Browns

Cleveland Browns Progress Report: Week 14

clevelandbrowns.com
clevelandbrowns.com

That damn 0-16 parade is looking pretty likely right now. The Cleveland Browns put together a miserable first half and couldn’t dig themselves out of the hole they had made, eventually losing to the Cincinnati Bengals, 23-10.

I usually enjoy the comedy and general shenanigans of @Reflog_18 on Twitter, but I really despise his parade. I’m not going to take some grandiose stance here, I just don’t want another embarrassing clip to add to the montage of Cleveland Browns failures. I’m really struggling to understand what the point of the parade is.

Is the point of the parade to shame Jimmy Haslam, Dee Haslam, and the Browns’ front office? We all knew this was going to be a season devoid of wins. Before the season began, we debated how many wins the Browns would have and WFNY-comment-section regular, Lunch the Breakfast Sandwich, tallied the predictions from everyone involved and posted them on his blog. Nobody had the Browns winning more than eight games and the most common prediction was two wins for the season. Does this mean that the purpose of the parade is to let ownership know that we are OK with two wins, but we won’t stand for zero wins? That seems useless.

Is the point of the parade just to have fun? I don’t see anything fun about it. I see a bunch of self-important people acting like clowns to grab some time on camera. Some people don’t mind that the rest of the NFL and its fans find the Browns to be a huge joke. I’m not one of those people. I want this team and its proud history1 to be revered by the NFL and its fans. I don’t want to perpetuate the clown show.

There is a new regime in charge of the Browns this season, and I want them to have a chance to rebuild this team without the shackles of past disappointments and a passive-aggressive, bitter fan base. Save the parade until there is a reason to have it.

Now, let’s get back to our regularly scheduled program.

Previous Progress Reports: Week 1, Week 2, Week 3, Week 4, Week 5, Week 6, Week 7, Week 8, Week 9, Week 10, Week 11, Week 12

PRESSURE

Four sacks in one game? Christmas must have come early this year! The Browns were able to take advantage of the Bengals’ poor pass protection unit and finally put together a decent effort.

Emmanuel Ogbah had his best game of the season sacking Andy Dalton once on his own and another time with the help of Stephen Paea. Ogbah has improved as the season has worn on, and he is our best bet to start opposite Myles Garrett next season, if the Browns take the overwhelming favorite at the first pick of the 2017 NFL Draft.

Jamie Collins continues his impressive form for the Browns en route to 15 tackles and a sack. However, the secondary has not fared nearly as well as Collins and the Browns could not create any pressure once the ball was in the air. They weren’t able to get their hands on a single pass in this game.

Sacks: 4

QB Hits: 6

Tackles for loss: 4

Passes Defensed: 0

Week 14 PRESSURE Grade:Β 3Β (out of 5)

browns-oh

GETTING OFF THE FIELD

The defense was able to get off of the field with some success in the second half, but they struggled mightily in the first half. The Bengals converted 8-of-15 third down scenarios and the Browns only managed to force one fumble, which they couldn’t recover. The lack of turnovers and the Browns’ inability to stop running back Jeremy Hill were big reasons for the loss.

Third and Fourth Down Conversion Percentage: 53 percent

Potential Takeaways: 1

Opponent Time of Possession: 34:53 (out of 60:00)

Week 14 GETTING OFF THE FIELD Grade: 2

browns-uh-oh

PLAYMAKERS

Robert Griffin III graced us with his presence for the second time during the regular season, and the results were very similar to his first game. Griffin showed horrible inaccuracy with his passes and seemed to struggle to read the opposing defense and move to his next progression. Griffin’s 2.7 yards per pass play is the worst tally of the season for the Browns. Griffin only managed to put up a paltry 104 yards passing in the game.

Isaiah Crowell racked up more yards than Griffin on 15 fewer plays. Crowell only received 10 carries in the game, but racked up a fantastic 113 yards on those plays. The offensive line did a much better job opening holes for Crowell to run through, and recent acquisition Jonathan Cooper did a nice job in his right guard role. Duke Johnson was also effective on limited carries and accounted for one of the few plays to go over 20 yards.

