Cleveland Browns Progress Report: Week 8

Ron Schwane/Associated Press

Yes, once again the Browns lost in disappointing fashion. A 20-6 halftime lead was wiped out by “Gang Green” as the Browns fell to the New York Jets, 31-28.

However, if we squint really hard, we can find some silver linings in this debacle. First, the offensive line managed to keep their starting quarterback from getting injured for an entire game. Break out the champagne! This is a monumental achievement! Secondly, Josh McCown led an offensive attack that put up over 400 yards. He threw for 341 yards and two touchdowns, but he tempered that by throwing two interceptions as well.

Aside from that, I didn’t notice much good being done on the field. I suppose it’s nice that Cody Parkey continued to make field goals, nailing both of his attempts on Sunday. Let’s see if the four factors can dig up any real gems.

Previous Progress Reports: Week 1, Week 2, Week 3, Week 4, Week 5, Week 6, Week 7


The defense was more disruptive this week. Danny Shelton and Joe Schobert met at the quarterback for a sack, and Tyrone Holmes chased down Ryan Fitzpatrick from behind to register another one. Carl Nassib continued his uncanny ability to tip passes, even if he didn’t do much else. The defense as a whole knocked down ten passes in this game and racked up seven tackles for loss; it was their highest total in each category this season. The defensive pressure was the biggest reason that the Jets were only able to register six points by halftime.

Sacks: 2

QB Hits: 5

Tackles for loss: 7

Passes Defensed: 10

Week 8 PRESSURE Grade: 4 (out of 5)



At this point I’m sure everyone is screaming at me because you saw the Jets march right down the field and score at will in the second half. This category will reflect the defense’s inferiority in that area. The Jets converted eight of sixteen third and fourth downs and dominated the time of possession. For the second straight week, the Browns were unable to force a turnover. They simply could not get off of the field in spite of the pressure they forced, and the Jets were obliged to stroll down the red carpet that had been laid out for them directly into the end zone.

Third and Fourth Down Conversion Percentage: 50 percent

Potential Takeaways: 0

Opponent Time of Possession: 33:41 (out of 60:00)




The offense was able to ride some explosive plays to a fourteen point lead at the half. Terrelle Pryor was a force to be reckoned with in the first half only. That was when he put up all of his 101 receiving yards.

As usual, when Josh McCown finds his way back into the offense, so does Gary Barnidge. Barnidge was targeted seven times and had a 32 yard reception. It was nice to see the old gang back together.

Plays of 20-plus Yards: 6

Red Zone Conversion %: 75

Yards/Run Play: 3.8

Yards/Pass Plays: 6.5

Week 8 PLAYMAKERS Grade: 4



Cameron Erving was back at center and he had a lot of trouble once again, but the rest of the offensive line did a nice job protecting Josh McCown. The Browns have not had a single game where they have allowed zero sacks, but for the second time this season they only allowed only one. Joe Thomas was masterful, as has become his norm.

The Jets have the second best run defense in the NFL, so the Browns tried different ways to get the running backs going. They had their most success running out of the shotgun formation on draw plays. However, the offensive line wasn’t able to get any kind of push against the Jets on conventional power run plays. The run blocking wasn’t as good as the pass blocking on Sunday, and I would venture to guess that I won’t be able to say that too often this season.

Opponent Sacks: 1

Opponent QB Hits: 6

Opponent Tackles for Loss: 3

Week 8 PROTECTION Grade: 3


It was another largely disappointing effort against a middling and beatable opponent. I used the very same sentence in last week’s progress report, and unfortunately it fits perfectly here, too. Hopefully the addition of Jamie Collins to the defense will result in some more competitive performances, but one man can only make so much of a difference on a unit as bad as the Browns’ defense. The young players need to find a way to get the offense back onto the field to do some damage.

If the Browns can find a way to beat the hated Dallas Cowboys this upcoming Sunday, then I think 90 percent of the country would owe our team a debt of gratitude. Make it so.

Cleveland Browns Jerseys

  • NankirPhelge

    Maybe you should start calling this the Regress Report.

    As BenRM noted yesterday, Scott’s Winners and Losers posts used to prompt scores of comments. As of right now, yesterday’s generated 16.

  • mgbode

    Sure, but the focus is rightfully on the World Series – other years it wouldn’t have mattered though

    Anyway, Kessler, Coleman back…adding Collins. Expect Browns to be more interesting just in time to bathe in the championship afterglow of the Indians

  • Natedawg86

    Could Irving play guard? or would that be the same answer to the question, “Could I jump off a ten story building and still live?”

  • Pat Leonard

    Haha, I think we already have our answer from his performance at guard last season. I hate to say it, but I think I’m ready to conclude that Erving just can’t play at this level.

  • BenRM

    How many more times does Cam Erving get pushed into our QB or RB before he stops playing center?

