The Cleveland Browns played a substantially easier opponent this week compared to last week, but the result was unfortunately the same. Add another “L” and another rash of injuries to the board.
However, hidden in the disappointment of losing another close game, Cody Kessler and the Browns’ passing offense managed to put together a fairly impressive performance. Pryor was a beast in the red zone, grabbing two beautiful fade passes from Kessler for touchdowns. Once again, Danny Shelton and Emmanuel Ogbah anchored a strong run defense and each player managed to put up his first sack of the season. As with most young teams, consistency is the key. From week-to-week and play-to-play, mistakes are being made that result in big plays or penalty yardage for the opposition. Hue Jackson and the coaching staff will slowly weed these mistakes out of the team’s repertoire over the course of the season, and I remain convinced that even with the bad injury luck, the 2016 Cleveland Browns will not go 0-16.
The Browns put up a better grade than last week, but check out Hue’s face. He still looks fairly concerned. I am too, for what it’s worth. Given the fact that he has played in every game this season, it’s almost incredible that it took Emmanuel Ogbah six weeks to log his first sack, but here we are. Ogbah doesn’t seem to have a wide variety of pass rush moves yet, and NFL tackles are ready for his speed and power rushes. His sack on Sunday was more of a coverage sack, but this may be the little push he needs to get himself going.
In rush defense, Ogbah has been an absolute stud, showing gap responsibility and sealing the edge like a ten year veteran. Likewise, Danny Shelton has shown a proclivity for blowing up run plays for the opposing offense. He was the only other player to register a sack in this game. Add in a QB hit from Carl Nassib, and you basically have all of the pressure applied to Marcus Mariota on Sunday. Even though the run defense continues to impress, the pass defense continues to be an abomination and is the main reason the Browns are losing games.
QB Hits: 3
Tackles for loss: 5
Passes Defensed: 3
Week 6 PRESSURE Grade: 2 (out of 5)
GETTING OFF THE FIELD
Here we find another poor grade for the defense. For the third week in a row, the Browns really struggled to force their opponent off the field. Only Joe Flacco was more successful than Marcus Mariota this season in keeping drives alive against the Browns. Tramon Williams’ interception was the only turnover collected by our team and they didn’t force any fumbles. The onside kick recovery allowed the final score to be much closer than it should have been according to the defensive stats.
Third Down Conversion Percentage: 54%
Potential Takeaways: 1
Opponent Time of Possession: 31:01 (out of 60:00)
Week 6 GETTING OFF THE FIELD Grade: 2
Hopefully the Patriots didn’t give every other team in the league a diagram for defeating the Browns’ run game. Isaiah Crowell struggled to get himself going and the Titans didn’t allow him much room to run. Duke Johnson found more success than Crowell, but his best contribution was his catch in the Browns’ final drive when Tennessee didn’t seem very interested in stopping the Browns. All of the big plays in this game came from a pass.
The best thing we saw was Cody Kessler’s ability to turn trips to the red zone into six points. The Browns had seven three-and-outs, which is a mind numbing statistic and helps explain how they lost the time of possession battle. However, the few extended drives past the Titans’ 20 yard line showed Cody Kessler making some gorgeous throws, two of which resulted in touchdowns for Terrelle Pryor.
Ricardo Louis got a chance to show off his wheels on a 42 yard bomb from Kessler, and the offense did manage to do a few impressive things on Sunday.
Plays of 20-plus Yards: 4
Red Zone Conversion %: 75
Yards/Run Play: 2.7
Yards/Pass Plays: 6.3
Week 6 PLAYMAKERS Grade: 3
This was, by far, the worst effort that the Browns’ offensive line has put forth this season. Cameron Erving returned from injury to man the staring center position and his presence seems to have infuriated Hue Jackson judging by the face below. Erving completely whiffed on more than one stunt by the Titans’ defensive line and kept allowing a clean path to hit Cody Kessler. Kessler took an absolute beating in this game, which is not what you want for a rookie quarterback who was nursing a bruised chest from last week’s game.
Hue Jackson needs to find a way to get his offensive line working in unison. If he doesn’t, he’s going to get Cody Kessler killed.
Opponent Sacks: 6
Opponent QB Hits: 12
Opponent Tackles for Loss: 6
Week 6 PROTECTION Grade: 1
It was a largely disappointing effort against a middling and beatable opponent, but we can continue to reassure ourselves that it is only one game. There are still ten games left. Each week has a new story to write, and even though the players seem to change as often as Heidi Klum1 , different players seem to be stepping up every week to make their presence known.
We all want that one win to make sure that our team doesn’t live on forever in infamy, and I think it’s coming soon. I BELIEVE!
- This analogy is not my fault. My wife has been watching an insane amount of Project Runway lately. [↩]