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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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Browns vs. Ravens – Game #2 Preview

Browns vs. Ravens – Game #2 Preview

Game #2 Preview – Ravens @ Browns

It only took one week, but the Browns are already in the cellar of the AFC North.  Speaking of which, they face their first divisional opponent on Sunday – a team who defeated the Bills a week before.  The Browns looked pretty bad in the season opener (what’s new?); can they turn it around at First Energy Stadium?  We will analyze this matchup.

Offense:

Quarterback:  Coming off a poor performance (and an injured left shoulder), signal caller Robert Griffin will be missing at least several weeks of action.  In comes veteran Josh McCown, who also has an injury history.  The Ravens’ defense held their own last week – so the assumption would be that the Browns would not be able to move the football with ease.  I expect McCown to enter this game make a few smart plays down the field and actually find the end zone this week.  However, the opposition will bait him into a mistake as well.  Hopefully the next signal caller can be precise on his throws – or this contest can get away from the team in a hurry. McCown did not sparkle in the preseason, but that’s not necessarily a true indicator for the regular season.

Running Back:  It is time for this offense to feature Duke Johnson in a more prominent role.  The second-year veteran had some nifty moves last week, and could cause problems in the passing game (for the defense).  Isaiah Crowell proved he can still run the ball rather well (provided the offensive line can pave the way).  I wouldn’t mind seeing the runner garner early carries in the matchup to soften up the defense.  Getting to one hundred yards on the ground will not come easy, and I envision the Browns being bottled up until they are down a couple of scores.

Wide Receivers:  The slant route, albeit juggled, was something I was glad to see hauled in from Terrelle Pryor last contest.  He is beginning to show he is more than a one-trick pony – and I am anticipating on him to continue to grow in this offense.  Corey
Coleman struggled a bit but snagged a deep pass in the second half; he should see more targets this week.  Andrew Hawkins continues to disappoint in his role with the offense.  I would like to see him get back on track, as the team could surely use another threat in the passing game.  At the end of the day, outside of some nice grabs I do not expect too much from the wide outs.

Tight Ends:  Gary Barnidge desperately needs to shake off last contest and get back to his 2015 form.  Not catching a pass is just as unacceptable as is dropping easy throws which killed offensive drives.  He will more than likely get a couple of early targets (to build confidence), then should be available for underneath routes to complement longer passes.  This offense is not too far from being reliable, but all hands must be on deck for that to occur.

Offensive Line:  The two problematic positions for the offensive line reared their ugly heads in Philadelphia.  Can Austin Pasztor and Cameron Erving get out of their funks and solidify this unit?  Pasztor got blown up a few times (and got away with holding a time or two), he cannot afford to continue to play this way.  Meanwhile, Erving did improve at pass protection from a season ago – however his high snap was embarrassing.  If this is not cleaned up soon, the Browns might be looking for the replacement of the replacement for Alex Mack soon.

Defense:

Defensive Line:  The team took a step forward last contest – in terms of their run defense.  They were not spectacular, but they were also not nearly as horrendous as they have been.   I was actually watching Danny Shelton get up the field a time or two in the contest.  Should he continue this on a regular basis, as well as Carl Nassib being a threat on the edge, and the Browns’ defensive line might be a respectable unit in 2016.  John Hughes needs to step up on the opposing edge, otherwise the Ravens will exploit this time and time again.

Outside Linebackers:  If Emmanuel Ogbah, Nate Orchard, and Joe Schobert could not get to a rookie quarterback – then I do not envision this trio making life tough in the pocket for Joe Flacco.  Granted they are young and can improve, but I would be surprised to see them make a jump this early in the campaign.  The only saving grace is the old adage that “teams improve the most between weeks one and two”.

Inside Linebackers:  Despite not making any tremendous plays in the opener, both Demario Davis and Chris Kirksey graded out well.  Being dependable is something that is necessary for inside linebackers – however I want to see them blow up offensive plays now and again.  The Ravens’ tight end situation is one riddled with injuries, so this duo should not have to worry about many guys crossing their face trying to catch passes (the way Zach Ertz did).  I could see a big play coming from this position group on Sunday.

Safeties:  Derrick Kindred displayed some tenacity in his first NFL game, and then turned his ankle.  The Browns need a thumper at safety – and hopefully the rookie can come back healthy for this game.  Otherwise the team will have to turn to Ibraheim Campbell, who is capable but not a standout safety.  Jordan Poyer was all around the ball last contest but could not come away with the big interception. He will likely need the assistance of teammates (via a tipped pass or help in coverage) in order to generate a turnover from the opposition.  Overall the safety spot has not been great, but they are an improvement from the guys on the edge.

