Browns

Cleveland Browns Game 8: Winners and Losers

WinnersLosers_WFNY

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

Good win for the team. It was a confidence builder and another shot for young players to get valuable experience. Not to mention, it didn’t seem like any of our players were injured, which is always a plus…

WINNER: Trent Richardson. It’s a good thing Richardson didn’t listen to sports radio last week. He may have sat until the bye week or just figured his running style doesn’t translate to the NFL and hung ’em up. Good grief. All the rookie did was average 5 yards a carry against one of the better defenses statistically against the run. He scored the game’s only touchdown. Good for Trent. Looks like someone may have been right about him last week.

WINNER: Greg Little. This really has nothing to do with his pass catching. Aside from the one holding penalty, which was certainly a hold against the DE, Greg Little did an exceptional job blocking. At the game I counted three blocks he threw that sprung Richardson for more yards. Well done Little.

Winner: Johnson Bademosi. Yep, I went there. From my seat behind the Chargers bench, I can tell you that Bademosi was in the heads of San Diego’s special teams units. He destroyed Charger gunners trying to get downfield to cover punts. He also fought through a block to down the punt on San Diego’s two yard line, and nearly recovered the fumbled punt. Good effort on special teams.

LOSER: Clock/Field Position Management. Terrible job by the Browns in this area. There were at least three times the Browns crossed mid-field and came away with absolutely nothing. Weeden, you can’t take that sack to push the team out of field goal range. Can’t happen.

WINNER: Billy Winn. First career sack, and second fumble recovery in as many weeks. Not to mention several decent plays in the running game. Me likey.

Alright. Your turn.

  • Bademosi has been a special teams stud all season. He may not have that lunatic gene that was so prevalent in Blake Costanzo, but he’s been every bit as effective.

    I’d also add TJ Ward to the “winners” list — that 4th down play was absolutely huge.

  • MrCleaveland

    WINNER: The D. With the exception of that passive lay-down at the end of the first half, the defense needed to get stops and they got ’em.

    LOSER: Third and 1. Why is it so hard for the Browns to convert on third and 1? Third and 1 is all about want-to, and we don’t seem to have enough of it.

    WINNERS: The hearty. Despite being soaked to the bone, we all walked out of there singing “Here we go, Brownies, here we go!`”

  • NoVA Buckeye

    LOSER- Marecic. Alex Smith was a better lead blocker.

  • DontbringLBJback

    LOSER: Josh Cooper. Huge drop on a ball that hit him in the bread basket. Com’mon bro… you’re in there for your hands.

    LOSER: Pat Shurmur. Clock management – F. Play calling – F. 3 and 1 – D. The double reverse on a rainy sloppy day was a crazy call. 24 games into his coaching career he still can’t come close to managing a game.

    WINNER: Me. I thought for sure I would spend another Sunday night full of angst and anger. Thank you, defense for holding up.

    LOSER: Josh Cribbs. Yo, Josh! You are the man, bro. But you gotta pick those punts up and stop letting them roll down to the 10 yard line! Maybe the rain and wind made that tough… but it kept costing us field position.

    LOSER: Travis Benjamin. I put him in the loser column for one reason: why is he not on the field more?

    WINNER: Cleveland area business establishments. Revenue increases by 8000% at bars and restaurants after the Browns win. Let’s get that economy going Brownies!!!

  • mgbode

    Winner: Browns in bad weather. Now that is how you treat a West Coast SD team. Give them the cold and the rain and shove the ball down their throats!

    Winner: Trent. Was he overplaying his injury after last week? Did it just feel better? Maybe the cold acted like an icepack for him?

    Winner: Alex Smith as FB and the OL. It wasn’t all Trent. The OL and Smith controlled the LOS on run downs. A few missed assignments it looked like, but overall they did a much better job finding the opponents jersey and putting a facemask in their chest.

    Winner: Brandon Weeden. Wait, what? He didn’t have a good game, there are mentioned bad sacks he took, etc. All true. But, he also didn’t “lose” that game for us. It’s a small win for him, but he has to understand what is needed out of him each week and game and he seemed to have that for the game.

    Winner: the whole dang defense. lots of little things went wrong. the Chargers came in struggling on offense this year. but, we kept them to 2 FGs and really held them down all day. i’m not going to complain about the few things that went wrong.

    Loser: Norv Turner. You had a long run Norv. Not going to say it was a good run, but it did last longer than anyone could have expected. SD is added to the list of teams that rued the day they fired Marty.

    Loser: Philip Rivers. SD has stripped him of all his weapons over the years (Sproles, Vincent Jackson, Gates is older/hurt now), and it was his job to make up for that. Last season and a half now is showing he cannot.

  • Hopwin

    Marecic’s loss = WIN for the running game

  • BenRM

    I second the Cribbs call. This was his worst game in a while. I believe he probably thought that the punts would end up in the end zone, but the damp ground slowed the football like a wet green slows a golf ball. After that first one, he should have realized it.

