A Look Back at Game #10 – Browns @ Steelers
Well, did anyone think the Browns would win once Big Ben returned in this contest? I surely did not and apparently neither did the Browns – the final score bore that out. It was another sloppy, embarrassing, and awful performance for the orange and brown. Let’s review the poor outing at Heinz Field.
Quarterback – On the positive side, Johnny Manziel tossed for over three hundred yards and was only hampered by a few drops of his teammates. He should have had at least three touchdowns in this matchup, but mistakes erased two opportunities. It appeared that there was a bit of improvement by the signal caller – I would like to see what he could do after the bye.
Running Back – The running attack of Duke Johnson and Isaiah Crowell was non-existent, but what else is new. At least the Browns had the foresight to get away from this part of their offense and tried to move the ball though the air. I would have like to have seen Duke Johnson more involved in the passing game, but that was not the case.
Wide Receiver – Travis Benjamin and Brian Hartline each made a few grabs in this matchup but that was far from enough for the Cleveland Browns. It’s obvious that the team needs another guy to take some pressure off both the quarterback and other wide outs – but they strayed away from good receivers in the draft. Outside of some long tosses, the team cannot expect to move the ball to their receivers (at this point).
Tight End – Gary Barnidge found the end zone and was solid in this contest, once again the rest of the offense did not follow suit. I am sorry to see that he was the only guy (yet again) who could actually produce for this offense, but that was the way this matchup went. E.J. Bibbs was not good enough to play in this matchup, and my personal frustration mounts.
Offensive Line – I suppose the offensive line played better than they have in other games, but they still displayed ample deficiencies. The pass rush was on display consistently, as well as the run game not working. I would attribute most of this to the play of Mitchell Schwartz – as he had issues walling off defenders all game long. Cameron Erving was not terrible filling in at right guard, but he simply committed stupid penalties.
Defensive Line – I guess the defense did not allow over one hundred yards to an opposing rusher in this game. However, they did not do anything else right for the Cleveland Browns. No one did anything good in this contest, whether it was a nose tackle or either of the defensive ends. I am sick thinking about this unit, but they are still bad and there is no light at the end of the tunnel. We’ll see what happens next contest.
Linebacker – I guess Chis Kirksey was nice a few times in coverage and Paul Kruger made some tackles, but other than that the linebackers were far from good in this matchup. They could not cover anyone or tackle in open field – but other than that they were reliable. This is another area where the Browns need to upgrade in the offseason, but that will not occur in a few months.
Secondary – Pathetic, awful, terrible – the Browns’ secondary was not good at all in this game. Charles Gaines forced a fumble after surrendering a long completion. The team made Antonio Brown look like Jerry Rice in this matchup, they could not cover the wide out at all and it was simply bad. Using all of these resources in the secondary is maddening, as all or most are bad at football in the NFL.
Special Teams: This part of the game did not really matter; both teams were decent in this department and missed an extra point. There’s not a whole lot else I can say, I wish the Browns can be good enough to see a winning field goal made by Travis Coons, but that’s simply not the case.
Coaching: The team’s performance was terrible and the coaching staff did not do the team any favors. Offensively, they were conservative yet that was not good enough in this meeting. Defensively, I would have liked the front seven to be more aggressive, but they did not and it was an injured Big Ben who tore up the Browns’ secondary. Alas, another loss and it’s finally the bye.