Cornerbacks:  This is easily the worst unit of the Browns – they were unable to cover any wide receiver last week.  That said, I figure more of the same at First Energy Stadium and a boatload of passing yards surrendered by the orange and brown.  I do not know what it is going to take for the coverage to improve (and apparently neither do the Browns).  I’m hoping they can simply get lucky and one of Haden, Taylor, or Williams can be at the right place at the right time for a change.

Special Teams:  Can the Browns change momentum in this game on a single play?  That would be great, and perhaps special teams could be the spark the team needs.  Whether it is a long return or a key stop, the Browns need to be the beneficiaries of a big play and use it to their advantage.

Coaching:  I can assure you that fake punts and offensive linemen split out wide will not be a part of the Browns’ game plan this week.  Neither worked last Sunday, and Hue Jackson and company must be smart in trying to pull a fast one over the opposing coaching staff.

Prediction (My Record: 1 – 0):  I look to keep my record perfect and choose against the team that has not come out ahead in five tries.  Joe Flacco will make one too many great throws and the Ravens will come away with a 27 – 13 victory at First Energy Stadium.

 
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Posted by on September 14, 2016 in NFL Season, Players

 

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Browns Preview of Game #11 – Vs. the Ravens

Browns Preview of Game #11 – Vs. the Ravens

Previewing Game #11 – Ravens @ Browns

Well it’s time for the Cleveland Browns to finally hit the field on Monday night. They are going to be on national television for the second (and final) time in 2015, hopefully the team can garner a victory here. Tickets to this event were aplenty, and demand has not been high to watch the two struggling AFC North franchises. Let’s take a look at what is in store.

Offense: 

Quarterback – I will be intrigued to see how Josh McCown performs after getting back his starting role. He is a tremendous leader and teammate – and someone that young quarterbacks should look up to.  I expect once again for the signal caller to have some success in this contest, but not as much as he did earlier this year in Baltimore.

Running Back – Seriously, the Browns have not had a rusher go for over seventy-five yards all season long? This is flat out awful and embarrassing, and the Browns need to curb this streak. I would actually like to see Duke Johnson get a majority of touches, including carries between the tackles. He has been avoided in almost every contest after halftime (providing ample frustration to running backs coach Wilbert Montgomery); why not buck this on Monday night? 

Wide Receiver – At this point, Travis Benjamin appears to be the only wide out that will remain with this team in 2016 (and that’s not even set in stone). The lack of size that Andrew Hawkins and Taylor Gabriel possess is glaring, and each has suffered injuries in the past few weeks during crossing routes. I had high hopes for Brian Hartline coming into the campaign, however the veteran has only been productive in spurts. Frankly, this part of the team has its work cut out for them and I do not see tremendous output by the receivers. 

Tight End – Can E.J. Bibbs please get involved in this week’s game plan? I have been clamoring for the undrafted rookie all season long, and with the team going in the tank they should use this time to see whether Bibbs can remain on the roster next season. Gary Barnidge should still be the focus of several passing attempts, but perhaps coverage could be shifted away from the dynamic tight end, as there is another guy on the field who can catch and run.

Offensive Line – I really do not know what to make of the guys upfront, and more importantly how to fix their issues. The Browns cannot afford to rely strictly on their passing attack in order to gain yards and points. I anticipate that this part of the Browns will struggle yet again – causing further frustration by the coaching staff and fans alike.

Defense:

Defensive Line – Speaking of improvement, it would be fantastic if the Browns can take what they did in their last contest and carry it over this game (and for the rest of the campaign). Limiting opposing rushers to fewer than one hundred yards is crucial, and accomplishing this feat is a mindset that is not with the Browns’ defensive line. I believe they are working towards this, but the youngsters need to step up and improve where the veterans have not been able to excel. 

Linebacker – At this point, the Browns should just line two guys up at outside linebacker and have a competition to see who can get to the quarterback. For one reason or another, the team has not had a reliable edge rusher and it has led to several exceptional passing totals by opposing signal callers. Nate Orchard is a rookie I hope they give many shots at rushing the quarterback. There’s not a ton that can change for the inside linebackers – the trio remains to be adequate on the field.

Secondary – It would be a good thing if Joe Haden returns from his second concussion and participates in this contest. Pierre Desir and Charles Gaines have struggled in coverage, but the insertion of Haden into the lineup should relieve this duo of difficult responsibilities. K’Waun Williams has been praised by this coaching staff for his consistency and reliability. Maybe he could surge ahead of Tramon Williams for playing time? I hope Ibraheim Campbell teams up with Tashaun Gipson at the safety spots; this might be the new tandem next year, so continuity should begin now.

