Cleveland Browns Progress Report: Week 4

The Cleveland Browns found a fresh way to lose with three late turnovers.

Regardless of the validity of one of those turnovers1 , their ball carriers put the ball on the deck late in the game when the team needed a score. The mistakes of the young players haunt them again.

I was able to attend this game at FedEx Field, and in spite of the frustrating plays that ended up costing the Browns the game, there were some fun moments throughout this matchup with the Washington Redskins.

Previous Progress Reports: Week 1, Week 2, Week 3


Two players who weren’t on the Cleveland Browns’ initial 53-man roster at the start of the season brought almost all of the pressure in Week 4. Briean Boddy-Calhoun had a key sack on a cornerback blitz. Recently-signed2 Cam Johnson provided two sacks of his own and another quarterback hit. Oh did I forget to mention that Johnson also added two and a half tackles for loss? He was a beast showing up all over the field, and it seems rather fortunate that the Harvard Brain Trust was able to reel him back in after releasing him weeks ago. These are the type of sack and tackle-for-loss numbers that we would love to see moving forward.

Sacks: 3

QB Hits: 5

Tackles for loss: 5

Passes Defensed: 3

Week 4 PRESSURE Grade: 3 (out of 5)



The Washington Redskins faced only eight third downs in the game, and the Browns allowed them to convert half of those. Quite simply, the defense was wretched in the Getting Off the Field category. They basically let the Redskins march up and down the field at their leisure, with Cam Johnson providing just about the only nuisance to their plan.

Third Down Conversion Percentage: 50%

Potential Takeaways: 2

Opponent Time of Possession: 31:03 (out of 60:00)




We remember the phantom taunting penalty from two weeks ago, and this week the referees were able to add the phantom fumble to the NFL’s treasure trove.  You’ll notice that there is no metric in this category for the fumbles, so we’re looking only at the youngsters’ abilities to make plays, and we are not looking at their ability to blow those plays. You would imagine that mistakes like that will lessen as a player gains experience.

Something that will stand out below is the number zero. As in zero plays of 20 yards or more. That is reprehensible, and Hue Jackson needs to find a way to create more explosive plays against the Patriots in the fifth week. Isaiah Crowell did have some solid runs of over 15 yards each, but there was nothing close to an explosive play in the passing game and Duke Johnson was bottled up pretty well.

Plays of 20-plus Yards: 0

Red Zone Conversion %: 67

Yards/Run Play: 5.8

Yards/Pass Plays: 5.3

Week 4 PLAYMAKERS Grade: 2



Hue Jackson started his third different center through four games this season as Austin Reiter got the start. Reiter actually played well in his first start with the Browns, but as we probably could have guessed, he ended the game with a serious knee injury that turned out to be an ACL tear. Reiter will miss the rest of the season, and John Greco will slide back over to center in week 5. With Alvin Bailey being punished for his poor off-field decisions, Spencer Drango saw snaps at right guard against the Redskins and may have the inside track for the starting job this week.

As for the overall play of the offensive line in this particular game, it was a slightly better performance compared to previous weeks, but still nothing to write home about. Only one sack was allowed, which is awesome, but there was plenty of other pressure on Cody Kessler who was hit often.

Opponent Sacks: 1

Opponent QB Hits: 8

Opponent Tackles for Loss: 6

Week 4 PROTECTION Grade: 3


Ultimately, the team was a little too below-average to make up for the three turnovers. We saw another solid display by Isaiah Crowell go wasted. I’ll be interested to see if Cam Johnson has earned himself a larger role in the defense since he has been the most effective pass rusher through four weeks of play3 .

Cody Kessler turned in a ho-hum performance against a fairly weak Redskins pass defense. Josh Norman has been fantastic, but his counterpart on the other side had been picked to pieces in every other game. If Kessler wants to hold on to the starting quarterback job next season, he’s going to have to show a lot more than he did on Sunday.

This Sunday the Browns will play host to the juggernaut New England Patriots, who will have Tom Brady returning from suspension. Expecting a win for the Browns would probably be too bold, but perhaps our boys can catch the Patriots off guard and make a little noise before eventually forcing the fans to leave early.

  1. Replays clearly show that the ball was pulled back in by Duke Johnson after his fumble, but the NFL insists on pushing their ill-advised angle that nothing shady happened in the replay process. []
  2. And well-known to Browns fans having served time in Cleveland in previous seasons and training camp. []
  3. And that competition really has not been close. []

  • bossman09

    “We saw another solid display by Isaiah Crowell go wasted” – Another Solid Display? He is on pace for 1500 yards, 12 TDs and over 6 YPC and that’s “solid”???? Lower numbers than that got Peyton Hillis on the cover of Madden. 120 yards, 1 TD, 7.5 a carry is “Solid”. wow.

  • Eric G


    “Expecting a win for the Browns would probably be too bold, but perhaps our boys can catch the Patriots off guard and make a little noise before eventually forcing the fans to leave early.”

  • Pat Leonard

    You win, it was marvelous, magnificent, and luminescent.

  • tigersbrowns2

    Browns current team ranks :
    total offense – 12th
    rush offense – 1st
    pass offense – 24th

    total defense – 22nd
    rush defense – 24th
    pass defense – 17th

    yes , 1st in rushing offense !!

