Bummin’ After a Bad Loss
The Browns are coming off a pathetic first half but managed to keep it close last week (however it’s debatable as to whether the Colts were loosening up their defense). The constant mistakes are maddening and who knows if they finally curb this beginning Sunday. Additionally, the play calling for this offense is a bit head scratching – especially with personnel at wide out. What can be done for win number one?
Hope for a Healed Garrett
Rookie defensive end Myles Garrett practiced today but his status remains uncertain as he is still fighting off a high ankle sprain. The fact that this front four has been so underwhelming in getting to the quarterback leads me to believe that Myles might finally see the field in the limited role. However, the staff will be careful with the first overall draft selection – to prevent further injury. If Garrett finally plays for the Browns, I would not be surprised to see him make a big play or two.
Switch up the Routes
The Browns are running the most downfield routes (fades, streaks, fly patterns, etc.) in the NFL by a wide margin. It is nearly double the next franchise – I understand doing this if you have Randy Moss, Terrelle Owens, or another tremendous receiver who could help an offense. Sadly, Rashard Higgins, Kenny Britt, and Ricardo Louis have nowhere near this ability to create separation during longer routes. Meanwhile, DeShone Kizer has to hold the ball longer – putting him in the spot to take shots from defenders. The offensive line must maintain their blocks for several additional seconds, which could be asking a lot after several attempts. A simple adjustment is the finally utilize shorter routes – in theory is should help the the three facets of the offense (listed earlier in this section). This will also set up the deep passing attempts.
Don’t Put Jamar Taylor on an Island
Prior to the beginning of the season, many felt that Jamar Taylor was the de facto top cornerback for the team (with the release of veteran Joe Haden). The result is that Taylor has had his issues against Antonio Brown and T.Y. Hilton, two of the better wide outs in the league. I’m not saying that Briean Boddy-Calhoun and Jason McCourty are definitely better – but they have not been exposed on film in recent weeks. Also, the Browns might be able to use safety help with coverage of A.J. Green.
Final Word: I expect yet another loss by the Browns this Sunday, but I’ll still watch and be hopeful. Who knows, maybe Hue Jackson actually calls a game that allows his players to produce yards, first downs, then points. I worry about this defense, but perhaps either the addition of a player or the change in scheme can seal a win.