Special Teams: It was a game-winning field goal that was the clincher for the Browns during the last meeting. I could see Travis Coons nailing a few kicks, but they might not seal a victory. Andy Lee must get back to the basics and drill long punts in this game; he is expected to be very active in this game.

Coaching: I don’t know what to say for the coaches on either side of the ball. John DeFilippo must utilize his rushing attack early and often; I know this is obvious but it still needs to happen. Defensively, my expectations are very low but maybe embarrassing and humiliating the personnel (in private) can fire up the Browns to play inspired football. 

Prediction (My Record: 6 – 4): I expect the Ravens to get out to an early lead and unlike the last meeting; the Browns will not be able to come back. The Ravens will pull out a 27 – 16 win over the Browns, leading the way to more disappointment along the shores of Lake Erie.

 
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Posted by on November 25, 2015 in NFL Season

 

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Browns Win – Game #5

Browns Win – Game #5

Review of Game #5 – Browns @ Ravens

Wow, I still cannot believe the Browns pulled out that victory this afternoon. It was very close, but the offense pulled it out during the tough contest. I am very excited about parts of this team and disappointed about the other – it was a win but it could be a lot worse. Let’s see what happened.

Offense: 

Quarterback – Yep, Josh McCown picked up right where he left off – I am glad he was able to continue to attack defenses at a regular pace.   He dominated for a majority of the contest – including hitting for over 400 yards passing. He was stable in the pocket and pulled out a win; I am very complacent that the signal caller will continue this type of play going forward.

Running Back – Both guys appeared to have dominated in this contest, but it was Duke Johnson who made it count for this franchise. I was surprised to see this unit play extremely well, however the dump off to running backs was key to this offensive unit. Both guys were solid in this contest and I am confident that they will produce going forward. Hopefully the team can continue this type of play going forward. 

Wide Receiver –Everyone got it going for the wide receiving unit, it didn’t matter if it was Taylor Gabriel, Travis Benjamin, or Andrew Hawkins but the guys got it done during the 2015 campaign. Every guy appeared to have got it done and I am very glad that the group did what they needed to do. Travis Benjamin and Taylor Gabriel are two guys who really took advantage of the situation they were presented – I expect this type of performance to continue. 

Tight End – Is that Gronk or Gary Barnidge?   Seriously, the tight end for the Cleveland Browns is making things happen. His acrobatic catch was huge in this contest, and that’s now a pair of important grabs for this athlete. Barnidge was gigantic in the victory; I anticipate he will keep it up going forward. Jim Dray had a catch as well; I’d still like to see E.J. Bibbs but that will have to wait for the Browns.

Offensive Line – The guys upfront finally played up to their capabilities and the Browns’ offense line was stout in this contest. No one got outplayed, including Michell Schwartz – the offensive line was stout was and was solid in this contest. I’d still like to see what the team can do – but would not be surprised if the athletes can dominate upfront.

Defense:

Defensive Line – I guess that the guys upfront finally played solidly in this contest. They did not surrender a great deal of yardage on the ground but there was still 30 points given up by the team. Fortunately the team was able to overcome this, and Jamie Meder and Desmond Bryant did their best to dominate in this contest. This must continue to occur going forward.

Linebacker – I would like to believe that the linebackers corps played up to their capabilities in this matchup. However, that was not the case and the unit still played solid in this matchup. The outside linebackers where not visible in this contest, hopefully they can continue to improve going forward. Karlos Dansby made some nice plays, but he was far from effective in this matchup. If the linebackers can finally get their act together, the Browns will win many games.

Secondary – Not a solid job by the Browns’ secondary, but the team did enough to get by. Tramon Williams, K’Waun Williams (when available), and Jordan Poyer have proved that this defense can be good enough to win in matchups. I would like to see if Ibraheim Campbell could step up in this matchup, perhaps that will come down the road. 

Special Teams: No turnovers and not bad penalties were apparent for the Cleveland Browns’ special teams. They played well and moved the sticks in this matchup, and I believed the special teams were good enough to win this contest.

Coaching: Mike Pettine got paid today – he and his staff did their best to put the team in the best spot possible to win this matchup. However it worked out, the Browns still do the win and scored at the best point possible. I am happy they won and look forward to next week’s game.

