Browns @ Falcons – Review of Game #11
Phew, some bad plays by the Browns were overcome by turnovers and the Browns coming out on top. They ability to come back was amazing, but the time before that was less than adequate. I am fortunate the Browns got the win, let’s review what happened at the Georgia Dome.
Offense: Well it was a game that Brian Hoyer won. The quarterback played poorly, but won the game on the final drive. Three interceptions and multiple poor passes are not going to cut it – the coaching staff must make sure he is in the best spot to excel. He has shown an ability to hit his guys in stride but not consistently – I would love for that to continue but we shall see in the next few games.
Isaiah Crowell and Terrance West appear to be a solid duo – West is getting the targets outside the red zone while Crowell is getting it done near the end zone. The touchdown run by Crowell was exceptional – I was amazed at his tremendous touchdown. The running attack has been pleasantly surprising; the addition by subtraction has been good thus far. Look for this to continue going forward.
Wow, what a difference that Josh Gordon makes. The wide out led the offense with eight grabs for 120 yards and was solid in his contest. Andrew Hawkins was a huge beneficiary of Gordon returning. This receiving unit was much improved and I would expect this to continue. A long toss to Taylor Gabriel or two is huge for the Browns.
I was rather surprised by the production of the offensive line. The unit opened up holes for both rookie running backs, while giving Hoyer time to throw. Football is game of timing, and fortunately the Browns were exceptional in giving their seconds to throw. Additionally, the tackle of Devin Hester at the end of the first half by Joel Bitonio was large – not getting him down could have equaled a loss for Cleveland.
Defense: I was surprised to see that the defensive front play pretty well. With all their injuries, the guys definitely did their job against the running attack of Steven Jackson and Jaquizz Rodgers. Ishmaa’ily Kitchen and Ahtyba Rubin did their job up the middle. Allowing sixty-three yards on the ground is awesome, I am very proud of the run defense. I understand that this type of performance will not occur every week, but it was still encouraging.
The loss of Karlos Dansby was definitely felt by the defensive unit. Craig Robertson and Chris Kirksey were solid, but I would have liked to see the veteran out there. Outside of a tremendous strip by Paul Kruger, the outside linebackers were not very effective. They will have their shot to get better (especially with Jabaal Sheard’s health improving), but they were still good enough to get it done.
Although Joe Haden and Buster Skrine did their best and made some plays, they surrendered some large completions to Julio Jones and Roddy White. Overall, they did their job very well – Haden securing an interception. The drops of Donte Whitner and Buster Srkine could have been huge – but fortunately the Browns were good enough to overcome them.
Special Teams: The second quarter missed field goal may have been the play of the game for the Browns. While they missed it, they stopped Devin Hester from returning the ball for a touchdown. Other than that, the Browns were adequate in the special teams units. I would like for them to keep this up going forward.
Coaching: I cannot fathom the coaching at the end of the first half; however the end of the game clearly made up for it. Getting the ball to Gordon consistently was huge, while sticking to the run was important. Overall, the Browns won a tough game, and should prepare for another tough matchup with the Bills next week.