One game after an impressive 131 yard performance, Terrelle Pryor just about laid an egg, catching one pass for three yards against the Bengals. The reason for his failure is mostly on the shoulders of RG3, who simply could not put the ball anywhere near his star receiver.

Plays of 20-plus Yards: 3

Red Zone Conversion Percentage: 50

Yards/Run Play: 7.7

Yards/Pass Plays: 2.7

Week 14 PLAYMAKERS Grade: 2

browns-uh-oh

PROTECTION

Quarterback protection still wasn’t good, but it was a step in the right direction. The Browns gave up four fewer sacks, three fewer quarterback hits, and eight fewer tackles for loss than they did against the New York Giants. That seems to be progress even if the result is still not where it needs to be.

I know it isn’t saying much, but Cameron Erving may have had his best game for the Browns. He was useful in the run game and wasn’t a disaster in pass protection.

I want to see more from Jonathan Cooper, but if he continues with efforts like this one, he will supplant John Greco at the right guard spot and the Harvard Brain Trust will get credit for a steal.

Opponent Sacks: 3

Opponent QB Hits: 8

Opponent Tackles for Loss: 3

Week 14 PROTECTION Grade: 2

browns-uh-oh

 

There were certainly some things to be happy about after this game. The offensive line showed improvement, the run game was popping, and the linebacker corps looks stronger.

However, there are also several areas that continue to be a problem. The most notable is the quarterback position. I am fine with Hue Jackson trotting out Robert Griffin III for a couple more games to prove that he is not a viable option for the future, but I have already reached that decision. I just want Jackson to keep Cody Kessler healthy and in a place where he can be a useful backup quarterback if not more. There’s no doubt in my mind that the front office will need to address this position again in the offseason.

Next week the Browns travel to Buffalo to take on the Bills. Of the remaining three games, this will be the Browns’ best chance at a win. The Bills have a middling record at 6-7 and for whatever reason, the Browns always seems to play them tough regardless of their record.

Please Browns, just do like you usually do against the Bills and put this embarrassing parade to rest.

  1. Save your “that history went with the Ravens to Baltimore” talk, I’m not interested in it. []

  • architrance

    Progress? PROGRESS!?

  • Shadow_play

    Every week is the Browns’ best chance at a win. Last week is was because we had two weeks to prepare for a mediocre divisional opponent. This week it’s because we are playing against the go-nowhere Bills that we always sort of play decent against. The following will be because they play The soon to be Ex-San Diego Chargers who will just be riding out the disappointing season. And then it will be because it will become our ONLY chance to win against the Steelers (And maybe if they’ve clinched everything they need to clinch they might not be playing that hard? Maybe Big Ben will sit out?)

    What I’m saying is, 0-16 here we come!

  • Garry_Owen

    As I did not “get” to watch Sunday’s game, can somebody please explain what is happening in the photo the accompanies the lede? Is that Haden? Is he attempting to throw the ball? Why?

  • Sam Gold

    That, my friend, is quintessential Browns progress. That was our version of the Stanford redux and JH attempting, and succeeding, to throw a lateral and keep the briefest, if not silliest, glimmer of hope alive following a late 1st half interception.

    https://tgchan.org/kusaba/questdis/thumb/Benny_Hill_-_Yakety_Saxs.gif

  • Garry_Owen

    Ah! Thank you. It’s been bugging me (no, not really) all week.

    So, you say it was successful? That is progress, and I’ll happily take it.

  • Skulb

    Brian Hoyer is looking better and better here.

  • Hopwin

    No.

  • Pat Leonard

    Was it an INT, or was it a PAT that they were trying to return for 2 points?

  • Sam Gold

    Just to be clear, he successfully lateraled the ball to another player. The play itself, not so much.

  • Sam Gold

    You are correct. I knew there was something off about it being an interception but I couldn’t reach the right memory chip.