 
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Posted by on October 11, 2015 in NFL Season

 

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Breaking Down Browns @ Ravens – Game #5

Breaking Down Browns @ Ravens – Game #5

Game #5 Preview – Browns @ Ravens

A rested team coming off a big win ten days ago goes against a team that lost a heartbreaker and has its second consecutive road game – that is this week’s storyline.  From that alone, the Browns’ odds of winning are not great; toss in the fact this contest is in Baltimore and another loss appears obvious.  However, the team will still go out there and compete this Sunday; can they actually pull out a victory?

Offense

Quarterback:  Can Josh McCown make it three games in a row, in terms of surpassing the 300-yard mark through the air?  The odds are not in his favor, but I am intrigued to see if he can get many guys involved the way he has been doing.  This, in turn, has led to the defense being off-balance and McCown being able to attack all over the field.  I have a bad feeling about him turning the football over in this matchup.  Last week, he had one fumble but the defense rose up to prevent any points being surrendered.  I feel that the Ravens’ defense will be a bit more opportunistic.

Running Back:  Hopefully the duo of Duke Johnson and Isaiah Crowell can continue to work their magic.  Two capable backs who are weapons in both the run and passing game?  We have not seen that in Cleveland for quite some time – and that should give defenses enough to think about on a consistent basis.  Like last week, I would expect to see at least one score out of this unit and do not care how it comes about. A key will be playing keep-away if the Browns have the lead late and want to work the clock while still moving the chains.

Wide Receiver:  Will Brian Hartline return to the lineup this week (after exiting following the first series with an injury)?  Will that mean a lot to this offense and receiving unit?  Travis Benjamin continued where he left off a few weeks earlier, while Taylor Gabriel and Andrew Hawkins were frequently involved last contest.  Ideally Hartline will continue to play the role of chain mover on third down. I would like to see at least one touchdown from a wide out in this meeting.  I get a sense that Dwayne Bowe’s time in Cleveland is nearing a close – as the disappointing veteran has yet to record a reception.

Tight End:  The roles for Jim Dray and Gary Barnidge are pretty much pronounced – the former is the blocker, while the latter is the pass catcher (and is doing a fine job at that).  Barnidge has already surpassed his season-high in receptions and has a pair of touchdowns. Rob Housler has been useless, so now is the portion of the blog where
I insert my weekly plea to insert rookie E.J. Bibbs into the active lineup and deactivate Housler.  Who knows, maybe he can be another playmaker for this offense – there’s only one way to find out.

Offensive Line:  Improvement was finally on display last contest, but the offensive line is still a ways from where many expected them to perform.  Mitchell Schwartz is clearly getting beat on pass rushes, but at least the number of times is reducing.  I guarantee that the home squad will throw the kitchen sink at the guys upfront – and I would love to see them rise to the challenge.  It has not occurred many times this campaign, but the Browns have utilized a lineup with Cameron Erving as an additional blocker.  This should be witnessed on Sunday; if they can get a result like the touchdown versus the Titans (or even close to that) then using it will have been a brilliant call.

Defense

Defensive Line:  Up to this point, the first three things I think about this defensive line are slow, out of place, and uninspired. They have picked up where the 2014 defensive line left off – and that is worst in the league.  Danny Shelton was drafted to help
tremendously in this department, but that has not been the case over the first quarter of the season.  I hope he can find his way and quickly, as the unit needs a leader to rally around.  Having Desmond Bryant return from injury would not hurt this group either; of course he still has got to make plays once he gets back on the field.

Linebacker:  There’s a chance that Scott Solomon can be active for this contest – the outside linebacker group seriously needs some good news.  Paul Kruger is in coverage (not his strength), and the guy opposite of him (be it Mingo, Orchard, or Armonty Bryant) was nowhere to be found in San Diego.  A 3-4 Defense is predicated on their linebackers; they must help in the run game, perform in pass coverage, and (most importantly) get to and sack the quarterback.  None of the three are currently happening for the Cleveland Browns.  The guys on the inside were of little help as well last week.  Karlos Dansby made a couple nice plays early on, but that was it for the inside linebackers.  Jim O’Neil has his hands full with trying to make this unit a productive one.

Secondary:  The performance the secondary put forward (in San Diego) was appalling – they could not stop or cover anyone.  Joe Haden being inactive was a bit of a disappointment, perhaps he can return and somewhat resemble a solid cornerback this matchup.  I would have thought that this group would be one of the better parts of the team, but the opposite has been true.  People want to see Ibraheim Campbell, and it’s only two more weeks until Charles Gaines comes off the PUP list.  Unless K’Waun Williams can return this game and really help out in stopping the pass – it could be another long day for the Browns’ defensive backs.

