Monthly Archives: December 2015

Another Awful Loss

Another Awful Loss

Looking Back at Game #12 – Bengals @ Browns

Wow, what a game for the Cleveland Browns. It was bad on offense, bad on defense, and bad on special teams for the home team. It was all around pathetic and par for the course for the orange and brown. I am looking forward to only four more contests the rest of the 2015 campaign. Here’s the debauchery below…


Quarterback – Austin Davis wasn’t embarrassing in this game, but he was far from great. The signal caller heaved a poor interception but made some nice plays with a depleted roster around him. He had a decent connection with Darius Jennings who is fresh off the practice squad. Davis should improve over time, but the question will be – will he or Manziel be the starter going forward?

Running Back – Both Isaiah Crowell and Duke Johnson were able to move the ball via some solid runs, but neither were great overall. I believe they can both be productive backs in this league but need a reliable line to have success in the NFL. Crowell looking at the ball during the pass behind the line of scrimmage did not help things out (recovered by the other team).

Wide Receiver – I give Darius Jennings and Brian Hartline all the credit for this contest. They were the only two (healthy) wide outs that made their mark in the matchup. The injury to Travis Benjamin did not help things out for the Browns, but someone had to catch and run with the ball. Marlon Moore made some catches as well, but he left the game with an injury as well. 

Tight End – Gary Barnidge was the only tight end for the Browns – he made a fair amount of grabs and looked as reliable as ever. He can’t do it all and if the team won’t ever play E.J. Bibbs then they should expect this part of the team to falter.

Offensive Line – Hang your head Cameron Erving; the injury to Joel Bitonio paved the way for the rookie to get the nod at right tackle once again. What ensued was embarrassment by the rookie from Florida State. I understand he is not used to being a guard, but he should know what it takes to block a defender. The edge could not be blocked either, which was a sad sight to see. 


Defensive Line – Jeremy Hill ran right through this Swiss cheese defense; it didn’t matter if it was up the middle or on the edge the Browns were awful in trying to stop the run. I would like to look up a guy who did well for the Browns’ defensive line but there weren’t any. All were bad – I hate to say it, but it remains true. 

Linebacker – Paul Kruger made one that that one time, remember that? Neither do I; the linebacker corps could not cover, tackle, or rush the passer in this contest. I suppose Nate Orchard had a nice deflection but the main thing I’ll take away from this game is that they were punked by Jeremy Hill and Chris Kirksey got penalized after one of their touchdowns. 

Secondary – It appears that the Browns missed the memo that A.J. Green is a good NFL athlete. Tramon Williams did not have safety help and was burned frequently during this contest. No one in the Browns’ secondary made an impactful play all game long; I didn’t even hear some of the names of these guys even mentioned. It’s just another black mark for this defense.

Special Teams: Bad punts and another blocked field goal; other than that the special teams were relatively even between the squads. I wish they could help the team out, but the offense and defense were so bad that special teams were irrelevant. 

Coaching: This team is just a mess. There’s bad coaching all around but also bad players and horrible execution. I cannot wait for the team to end their 2015 campaign to finally end, and hey next week is their final winnable game.

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Posted by on December 6, 2015 in NFL Season


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Browns Game #12 Preview – Kinda Need a Win

Browns Game #12 Preview – Kinda Need a Win

Lookin’ at the Next One – Browns vs. Bengals – Game #12 Preview

This game looks ugly on paper and will probably be even worse on the field.  The Browns are an absolute disaster, while their counterparts sit comfortably in first place in the AFC North.  I don’t anticipate a competitive contest – at least in the second half of this matchup.  However, let’s look at a few of the guys who will take the field for the orange and brown.


Quarterback – Now that Josh McCown will not be playing for the rest of the season, the Browns have two choices at quarterback (in this contest).  I am done with the Johnny Manziel experiment, so I would prefer to see if giving Austin Davis a shot to remain with this team going forward.  My expectations are low, but the veteran signal caller looked somewhat poised when pressed into action.  Hopefully he can find the end zone once or twice on Sunday, with zero turnovers.

Running Back – I’m also over this team’s running game; the Browns should only use Duke Johnson as a receiver (either in the slot or out of the backfield).  Other than that, the rookie and Isaiah Crowell cannot get more than three yards at a time when rushing the football.  Granted, the line has been putrid – but it appears that Crowell cannot find any possible cut back lanes (which some of the better backs can do).  Expect to see a low total of rushing yards for the Browns.

Wide Receiver – Can Brian Hartline build upon his success of last week?  The veteran was solid when teaming up with Josh McCown; so it will be interesting to see how he performs with a different guy under center.  Andrew Hawkins and Taylor Gabriel have both missed time due to concussions, however there is a chance we can finally see them back on the field.  Catching and running with the ball would be a nice change this week for anyone not named Travis Benjamin; maybe Terrelle Pryor can even do it.

Tight End – I expect a bit of a drop-off in production from Gary Barnidge.  Like Hartline, the veteran seems to work best with McCown – so the switch in signal callers will more than likely hurt the tight end’s output.  One touchdown or several big catches would suffice, but I do not believe that will occur in this game.  I don’t expect rookie E.J. Bibbs to get any opportunities at tight end either.

