I hope the gang can get it together, but still have my doubts.