  • Akrondreams

    Winner John Greco…….why has this guy been sitting behind pinkson and lauva all year.
    Winner Browns fans…….bottom line winning 2 straight at home feels great.
    Loser Shurmur……….Even tho we he got the win him and his coaching staff look clueless. A coaching staff on the edge. The browns have to much talent to be playing this poorly. If i see one more 1 yard pass in the flat to a tight end or fullback i may go insane. Am i the only one who sees all of our passing yards come from down the field throws?
    And finally winner/loser…..robert meachum loser for droppinf the winning touchdown pass……making josh gordon a winner because it wasnt him doing it.

  • BenRM

    WINNER-Weeden: Between he and Rivers, Weeden looked and played like the more collected, under control QB. His game wasn’t good, but nobody’s was in that weather.

    WINNER-Shurmur: Good call on finally removing Marecic from the line-up.

    LOSER-The forward pass: No one was catching anything but a cold in that weather.

    LOSER-The Chargers Organization: How did you mess up something that was so good for so long so badly?

  • good call on the little blocking. blocking effectively is attitude and it’s not always easy to find in prospective #1 receivers. through the ups/downs of his pass catching, i’ve found his blocking to have consistently sound effort.

    biggest loser has to be marecic. he may not see an nfl field again.

    agree wholeheartedly on winn and bademosi.

  • good call on the little blocking. blocking effectively is attitude and it’s not always easy to find in prospective #1 receivers. through the ups/downs of his pass catching, i’ve found his blocking to have consistently sound effort.

    biggest loser has to be marecic. he may not see an nfl field again.

    agree wholeheartedly on winn and bademosi.

  • Harv 21

    Winner: Josh Gordon. One obvious drop of one slick ball in the downpour and you are asked a second consecutive week about it. You caught a big ball on the run smoothly like you weren’t concerned a bit, while others must sit on the stool wearing the tall yellow Dropper hat all week. Way to respond, Josh. Speaking of which …

    Loser: Josh Cooper. Your routes are beautiful and just what Weeden needs, but that drop could easily have been the game. You’re not tall or fast, so on this level you have to be both very clever and very reliable. That was a huge first down into the edge of Dawson’s rain range. This is your shot. Don’t turn upfield early, do what you do well. Being an undeserved fan fav won’t save you when Norwood or others like him are ready.

    Winner: Weeden. Yes, the sack may (may) have cost points but way to survive your first crappy conditions-game and not succumb to your instincts to do it yourself. You threw a bunch of passes away instead of trying to “window” them over the middle. And kudos for sounding in the post-game like you liked the weather. That’s the edge you need.

    Winner: Jim Brown, Trent’s Barnacle. Access to the post-game locker room and waiting at Trent’s locker! Trent hears him out and likes it! (or gamely pretends he does). Mary Kay asking his take on Trent and quotes are in the paper! Pressing, shoving until he’s close enough to warm himself in Trent’s spotlight. Ah, the feel of heat on the old bones.

    Loser: Brady Quinn. Ok, who cares, but you wait 3 tears between starts and get knocked out after one quarter? And Pioli, another sought after Belichik wingman gone bad, real bad. Man, Pioli, Weis, Romeo, Belichik … wonder if the Patriots’ exit interview includes electroshock therapy.

  • Harv 21

    Winner: Josh Gordon. One obvious drop of one slick ball in the downpour and you are asked a second consecutive week about it. You caught a big ball on the run smoothly like you weren’t concerned a bit, while others must sit on the stool wearing the tall yellow Dropper hat all week. Way to respond, Josh. Speaking of which …

    Loser: Josh Cooper. Your routes are beautiful and just what Weeden needs, but that drop could easily have been the game. You’re not tall or fast, so on this level you have to be both very clever and very reliable. That was a huge first down into the edge of Dawson’s rain range. This is your shot. Don’t turn upfield early, do what you do well. Being an undeserved fan fav won’t save you when Norwood or others like him are ready.

    Winner: Weeden. Yes, the sack may (may) have cost points but way to survive your first crappy conditions-game and not succumb to your instincts to do it yourself. You threw a bunch of passes away instead of trying to “window” them over the middle. And kudos for sounding in the post-game like you liked the weather. That’s the edge you need.

    Winner: Jim Brown, Trent’s Barnacle. Access to the post-game locker room and waiting at Trent’s locker! Trent hears him out and likes it! (or gamely pretends he does). Mary Kay asking his take on Trent and quotes are in the paper! Pressing, shoving until he’s close enough to warm himself in Trent’s spotlight. Ah, the feel of heat on the old bones.

