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Monthly Archives: November 2016

What to Make of This One?

What to Make of This One?

Browns Fall to Giants on Sunday

In an ending that surprised no one, the Cleveland Browns dropped their twelfth contest of the season handily to the New York Giants.  The offense was stagnant and the defense could not force the critical turnover for most of the contest.  So, was it all bad for the orange and brown?  Or are there any sort of bright spots for this franchise which is now sitting at 0 – 12.

Hue Recognizing Tendencies

The Browns have not been running the football in contests; at least the coach is understanding this and is trying to incorporate this on Sunday.  Yes, the team only tried twenty-one attempts, but that is up from the past few contests.  The issue is that the backs are getting three yards then losing two – that type of inconsistency will kill an offense.  I will put the blame more on the guys upfront, but Crowell was not doing them any favors either.  The bottom line is that watching the Browns try to run is frustrating.

Need more Wide Outs

Terrelle Pryor was targeted early and often, and produced 131 yards on six grabs (via twelve passes intended for the receiver).  This was a solid outing for the veteran, but the Browns are not having anyone else step up to move the football down the field.  Corey Coleman made one decent play; the same could be said for Gary Barnidge.  I really hope this team re-signs Pryor and drafts another wide receiver early in next spring’s draft.  The NFL is all about offensive weapons and the Browns are in desperate need of them.

Defense Starting Up?

The Browns’ defense actually forced a turnover in this contest.  Meanwhile, the defenders were winning at the point of attack and were pushing back Rashad Jennings from time to time.  Granted, they are not one of the best defenses in the league – however I am finally seeing some sort of improvement (there was ample room to grow).  It will be interested to see if this trend will continue or if this was just a decent outing in a season filled will bad defense.

Conclusion:  The Cleveland Browns are now headed to their bye week, which is much needed for both the team as well as the fans.  My faith and enthusiasm might be at an all-time low, as nothing appears to be going right for this franchise.  At least the year is almost over and another chance to improve looms large.

 
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Posted by on November 27, 2016 in NFL Season, Players

 

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Browns vs. Giants Preview

Browns vs. Giants Preview

Browns – Giants Matchup

It’s another contest for the orange and brown and the red-hot Giants come to town.  Once again, expectations for success should be low – but let’s review why.

Locker Room Chatter

Following last week’s horrid performance, Browns players finally sounded off about the state of the franchise.  I can’t imagine everyone shaking that off and coming together for a victory.  What is more likely is continued frustration and finger pointing at others.

McCown Back

Again, I respect Josh McCown and the type of guy he is, but he will not win a game for the Browns.  Anticipate a costly turnover or two – maybe with a touchdown in there too.  Bottom line is that it will not be good enough for the orange and brown.

The Giants are Good

Let’s not forget who the Cleveland Browns are facing.  Eli Manning does have a history of throwing multiple interceptions, while the opponent does not feature a stout rushing attack.  However, Odell Beckham and Sterling Shepard will likely see handfuls of attempts, yardage, and possibly touchdowns.

That Offensive Line

Let’s not forget about the unit upfront who has been ill-equipped to either run block or not kill the guy under center.  Jason Pierre-Paul and company should feast on their counterparts at First Energy Stadium.

Conclusion:  I’m predicting the Browns to lose again on Sunday – by at least two touchdowns.  The good news is that the team finally hits their bye week after this matchup.

 
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Posted by on November 23, 2016 in NFL Season, Players, Uncategorized

 

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Another Loss

Another Loss

Browns Lose Again

It was painful to watch and hard to stomach, but the Browns got destroyed by another mediocre team yesterday.  I don’t have a lot more to add other than:

Calling it on Kessler – I am now ready to proclaim that Cody Kessler is not the guy going forward.  That was evident as he took sacks and couldn’t hit targets consistently.

Draft a New Line – The Browns’ offensive line looked just as bad as ever, as they surrendered eight sacks.  The team must put a high priority on upgrading here, starting with the replacement of Cam Erving.

Defense Not Working – The Browns couldn’t put any pressure on big Ben.  However, they also couldn’t stop the run or the pass either.  I hope it’s just the coach but it appears that the players aren’t too good either.