Offensive Line – It appears that the professional game is too big for Cameron Erving, at least at this moment.  While filling in for Joel Bitonio, the rookie has been driven back on a consistent basis – leading to sacks and negative gains by rushers.  Perhaps he is out of place at left guard, but winning at the point of attack is critical in the NFL.  The Bengals’ defensive line will likely feast up the middle and on Mitchell Schwartz’s side all game long.


Defensive Line – I would be floored if the Browns can somewhat limit Jeremy Hill and Gio Bernard in this contest.  Jon Gruden pointed out how out of position the defensive front was on national television and the ease at which opponents can pick up yards.  Danny Shelton has been a part of the problem and not the solution up to this point.  I believe he can improve, but it’s looking like it will take time.  I would like to believe the same can be said for Xavier Cooper.

Linebacker – This is easily one of the most maddening parts of the Browns’ roster. Veteran linebackers are out of place and routinely miss tackles.  Barkevious Mingo is invisible and will likely be on another team’s roster in 2016.  The only reliable member appears to be Paul Kruger, and he is only productive in spurts.  Andy Dalton will likely find his backs and receivers down the seam and via crossing patterns – and should exploit the Browns in coverage.

Secondary – Each of the guys in the secondary has been beaten badly in coverage this year.  Whether it has been Tramon Williams, Charles Gaines, or Pierre Desir (to name a few) – wide outs have gotten behind and torched the Browns’ cornerbacks.  The safeties have not been excellent either, outside of a few fine tackles by Ibraheim Campbell and Donte Whitner (but those are few and far between).  Expect a big game from Marvin Jones and A.J. Green against this secondary.

Special Teams:  Well, it can’t be any worse than last week, right?  The special teams single-handedly lost the contest for the Browns last Monday.  I’d like to believe these units will be improved, but not nearly good enough to overcome the shortcomings by the offense and defense.

Coaching:  I’m at the point where the defensive coaches should just throw guys out there and see what they’ve got.  Those on the field are not performing for a multitude of reasons, and the staff has got to find a way to be better on this side of the ball.  The offense knows their limitations and is doing its best; the defense is clearly not on the same page with each other.

Prediction (My Record: 7 – 4):  I’m not going to go back and forth with this one; the Bengals come in and beat the Browns by the score of 30 – 13 – thus keeping the long losing streak alive for the orange and brown.

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Posted by on December 3, 2015 in NFL Season


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Monday Night Misery – Browns Blow Another One

Monday Night Misery – Browns Blow Another One

Breaking Down Game #11 – Ravens @ Browns

A back and forth between battle two of the worst teams in the NFL ended with a special teams touchdown for the visitors. Once again the Browns stole a defeat from the jaws of victory on Monday Night Football. There are fortunately only five more of these guys left in the 2015 season, but let’s review the most recent one.


Quarterback – After a slow start, Josh McCown looked somewhat solid in this contest. His elusive touchdown was somewhat magical in the first half, however his injury late opened the door for Austin Davis. With the starter’s availability in doubt, it is sad that we might not see him continue to perform at a level higher than many have expected. 

Running Back – It was status quo for both running backs, with Duke Johnson leading the way with around fifty total yards. Isaiah Crowell had a mind-numbing total of just seven rushing yards. The team has scrapped the running of the football and rightly so; this part of the team has been embarrassing all year long.

Wide Receiver – Travis Benjamin caught a touchdown and several quick routes, in getting back to where he was earlier in the campaign. I was glad to see Brian Hartline also productive in this matchup. He only had seventy-four yards, but eight grabs were pleasantly surprising.

Tight End – Gary Barnidge was yet again the leading receiver for this football team with ninety-one. He made several nice receptions down the seam and galloped towards the end zone. I hope the Browns keep him for next year; he may not be the youngest guy on the team but someone to build around.

Offensive Line – Cameron Erving’s struggles continued in the primetime matchup. He struggled all night with the pass rush at his gap, and running lanes were hard to come by. Overall the guys upfront were extremely porous and Elvis Dumerville made Mitchell Schwartz appear slow and out of place as well. 


Defensive Line – I guess you could say the Browns’ run defense improved in this contest. They were not facing a difficult task, as Justin Forsett was out with an injury. However, when facing guys off of the street, they looked somewhat respectable. A feather in their cap, I suppose – we’ll see a real challenge next Sunday.

Linebacker – Outside of Karlos Dansby’s interception returned for a touchdown, once again the linebackers underperformed greatly. Chris Kirksey’s whiff in the first half allowed a touchdown, while the guys on the outside would occasionally bring pressure on passing downs. This position group looks to need work for the 2016 campaign.

Secondary – Tramon Williams had quite the up and down game; the veteran surrendered a long reception to castoff Chris Givens but also intercepted a Matt Schaub pass late. This would have been the turning point of the game, but we all know what happened afterward. Justin Gilbert started at cornerback in this game – he was not embarrassed but did not excel (again) either.

Special Teams: A returned punt and a blocked field goal both for touchdowns went against the Browns way. Other than that, thing were even. Unfortunately special teams lost this game, but that’s the way it goes sometimes. 

Coaching: Offensively, the play calling was conservative with Josh McCown under center – which was somewhat effective. This team is not as talented as many others, so they played to their strengths (Travis Benjamin and Gary Barnidge). Defensively, they were better against a depleted bunch. However, a loss is still a loss and this was a bad one.

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Posted by on December 1, 2015 in NFL Season


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