Sixty minutes of sustained clarity and effort, that is all I am asking to see.
The Cleveland Browns were routed in the second half of last week’s Thursday Night Football contest, 28-7. You can set a watch with the way this team fails. Once again, the Browns played well in the first half only to see their lead slip further and further away in the second half.
In spite of one report to the contrary, I don’t believe this incredible string of losses has caused any of the decision makers in Berea to fall off the same page with each other. I believe Hue Jackson expected to win games this season, and I still believe the Browns were not trying to tank this season to get the best pick in the 2017 NFL Draft. But I also believe that Sashi Brown, Paul DePodesta, and Andrew Berry did purposefully make this team young and unproven in order to see what kind of talent they could unearth and build for the future. Everyone knew what they were getting into at the beginning of the season, and I can’t imagine that losses weren’t expected.
As for Thursday’s game, there were actually some good things being done in the first half, and if we could focus on that half only I think we would see a bunch of happy Hue faces. But as I said before, each game is 60 minutes long and the players didn’t seem to recognize that fact.
Sprinkle in a dash of Jamie Collins and watch the your defense grow in its competency. For the second week since becoming a member of the Cleveland Browns, Collins proved to be the best player on the defense. He notched one sack, one quarterback hit, and two tackles for loss to lead the Browns. Demario Davis put the other sack on the board in what was a fairly quiet game for the middle linebacker.
Once again, the young bucks were extremely quiet. Before the start of the regular season, Carl Nassib was looking like the most promising rookie. He was almost invisible registering only one solo tackle and one assisted tackle. Emmanuel Ogbah had a couple of hits on the quarterback, but not much else.
The Browns did manage to stymie Terrance West and the Ravens’ run game. Danny Shelton looked solid once again in plugging his gap between the center and guard and was able to add a tackle for loss to his stat sheet.
There was enough pressure from the defensive line to keep the Browns competitive in this game, but it wasn’t the only part to the equation.
QB Hits: 6
Tackles for loss: 5
Passes Defensed: 5
Week 9 PRESSURE Grade: 3 (out of 5)
GETTING OFF THE FIELD
The good news is that Browns finally were able to take the ball away from their opponent? Joe Haden and Briean Boddy-Calhoun both snagged interceptions in this one. However Eric Weddle and Jerraud Powers teamed up to even the score registering one interception each.
Josh McCown made a surprise appearance and managed to put the ball on the ground twice, one of which resulted in a lost fumble. This gave the Ravens a 3-2 win in turnover margin.
The Ravens also destroyed the Browns in time of possession. The last time Ray Horton coached the defense in Cleveland, his unit had an awful time trying to get off of the field on third downs. This defense is showing that same tendency and it may be an inherent negative trait of our reinstated defensive coordinator. I would like to see how well Ray Horton’s defense performs with better talent, but I’m also not entirely sure he deserves a leash that long.
Third and Fourth Down Conversion Percentage: 58 percent
Potential Takeaways: 2
Opponent Time of Possession: 38:36 (out of 60:00)
Week 9 GETTING OFF THE FIELD Grade: 2
We haven’t seen a worse performance from the offense to date. Seth DeValve’s 25-yard touchdown catch was the only substantial play for the offense in this entire game. I’m sure he will savor his first touchdown in the NFL and always think back on it fondly, but the rest of us will remember it as the only truly fun play in an otherwise nightmarish performance.
Cody Kessler did not put forth an inspiring performance and was benched after the first drive in the second half in favor of Josh McCown. This proved to be a fatal error because McCown was as bad as we have seen him in a Browns uniform. Each one of his drives was a special torture and a new level of hell.
I thought that God must have been punishing me for all of the evil I have done. I remembered one time when I was walking on a hike with the Boy Scouts and decided to take the sharpened walking stick in my hand a spear it right through a frog for no good reason. I paid for that on Thursday night. That had to be the reason that I was forced to watch this stunning display of incompetence.
Plays of 20-plus Yards: 1
Red Zone Conversion %: 0 (No downs inside the Ravens’ red zone so this deserves a zero.)
Yards/Run Play: 2.5
Yards/Pass Plays: 3.2
Week 9 PLAYMAKERS Grade: 1
Let me give you a second to take a guess. It’s bad. You knew it was bad because you saw it with your eyes, and your eyes work. Even without the gift of sight, you could have heard the pads of the players crashing into each other and guessed that the offensive line was being dominated. You knew this with every fiber of your being and, once again, Cameron Erving was the ringleader of this hideous sideshow.
Opponent Sacks: 4
Opponent QB Hits: 6
Opponent Tackles for Loss: 7
Week 9 PROTECTION Grade: 1
I’ll be okay. I just need to take some deep breaths and down a couple of beauties from Great Lakes Brewing Company. Ah yes, that will do nicely.
We can only hope that Hue Jackson’s benching of Cody Kessler will inspire him to look a little deeper down the route tree and allow his fast and physical receivers to make some plays down the field. The offense needs a shot in the arm, and with the Pittsburgh Steelers coming to town on Sunday, it’s the perfect time to get one.
I despise the Ravens, but I hate the Steelers even more. It’s Steelers Week, and I really want to serve those guys the most embarrassing loss of the past 17 years. Do this for us, Hue Jackson, and you will have our love for the rest of the season.