Conclusion:  Just five more games left in this putrid season.  I am looking forward to the holiday this week and can forget about the orange and brown for a few days.

 
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Posted by on November 21, 2016 in NFL Season, Players, Uncategorized

 

What’s in Store for the Browns

What’s in Store for the Browns

A Snowball’s Chance?

The winless Browns face the Steelers at home on Sunday, and the question remains – will this be the week? Can the orange and brown finally break into the victory column and get that elusive monkey off of their back. It won’t be easy, but if they play perfectly, catch a couple breaks, and focus on a few key points (listed below) perhaps they can pull it off.

#1 – Take Some Shots

Coach Jackson wanted Cody Kessler to attempt deeper passes last week, outside of one touchdown throw to Seth DeValve – that was not the case. The end result was a benching for Josh McCown who is prone to turnovers. I hope that the rookie has learned his lesson and goes for the gusto on Sunday afternoon. He can obviously get intercepted, but this league is built on taking chances (just look at Eli Manning as an example).

#2 – Linebackers are Key

Jamie Colllins had a terrific first half in last week’s contest, as well as Chris Kirksey and Demario Davis. The Browns must get the most from their linebackers if they want a shot in this contest. It does not matter whether it is rushing the quarterback or filling holes to stop the run – if the linebacking unit can be in the right place at the right time, perhaps they can disrupt big Ben just enough.

#3 – Don’t Embarrass Themselves 

This might be an apt headline for the Cleveland Browns. Too many times have they fallen behind quickly to the yellow and black and were never able to recover. The end result was a physical domination – add to the fact that there will be hundreds (or thousands) of yellow towels in the stadium and this can be a pathetic display. The Browns simply needs to play their opponent tough and make a game of it. 

#4 – Pray for a Miracle 

The most likely scenario of the bunch is that the Browns have no hope and have to rely on divine intervention for have any sort of opportunity to win. Getting to the quarterback (and sacking him) and being extremely protective of the football is one way to defeat this foe; but that is easier said than done. 

Conclusion: I predict this game being extremely lopsided, with the Browns getting the short end of the stick. The misery will once again continue for the orange and brown, and I see little hope for the next few games.

 
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Posted by on November 16, 2016 in NFL Season, Players

 

Another Debacle for the Browns

Another Debacle for the Browns

The Cleveland Football Team Stumbles

It was the first and only time the orange and brown got to play in front of a national audience and the fared the way they have all season long – poorly.  Outside of collecting a pair of interceptions and witnessing a late touchdown, the Browns were completely embarrassing.  There were a few things I took away in this matchup.

#1 – QB Replacement

I was very surprised the Browns moved away from rookie signal caller Cody Kessler to veteran Josh McCown.  The starter managed the game well and did not make any mistakes, while the backup tossed a pair of interceptions in the second half.  To think that this move would have sparked a win is silly, but the performance was even worse.  The Browns must stick with Kessler the rest of the way – no matter the score.

#2 – What Collins Can Do

The insertion of Jamie Collins was apparent in this defensive performance.  Not only did the linebacker make plays both up the middle and from the edge (against both the run and pass), but he elevated the play of his teammates.  I thought Danny Shelton, Jamie Meder, Demario Davis, and Chris Kirksey all had their moments – they are far from great but I was glad to see them starting to get a bit more consistent in their play.

#3 – Offensive Line

The guys upfront did not do their jobs last night, especially when trying to protect Cody Kessler during drop backs.  The quarterback was hurried or sacked from blitzers blowing past Cameron Erving, Spencer Drango, Joe Thomas, etc.  This has pretty much been status quo for the season and the team must upgrade severely.  The Browns are not running the ball well, cannot protect the quarterback, and are not winning at the point of attack.

Conclusion:  Honestly, this game was what I expected – a bad outing by a young team.  The stride to 0 – 16 is very real and no victories seem to be on the horizon.  At least Browns’ fans have an open Sunday afternoon, enjoy it for once!

 
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Posted by on November 11, 2016 in NFL Season, Players

 

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Blueprint for that First Win

Blueprint for that First Win

What’s it Going to Take to Finally Win?