  • tigersbrowns2

    isaiah crowell – 2nd in the nfl in rushing – 394 yards – 3 td’s – 6.5 yards per carry
    on pace for : 1,576 yards – 12 td’s

    even duke johnson is averaging 6.2 yards per carry.

  • tigersbrowns2

    hoping for a rusty Brady & a Browns shocking the world moment.

  • tigersbrowns2

    cody kessler – 67.1 completion % & a 83.5 QB rating … not setting the world on fire , but so far so good after 2 starts.

  • tigersbrowns2

    hi PAT … definitely saw improvement on pass protection & pressuring the QB. i heard Nassib returns to practice this week.

  • tigersbrowns2

    as far as Kessler’s “ho-hum” performance : no he didn’t light-it-up , but his accuracy & leading the receiver was very good again. the TD pass to Pryor was a perfect pass.

  • tigersbrowns2

    we still don’t have a “set” O-line yet … we’re on our 3rd or 4th center & yet the O-line is dominating in the run game … okay , it was the redskins , they’ll get a stiffer test this week against the patriots run defense.

    i too am expecting the patriots to stack the box , concentrate on the run & make kessler beat them … i’m only guessing Hue will have an excellent game plan to counter with … kessler will have a big day.

  • bossman09

    I’ll be there at 7!

  • RGB
  • Pat Leonard

    I’m pumped to see him out there. I think we just need a little something extra right now to get over the hump in time for a week 6 meeting with the Titans. I’ll go ahead and project that game as the first win for the Browns.

  • Pat Leonard

    There were absolutely some good things from his performance, but 5.3 yards per pass play is pitiful. That’s Case Keenum territory. He should get better simply from adding Corey Coleman back into the mix soon, but you’d like to see him strike for some bigger plays like he did last week.

  • jpftribe

    Rookie 3rd round QB, top rushing offense in the league this was a function of game planning, which I give Hue a ton of credit for. He is definitely giving guys opportunities to do what they do best and hiding weaknesses. Most of Kessler’s read were one half of the field, two options with maybe a checkdown.

    The standings don’t show it yet, but this is a vastly improved team from last year.

  • jpftribe

    Browns will control and dominate this game, until the last 5 minutes and blow it.

  • jpftribe

    Holy cow, those are impressive numbers over last year.

  • tigersbrowns2

    that’s what we did the last time we played them in NE.

  • Pat Leonard

    You’re right about this team being improved versus last year. We are only -1 in the turnover margin as well, so statistically the Browns have been really unlucky and should probably be a 2-2 team rather than an 0-4 team.

  • tigersbrowns2

    the thing about case keenum … his team is 3-1 right now. they have a stout defense & we do not … once we field that stout defense (whenever that is) , we have a good enough offense to compete & start winning on a regular basis.

  • BenRM

    The problem with Kessler is the same problem you have with Alex Smith. Being smart and accurate is super. But these days, you’ve got to be able to stretch the field. Otherwise you’ll just get raced out of games.

  • tigersbrowns2

    do you think it’s because they can’t do it , or that their coaches / OC’s won’t let them do it ?? i am still predicting a bomb (more than 30 yards) to Pryor on the Browns 1st or 2nd play from scrimmage.

  • BenRM

    I think it’s can’t do it. Hue has RG3 and McCown fling it all over the place, but he doesn’t have Kessler do it.

    Plus you can just see his passes lack velocity on certain routes.

  • tigersbrowns2

    i’ll take accuracy over velocity any day … as far as the deep ball thing , i’ll be watching every pass thrown come sunday … i know you will as well. we’ll convene on this matter on monday.

  • jpftribe

    Browns and Patriots have played twice in past five years – it has not gone as you'd think, per ESPN stats & info.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) October 4, 2016

  • tigersbrowns2

    i was in Chicago in 2013 watching the game in a crowded sports bar with my Browns jersey on … good ole Tom Brady threw 2 TD passes in the last 61 seconds to beat the Browns 27-26 … i was majorly dejected.

    this was the game where t.j. ward hit Gronk in the knee & put him out for a while.

  • scripty

    That 2nd game was the game Josh Gordon went off vs Revis and we later butchered the onsides kick

  • JM85

    Poor Hue goes from happy to uh oh.

  • mgbode

    see: Browns v Patriots, 2010

  • Pat Leonard

    Life with a bunch of prepubescent players 🙂

  • Bob Haze

    Should be 3-1.
    0-4 is DISGRACEFUL.

  • Cleveland_Rocks

    Sadly you need both. Not enough accuracy, no one from your team catches the ball. Not enough zip, any can run over and grab that ovoid pop fly you just hit into the secondary.

  • tigersbrowns2

    yeah , but at least the 0-4 is not 4 blow-outs & we look worse than ever … Hue & his staff are working with a bunch of young misfits & they have been in every game … the offense has played good enough for us to be 3-1 , but the defense has not.

    and at least they are not getting embarrassed on a weekly basis …. and considering they blew the whole thing up , except for Thomas , Haden , Greco & McCown , it will take another draft or two & leaving the FO & coaching staff intact for years to come. it at least appears they finally have this thing headed in the right direction.

  • mgbode

    Did you copy this from my article today!


  • tigersbrowns2

    not knowingly … i just read your article & will be commenting shortly.

  • mgbode

    haha, was just messing with you. just happened to fit.