Special Teams:  I don’t expect to see much of a difference between these two franchises’ special teams.  Both have solid kicking and return units.  It might be one great return or costly turnover that could tip the scales between the Browns and Ravens’ units.  I am pulling that the visitors come out on top.

Coaching:  All eyes are (and have been) on defensive coordinator Jim O’Neil – will Mike Pettine assist his protégé in the game plan and play calling?  I don’t care how it happens, just fix the defense please.  The Browns will not win another game if their defense continues to be a sieve against the run and out of position against the pass.

Prediction (My Record 1 -3):  I expect another loss by the Browns this week, this time by more of a wider margin.  The Ravens beat up the orange and brown to the tune of 26 – 13 and leave the Browns limping home at 1 – 4.

 
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Posted by on October 8, 2015 in NFL Season

 

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So Long, Farewell….

So Long, Farewell….

Browns @ Ravens – Review of Game #16

Well, the Browns gave everything they have in this contest. They had an early goal-line stand and a solid offensive drive leading to a touchdown. However, that was not enough – as the Browns fell once again to the dirty birds. I’m simply amazed at how the Browns can find new ways to blow it to division rivals, but here we are. There was improved quarterback play, and some decent defense – but the Browns are losers again. Let’s analyze…

Offense: I’m really intrigued to see Connor Shaw with this team next season. The undrafted rookie made a couple of plays, and was much better in the pocket than his rookie counterpart. He’s got a ton of room to grow if he wants to be a starter in the future – but it could have been a lot worse. While the former South Carolina star did not find the end zone passing, he was not awful. His early fumble was expected to be a tone-setter, but the quarterback managed to have a decent outing. I’m looking forward to his progress heading into 2015.

Returning back to Baltimore, Terrance West was there to impress. The rookie runner finished the contest with just under 100 yards and the only offensive touchdown. I’m intrigued to see how he and Isaiah Crowell matchup in the offseason and going forward. With better quarterback and offensive line play, the running attack should be solid.

My oh my, Andrew Hawkins is an enigma for the wide receiver corps. He made some nice, shifty plays for the offense – while still dropped a couple of easy tosses. Taylor Gabriel led the group with three grabs for sixty-six yards. Jordan Cameron also had three grabs. This team needs to dump Gordon and acquire a pair of stalwarts this offseason – doing so could lead to a solid group for whoever is under center.

Early on, I thought the five guys upfront did everything they were asked against the defensive line. Mitchell Schwartz made a bonehead penalty and Nick McDonald fumbled an early snap, to kill this offense. I desperately want to see the team get a new right guard and tackle between free agency and the upcoming draft.

Defense: At least the defensive line did not give up over 200 yards on the ground in this contest. They did surrender 119 rushing yards to Justin Forsett, but at least it was an improvement for the orange and brown. There was little to no pass rush upfront, which must be addressed in the coming months. No guy really stood out, even Scott Solomon was locked down on the edge.

Craig Robertson and Paul Kruger each had tremendous outings by the linebackers. The former had a couple of nice stops against the run, and was exceptional in coverage (outside of a few plays). The latter was disruptive on the outside and had a forced fumble, knocking the opponent out of field goal range. Karlos Dansby and Chris Kirksey each underwhelmed, but those things happen in the NFL.

Despite the fact that Joe Haden is one of the best cornerbacks in the NFL, the veteran gave up the deep toss on the go-ahead drive in the fourth quarter. It’s beyond frustrating, but unless #23 can step it up in crunch time, this will be his Achilles’ heel. Buster Skrine, K’Waun Williams, and Jordan Poyer each had their moments – I think they are reliable athletes who can be a part of the team going forward. Tip of the cap to Jim Leonhard; the newly retiree had a solid career and I wish him all the best (I just wish the Browns had him a few years ago).

Special Teams: Bringing out kickoffs nine yards deep has been killing this offense. The Browns lost the starting field position battle, and it did not help matters. Other than that, the special teams were on par with the Ravens’ – not terrible but not spectacular.

Coaching: Kyle Shanahan called a conservative game plan for this offense and it showed. While they held their own for a while, it was a dagger late in this contest. It was the best as they could have expected but still not enough. Defensively, the coaches could not generate a pass rush all day and it killed the defense. At the end of the day, it was another division loss and a losing season.

What’s Next: After a week break, we’ll look back at this 2014 season and all the excitement around this offseason after that. It is safe to say there are many important decisions to be made by Ray Farmer from now until May 2015.

 
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Posted by on December 28, 2014 in NFL Season

 

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