    Loser: Brady Quinn. Ok, who cares, but you wait 3 tears between starts and get knocked out after one quarter? And Pioli, another sought after Belichik wingman gone bad, real bad. Man, Pioli, Weis, Romeo, Belichik … wonder if the Patriots’ exit interview includes electroshock therapy.

  • Winners: Richardson and Weeden. TRich was strong and Weeden played the game manager while not making mistakes. Victimized again by drops and poor play calling.

    Losers: WRs. Cooper dropped a big one on third down, and so did Little. Absolute killers, not only on the drives obviously but also killing any sort of game momentum. RBs had a couple of drops too (Ob I recall). Josh Gordon came back strongly after the big drop but got pushed out of position on a deep ball that could have been a TD. Otherwise, he looked the strongest of the group.

    Loser: Playcalling/game mgmt. 3rd and 8 at the 38. Wouldn’t have an issue running the ball there (and getting 2 shots at the first down or getting into FG range). Instead incompletion and 18 yd net punt by Hodges. Much talked about double reverse was piss poor too. At least they scrapped the obvious screens. Why they didn’t run TRich or Ob across the field on routes like the Chargers were doing with Ronnie Brown was beyond me.

  • MrCleaveland

    Notice what Shurmur did when we had fourth and 1 in SD territory? Yep, he went for it. Made it, too.

    Message received.

  • Vindictive_Pat

    At one point in the second half we had given up three straight 3rd down passes that resulted in a first down. Jauron didn’t bring any pressure on any of them resulting in Rivers having all day to find the open man. I told my brother on the next third down that Jauron would be stupid to not bring the blitz this time after the previous results. Sure enough, Jauron brings the blitz and Rivers doesn’t get a good pass off, killing the SD drive. Hooray for coaches who learn during the game!

  • Harv 21

    I’m in the minority but I thought the double reverse was a good concept badly executed. The SD run defense is aggressive and in the slop can’t change directions easily. Prob was that Cribbs did not give a great toss to Benjamin and Benjamin is a Florida kid who I’m guessing still needs to learn to handle a cold, wet ball.
    On the other hand, the Chargers’ reverse was moronic. They were moving the ball and close to our red zone. Misdirections aren’t nearly as effective when the field is already shortened and defenders are covering a smaller area.

  • MrCleaveland

    I didn’t mind the call either, but why do they have Cribbs pitching the ball to Benjamin instead of just handing it to him? The two exchanges happen very quickly, and there’s much less margin for error when you toss the ball. Just stick it in his belly.

  • BuckeyeDawg

    Totally agree about Weeden. He didn’t force anything, he made good decisions, and managed the game well…far beyond his years. It would have been easy for him as a rookie to think he could go out and beat the elements and win the game on his own…but he rightfully was conservative and let Richardson do it instead.

  • Harv 21

    I’ve wondered about that also, seems to be a spacing issue of some sort, ot they want the D to think there might be a throw? Or maybe Cribbs was an option QB so … But you can do a fake hand-off if you’re not tossing it.

  • Warburton MacKinnon

    Watching the game and how Cribbs played the ball when it hit the turff,it seemed more like he was ordered not to try and pick it up and run with it yesterday(probably to mimimize the chances of a fumble with a wet ball), my evidence is mostly how disgusted he seemed coming of the field each time…and the fact he seemed to stay a yard or more away from the ball each time to prevent the ball from bouncing into him. Those are the reasons I think it was what he was told to do,also considering what he did do when he actually caught a kick and it didn’t touch the ground, and it also ties into the overall conservative game plan.

  • eldaveablo

    I also thought he made some really nice throws on the run. In those conditions, I was impressed.

  • Keith

    All make good points, but if there is a loser column to me it has to be Reggie Hodges, when you only average 39.5 yards a punt and you punted 9 times. To me you need to do better. Compared to the Charges punter 6 times for and average of 46.5 yards. Sorry Reggie, that’s not going to cut it, you gave the Charges too many opoprtunities, thankfully the defense was able to pick it up this game. Ps, I’ll give you your last punt, which if it wasn’t for a great play might have ended up in the endzone.

  • Ezzie Goldish

    Bademosi, Skrine, Cribbs – we have a lot of *excellent* cover guys on our special teams. If only Hodges were having a better year!

  • Ezzie Goldish

    Hard to average as much when you’re kicking 3 inside the 20… not saying he had a great game (he didn’t), but some of the short kicks were actually good.

  • Ezzie Goldish

    WINNER: Tom Heckert. Yes, when Haden/Rubin/DQ/Taylor/Gocong/Patterson were all out, the defense got shredded, but for the most part the Browns have showed really great depth all around. There will always be some drop off, but that JMJ, Fort, Robertson, Skrine, Greco, Cooper, Hardesty, et al have all been able to step into the lineup and contribute is really the first time we’ve had that in decades.

    The Browns are at the point where a couple pieces would make this team a contender, and a healthy team would make it a serious one. Kudos to Tom Heckert. (Mr. Haslam are you listening??)