  • Pat Leonard

    I’m still so curious to see how Ray Horton intends to use Collins. He wasn’t asked to rush the passer that much in his time with the Patriots, but he was elite in those 246 snaps posting 10.5 sacks, 13 hits, and 30 hurries. But he’s also one of the best coverage linebackers in the league and can be a solid run defender if Horton wants to use him inside. As I said on Twitter, I think my favorite deployment would be to have him take Schobert/Cam Johnson’s OLB position on early downs where he can rush the passer or drop back depending on the play, then move him inside for passing packages. The Jets were able to keep Demario Davis off the field by deploying four and five wide receiver sets, but Collins can stay on the field in those scenarios.

  • Pat Leonard

    This is a great question. How much more does Hue Jackson need to see from this kid? It’d be one thing if he was showing good physical ability/technique and was just making mental errors, but it’s more than that. He’s being physically dominated far too often on plays where he recognizes his assignment.

  • Sam Gold
  • NankirPhelge
  • mgbode

    I would move him all around the field and just tell him “cause havoc”

    Too often defenses are systematic and allow for opposing teams to scheme against those systems. The best defenses always have a havoc-wreaker. An Ed Reed, a Polamalu, a Patrick Willis. Someone who will take those schemes and shove them right back at you.

  • Pat Leonard

    That would probably fit in really well with what Ray Horton does. His defense is not incredibly complicated (unlike Jim O’Neil and Eric Mangini). See gap, fill gap. This was probably a big reason why the Jets burned us for so many cut-back plays though. Maybe we don’t get burned by those if Collins is filling where they ain’t, though.

  • mgbode

    Collins at LBer
    Jabrill Peppers at FS

    That’s a fun thought

  • Pat Leonard

    We need help at safety in the worst way. I still think Kindred can be a regular, but Campbell has had several weeks in a row where he’s looked so lost. Neither player has good instincts in coverage.

  • bossman09

    Majority of his college time was at tackle. He is built like a tackle and player most of his time as a tackle but played 6-8 games at center so of course, he should be a center.

  • bossman09

    Quick evaluation –
    O-line sucks – Mostly due to INJURY, no Bitonio hurts run, no center hurts whole line.
    QB – too many QBs to count due to INJURY
    WRs – some flashes, but not having Coleman INJURED has been a problem
    Running game – Good, but suffers from o-line INJURIES
    D-Line is fair – mostly due to INJURY
    LB – At least Kirksey is good, Ohgba shows promise. Actually performing better than I thought they would (expected a train wreck)
    CBs – can’t have one average CB – INJURIES are a problem
    S – train wreck. INJURIES have been a problem, but they were bad day 1.
    So every single unit other than LBs has been significantly impacted by injuries. Growth of Coleman, Nassib, and Kessler have be impacted by injuries as have several others. Every team has a player or two that end their season on the IR and a few other players that are lost of a couple weeks – we have cut more REPLACEMENT players due to injuries that other teams have had injuries.
    With Coleman and Kessler back, we could win a couple games if we just stopped getting injured.

  • bossman09

    Forgot to mention that it looks like we got a good kicker. At least that’s some improvement somewhere.

  • tigersbrowns2

    hi PAT … it’s pretty much the same thing every week. the offense moves the ball , no matter who’s playing QB … and the defense gives up over 30 points nearly every week.

    what does this say ?? … DO NOT take a QB with either 1st round pick this year. If Hue can move the ball with anyone at QB , we just need to be able to stop people once in a while.

    fix the defense in the next FA period & the next draft … they started by adding Collins … good start.

  • bossman09

    Horton will try to shoehorn him into a roll he doesn’t normally play because it fits what Horton wants.

  • tigersbrowns2

    they don’t even have another TRUE C on the roster !

  • Pat Leonard

    I agree with you, at least in this season. This is a year where I’m a proponent of taking the best player period and that is looking like Myles Garrett. I think Hue Jackson can have a powerful offense with Cody Kessler at the helm.

  • Pat Leonard

    I’m hoping the Browns will have a little more luck with injuries in the second half of the season if for no other reason then we can really start to get fair evaluations of the youngsters.

  • Pat Leonard

    It really sucks that Austin Reiter got hurt. I’d much rather have seen him inserted at center for the rest of the season to see if there was ANYONE who we could rally around.

  • mgbode

    Peppers won’t help on “instincts in coverage” either

  • Pat Leonard

    But that’s what I want.

  • Pat Leonard

    Theoretically, you can’t really do that with Collins. He’s basically good at everything.

  • mgbode

    well, I want Peppers anyway

  • Pat Leonard
  • JM85

    The return of happy Hue!

  • Skulb

    If you only win one game this season, let it be against the Cows. Their fans are getting very smug indeed. And Jerruh keeps smiling and giving high fives. i don’t know how much more I can take.

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  • Natedawg86

    Why would you draft a guy to the NFL whos weakness is the bullrush. Ain’t gonna get easier with better talent on the other side.