Cleveland Browns Game 2: Winners and Losers

Who caught your eye? Did someone stand out? Who blew it? That’s what were interested in this morning. Winners and losers.

The Browns fell to the Bengals, but looked better- at least offensively. Let’s get it started…

LOSER: Joe Haden. This will likely be a four week inclusion. Haden put his teammates in a tough spot. I certainly wouldn’t insist the Browns win that game with Haden in the line-up. But you can’t doubt they would have been better.

WINNER: Trent Richardson. Obvious pick here, but no less worthy. Richardson had some of his Alabama explosiveness this week. Thank goodness. Not a huge fan of the sideways somersault into the end zone, but I am a huge fan of the effort after the catch to get into the end zone. 109 yards rushing and 36 yards receiving with two scores. Well done. Whew.

WINNER: Brandon Weeden. Again, an obvious choice, but have to say it. Weeden finally started to look comfortable. Second half stat line: 17- 22, 201 yards and 2 TDs. A very good performance after a shaky start. We saw a little bit of why the Browns wanted him.

LOSER: Special Teams. Ugh. Terrible tackling and coverage on the Adam Jones punt return. More than just that play though, I am really starting to wonder about Cribbs as our full time returner. Doesn’t seem to have the burst anymore. Benjamin is a burner. Wouldn’t you like to see him get a shot?

All right, your turn. Give us your takes.

  • C-Bus Kevin

    I don’t see this being a PR disaster or even a misstep. I don’t get the huge love for Cribbs. He’s had stretches where he’s played great, but it’s time to add some players that can play a bigger role.

    I guess what I’m saying is that they need defensive secondary depth more than they need an aging kick returner. If the move translated into wins, it would be “Josh who?”.

  • C-Bus Kevin

    Also, I don’t know how strong the fan affection really is for players on a team that wins 5 games per year. That’s not meant to sound snarky. I really think the fans would drive Cribbs and Thomas to the airport themselves if it meant 10 wins per season.

  • Actually there was a 30-second timeout to let him get the shoe back on.

    But regardless, I agree that it’s insane there wasn’t a penalty. I mean, he threw an opposing player’s shoe…. come on.

  • Clown Baby

    Well bully for the refs I guess! Thanks, I was pleading my case to the wife and kids and probably missed it. I took their blank stares as a form of agreement with me that there should have been a penalty.

  • And who throws a shoe? Honestly.

  • mgbode

    what team can drop their top2 CBs and still look good in the secondary? very few I would wager (take a look at NYG – and their pass rush is great)

    it’s rough, but we have to deal with it for now. I do want to draft a CB2 moving forward, but that’s a different issue than depth.

  • Kildawg

    Loser- Refs. They had to have tiger stripes on. They were so bad, even Jim Donovan was letting them have it, even implying that (at least) one of them was a Cincinnati fan. (I listened on the Browns Radio Network, at least our sports teams have awesome announcers.)

  • mgbode

    you did run-blocking last week, I would like to see our newly improved run defense this week. see which DL/LBers are the reason we were able to shut them down there.

  • NamedMyKidPrice

    Honestly who throws a shoe????

  • BenRM

    A+ comment.

  • BenRM

    Agreed, I’d like to see some analysis of why they were unsuccessful on the edges.

  • Vindictive_Pat

    THIS. I thought the refs were particularly harsh on the Browns in my first viewing, but they were worse in my second. The awful personal foul on DQ has already been talked about, but the big pass interference on Buster Skrine was just as bad. It was a little hand-fighting and that ball was probably uncatchable anyway… same thing happened later in the game where Bengals held our receiver enough to keep him from getting to the ball, but no call made there. In most games, bad refereeing isn’t the reason for a loss, but it was an equal culprit in this one along with a bad special teams play and some mistakes from the backup cornerbacks. That was something like 55 free yards for the Bengals on two calls.

  • ricktenny

    Looks like someone in the Browns recieveing corp found the old can of pro-grip. Good for them, right across the board. Good job.

  • Lars

    I’d say that as of 2:00 yesterday you weren’t expecting it either.

  • Vindictive_Pat

    Other than getting beat deep on 1 touchdown and awful tackling on another, I think the big issue for our backup CBs was one particular route. With the cornerbacks setting up several yards off the line, the Bengals receivers were basically doing the same route and burning us over and over on it. It was a hitch route where the receiver made a big spin over the shoulder to avoid the tackle. Maybe those CBs can never improve enough to be good at stopping that route, but I think if they had the ability to talk with coaches and practice coverage, they’d have a better effort if they get to start against the Bengals in the next matchup.