  • BuckeyeDawg

    For sure. The throws he made were mostly good. But sometimes it’s the throws you don’t make that are important as well. He admitted after the game that he hadn’t played much in weather like that…and he didn’t let it psych him out or try to force things that weren’t there that could have ended up being picked off. He adapted his game and knew his limitations. When you have TRich running well in the backfield, that’s smart.

  • REEPJP

    If Meachem catches the TD pass, Ward is instantly a loser in my book. That was his guy. Since he didn’t, I agree #43’s a winner.

  • Jaker

    Winners: Defensive Rookies. JMJ, Winn and Hughes all made exceptional plays at times. This was important or the dline because Taylor and Rubin will be back soon. They EARNED playing time.

    Winner: Johnny Greco. I am biased because he’s my cousin, but he played well and I think we should be feeling fine with him as a starter for the rest of the season. Baltimore will be a great test for him.

    Loser: D’Qwell. I know I know, he’s our leader, our captain, our best defender. But through 8 games he has had some big 15 yard penalties or has played poor in coverage on a backup RB out of the backfield. Don’t get me wrong, I love the guy, but if we can draft Teo and move Jackson to the outside, we may need to think it over.

    Loser: Marecic. Our best game on the ground, even when the D knew what was coming, all without his guy.
    Winner: Alex Smith. See above.

    Loser: Hardesty. Not again man! Just when he was getting the trust of the coaches.

    Winner: Trent. His rookie year highlight film will be a treat to watch.

    Loser: Shurmur. Yes he won, but when you call a timeout, you need to make it worth it, and he never does. Also, a reverse in this weather when we are running strong?!?!?! Maybe that’s Chili but someone blew that.

    Other winners: me, Shwartz, ward, me, usama, our running offense, me. Did I mention me? I’m so happy!!!

  • NoVA Buckeye

    Jauron was once named HC for a reason.

  • NoVA Buckeye

    Two people: Drew Brees and Eli Manning. They let both walk. What a bunch of idiots.

  • Kildawg

    Eli Manning refused to play for SD, ergo the Rivers pick and a few others. as for Brees walking, they had more confidence in Rivers to be full-time QB. Maybe the Browns can let them trade up for Barkley (overrated and we don’t need him here, we have a real QB in Weeden.)

  • Dee P

    His only bad moment was missing the trail block on Cribbs’ sure TD return against the Giants….and he got scolded by Josh for it too. Since then though, he has really shined, I agree.

  • Dee P

    One thing I love about Alex Smith is that he is intelligent and completely into the game. Did you see him go crazy on the officials for not calling 12-men on the filed/illegal substitution against the Chargers when they called a second half timeout? He pays attention to detail – those are the kind of players that help close games because they are aware of what’s going on.

    Also, who gets more excited when a teammate scores a TD than Smith? He’s just what this team needs. A non flashy, intelligent player, who is willing to do the dirty work and pay attention to detail.

    His effort and savvy is going to pay off soon in a tight spot.

  • Dee P

    Yes. True. But also remember we were in blitz mode when SD dropped that sure TD pass. We may be singing a different tune about blitzing more if they hung on to that pass.

  • Dee P

    Plus remember when Brees walked it was after that shoulder injury that many people thought was a career ender/changer. He was a free agent, and every team had a chance. Not many threw their hat in the ring. So yes, while SD deserves criticism for letting him go, every team that did not offer him also does. Except Indy and NE for obvious reasons.

  • mgbode

    but we had Charlie Frye!

  • mgbode

    he played amazing in the playoffs last year. I didn’t know he had it in him (the Vernon Davis throw/catch was a thing of beauty).

    however, Alex Smith is not what we need. we need a game-changer at QB and, as much as I love moxxy and spunk, that isn’t Alex Smith. if we build a dominant defense and run game he can steer the ship. but, I’d rather have the QB who steers.

  • Warburton MacKinnon

    looking and wondering why/how I got voted down for that comment.

  • mgbode

    what I hate is that it’s the 2nd time this year we have messed it up. remember, the first time we actually got away with an illegal toss.

    i don’t mind when we screw things up once. it happens. but, it shouldn’t happen AGAIN.

  • Dee P

    Unless I am oblivious to a really funny joke…I was talking about our Alex Smith.

  • Dee P

    where are the “Frye Guys” today?

  • mgbode

    i don’t know. i’m still in utter shock that Fleer made a “Franchise” card with Frye (and I have that in my “laugh about it” pile of sport cards):

    http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51Fl2CFfB0L._SL500_AA300_.jpg

  • mgbode

    no, i’m the oblivious one 🙂

    that’s what I get for using the ‘Comments RSS’ function and not reading carefully as to what thread I am now in. Though, it’s sort of a funny joke now (on me, but still) 🙂