Well, it does not get much easier for the Browns as they head east to play on Thursday night against the Ravens.  They are not expected to win, but that does not mean that an upset is impossible.  It will not be an easy contest, but if a few things break their way – who knows?  Let’s take a deeper look into what it will take:

#1 – Do You Job

This refers on the defense as a whole.  Sometimes they are keen on stopping the run, while at other times the unit is selling out to get to the quarterback.  Meanwhile, the opposing offense is gashing the Browns via the opposite way of moving the football.  The defense has got to get out of that mindset and refrain from beating itself.  Do I think they can be an excellent defense in this league?  No but perhaps they can be somewhat respectable for one night – which might be enough to win this matchup.

#2 – Be Smart, Play Smart

The Browns cannot afford to make mental mistakes and still anticipate a victory.  Whether it is critical penalties or simply not executing is costing this team severely.  The special teams are being penalized nearly every play, and the Browns’ offense is starting out in a hole.  The tables must be turned this week and the Browns must be the franchise putting their opponent in difficult positions.

#3 – Work in the Rookie

Corey Coleman had his only productive contest of the season last time they faced the Ravens.  He then hurt himself and is still working his way back into the swing of things.  I would like to see him featured in this offense, to both see if he can handle the workload and to also watch Terrelle Pryor and Gary Barnidge find openings in the defense.  A touchdown (or two, or more) by Coleman surely wouldn’t be a bad thing for the Browns’ offense.

#4 – Steal the Ball

I certainly do not see this one happening, but if the Browns can actually force turnovers by the Ravens’ offense – they will have a good shot at winning.  Not being at the right place at the right time would certainly not be a good recipe for the defense, but maybe Jamie Collins or Briean Boddy-Calhoun can swing the momentum by making a play for this defense.

Conclusion:  I will once again pick against the Browns in this contest, but feel they might not get blown out this time.  They are only a few players away from being decent – but that is not helping with the win-loss record.  I’m hoping for a miracle but we will find out shortly.

 
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Posted by on November 8, 2016 in NFL Season, Players

 

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Looking Back at Another Defeat

Looking Back at Another Defeat

The Browns Lost to Dallas – What Does it Mean?

This contest between the Cleveland Browns and the Dallas Cowboys was a brutal one (which was to be expected).  The home squad got physically dominated at the point of attack all game long.  The orange and brown were in no way competitive in this matchup, outside of two respectable drives.  Let’s delve a little bit further into the takeaways.

#1 – Another Strike for Erving

Outside of not playing too terrifically well, there is not a whole lot that can be said about second year veteran Cameron Erving.  He got ejected during the first offensive drive in this contest – surely that will not help his standing on the team with coach Jackson (who does not take kindly to those sort of actions).  I am not sure where he goes from here, but unless he performs magnificently the rest of the campaign – the Browns might be shipping him out of town next spring.

#2 – Awful Defense

I understand that Ray Horton’s defense got walled off and could not stop Ezekiel Elliot – as that appears to be the norm against the rookie of the year candidate.  However, witnessing defenders lining offsides on multiple occasions is unacceptable in the NFL.  I don’t have a reasonable excuse as to why these issues are present, but they still remain.  It would be nice if they can somewhat turn it around, but I do not see that happening any time soon.

#3 – What’s so Special?

I’m pretty sure the Browns committed a penalty on each and every return in this contest.  With an offense that is vertically challenged, they can ill afford to start deep in their own territory for most of contests.  It should be easy to not block an opponent in the back or hold during a run back, however the home squad still fell into pitfalls.  Like the defense, this must be cleaned up as soon as possible – but I am realistic.

#4 – Leaning about Kessler

Right now, Cody Kessler is a better signal caller than Josh McCown; he is refraining from making the big mistakes during contests.  However, he is not finding his targets on deeper tosses – which was a knock against him coming out of college.  Kessler is staring to show signs that he might not be the franchise quarterback many had hoped.  I’m not ready to give up hope just yet, but a signal caller might be chosen by the team early in the 2017 NFL Draft.

Conclusion:  This was just another pathetic output by a downtrodden football team.  I’m not seeing the weekly improvement that coach Jackson has been mentioning; maybe they can put it all together in the near future.  Now, it’s time for a short week and a trip to Baltimore.

 
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Posted by on November 6, 2016 in NFL Season, Players

 

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