  • Vindictive_Pat

    I heard from the announcers that the Law Firm had zero negative yardage plays last week and is known for rarely ever losing yards on a run. I’ll give a golf clap for our d-line effort after hearing that.

  • Hypno_Toad

    The losers have to be the refs. How does a Bengals player take off Richardson’s shoe and throw it into the endzone and it’s not an issue????

  • Steve

    Loser: Owen Marecic. He just is a talentless fat pig. Can we get Brad Smelley back in there please? Watching Marecic flail around in the air trying to catch a simple checkdown pass is just embarrassing to the game of football.

    Loser: Billy Winn. He seems to be really filling in well for Phil Taylor. It sucked to see him go down with an injury.

    Winner: Tom Heckert. After all the fuss about his draft, we’ve seen some phenominal play from pretty much all his draft picks this year. Hughes and Winn have both made some pretty good plays, JMJ looks promising. Benjamin is a weapon for sure, and Richardson and Weeden both showed they can play this week. Trevin Wade saw alot of time too, although the secondary got torched pretty good.

    Loser: Joe Thomas. It’s very odd to see him overwhelmed and hearing his name called on penalties. He had a tough game for sure.

  • redifrogger

    I disagree. Cribbs was the only player worth cheering for many years. Trading him would be a bad move right now.

  • Steve

    Are you kidding? Dude gets stood up by the first guy he hits. Whatever “IT” is, Owen Marecic does not have it.

  • Steve

    I agree. There really wasnt any way to win this matchup, just minimize the damage. You have to respect the speed of cinci’s receivers, and by playing off the line you give up the short passes. A few of those turned into long passes because of missed tackles, but I feel like the corners could have been much much worse.

  • Dee P

    No, not kidding. Look, I’m not saying he’s the best fullback we can get, but yesterday, when leading Richardson, he did a decent job at taking the lead tackler in the running lane. Saw it a few times in fact.

  • Dee P

    I’m not saying that I would be up in arms over trading Cribbs….but if you think there would not be a crap storm if the Browns traded him now….you’re mistaken.

  • Dee P

    While Winn has been good….John Hughes out played him big time yesterday – and it wasn’t even close.

  • cmm13

    I’d second this with a review of Weeden’s decision making from week 1 to 2. He used his check-down options more often this go around and i’d like to know if that was because he took what the D gave him or because the WR’s had a slight window but he just didn’t feel comfortable going there.

  • cmm13


  • cmm13

    Unfortunately Smelley is just as bad in the run blocking department as Marcecic. The best run blocking option for TRich remains Alex Smith.

  • Kildawg

    Need to do better on ST, but it’s hard for any NFL team to win without their best two CB (Brown mostly for leadership in the secondary- DQ can’t do it all). Overall, the Browns put forth a solid effort and hopefully can do so in all facets of the game for 14 more games.

  • woofersus

    I’d go as far as to say those db’s are a little better than they looked yesterday. (poor tackling aside, because that’s not a raw talent issue for the most part) Not only are the Cincy WR’s very good, and our starters were clearly a step down from Haden/Brown, but we were short on depth because of Haden and Brown (and Ventrone for depth at safety) being missing. In the second half I think guys were wearing down a little. We’re pretty much running a three man rotation with Wade, Skrine, and Patterson, while their 4th and 5th WR’s are still tall and fast. We even saw Hagg in one-on-one coverage sometimes rather than go to Bademosi in nickle situations, and a Safety on a WR with no help is almost always a matchup problem. Also, you can take a lot of pressure off the young DB’s by getting more pressure on the QB and not giving him time to throw those deep routes. Then the db’s can play closer to the line of scrimmage. Injuries and lack of depth up front contributed to that not happening as much as we’d like.

    I was most disappointed by the poor tackling on the two big plays that accounted for 14 of the Bengals points.

  • Dave

    I don’t know

    Brown was 5th in the league in completion percentage against him

    That can’t be blamed on the run d

    Haden was ninth. Revis was first

  • Vindictive_Pat

    Brown does provide some leadership in the secondary, but he’s also a very good tackler at the cornerback position. I don’t believe he misses the tackles on those turn-and-burn routes that the Bengals killed our backups using several times.

  • Big Z

    I thought MoMass would be gone at the end of last season. He’s solid on the field this year. I’m glad he proved me wrong.

  • Derek

    I think its more like, ” focus on catching the football more consistently than working on your dancing skills”

  • C_CLE

    Yes, I’m sure Greg Little leaves practice early so that he can hit the dance floor and make sure that he has a new dance ready for when he may catch a touchdown next. Seriously? People take sports way too damn seriously.