  • Sam Gold

    Looking “better and better” than hot garbage is a bit of a low bar…

  • Garry_Owen

    Baby steps. Successful baby steps. Someday, that baby will run!

  • tigersbrowns2

    hi PAT … i had posted in a previous thread today that the HBT has been acquiring players all throughout the season & may have a few “steals” on their hands in Boddy-Calhoun , A.Reiter , J.Cooper , C.Johnson & J.Collins … and i can see very one of them , except C.Johnson , starting next year.

  • RGB

    If he doesn’t learn a suplementary position he is sure to get cut next year for salary-cap space.
    Moneyball!

  • tigersbrowns2

    man , i had previously said (before the Bengals game) that it would be nice to go into next year with RGIII , Kessler & whoever we draft as the QB’s for next year.

    RGIII was so bad against the Bengals i’m not sure what to think now … well, i guess he’s got 3 more games to turn it around (ughhhh).

  • Sam Gold

    I think Hue was genuinely stunned at how poorly RG3 played. One particularly disappointing thing about HJ this season for me is how poorly he seems to evaluate the skills and abilities of his own players and then scheme accordingly. He seems much more bound to his system and forcing players into roles than I had perceived before his arrival here.

  • tigersbrowns2

    hi SAM … good point.

  • Skulb

    Well yes. But he did start 2014 7-4, which is pretty good. And it looks especially good after consecutive 3-13 and now possibly 0-16 seasons. I don’t know why, but I always sorta liked Hoyer.

  • Pat Leonard

    Definitely, I like what they have been doing.

  • Pat Leonard

    Okay excellent, I was pretty sure it was a “use it or lose it” scenario, so that was why they were going all Keystone Cops trying to move the ball up the field. I was actually kind of impressed with how far they got πŸ™‚

  • BenRM

    Alternatively, few to none of the players he has have a skillset worth a damn.

  • jpftribe

    He could be seeing one thing on the practice field and another completely different thing at game time. But I really don’t understand the run pass play mix here.

  • jpftribe
  • Pat Leonard

    I would say this is a good thing, but the team crapped the bed when Brian Billick made the same prediction about the Browns to open the season. The parade, trash talk, whatever… none of this stuff seems to fire up the players.

  • Sam Gold

    It is utterly confounding and a complete departure from his time in Cinci.

  • tigersbrowns2

    yes , but this is the one area on the team where there is a little talent … you have pyor , coleman , barnidge , crowell & d.johnson … we should be able to move the ball & score points provided you have good O-line & QB play.

  • jpftribe

    I see it not so much as an advantage for us, but bad karma for them.

  • tigersbrowns2

    … then how about we just get plain lucky for once .

  • Sam Gold

    I always liked him as a person and his beating the odds story. I was never very comfortable with him as a QB and felt like we won in spite of his play rather than because of it. The one thing that always stays with me is how many interceptions he threw that were dropped during that 7-4 run. After that they stopped dropping them.

  • Sam Gold

    It’s crazy how often guarantees end up biting the guarantor in the butt.

  • jpftribe

    I’ve rationalized Hue in a number of ways. He was a very good, successful coach elsewhere. He didn’t forget how to do it. I still like him better than any of the other 3 AFCN HC’s. His roster is horrible.

    I can only figure he is trying too hard. Over scheming to try and make up for a sheer dearth of talent. But at the end of the day, it doesn’t seem too big for him. This job would chew up and spit out a lesser person. Ron Rivera went from idiot to genius in a couple of years. Gettleman had a lot to do with that.

  • Hopwin

    Our crappy offense is practicing against our abysmal defense. I bet you could run any play in practice against them and look utterly brilliant.

  • Pat Leonard

    Here’s hoping Marcell Dareus finds himself with an explosive case of diarrhea prior to the game on Sunday.

  • JM85

    Don’t worry about the parade guy. Rizzo will take care of him. And uh oh is progress from oh no!

  • Skulb

    Yes I guess you’re right. He does remind me quite a bit of Kirk Cousins though, who also had some of the same problems early on. Some might argue that he still does on occasion. But like Kirk did from his first game, Brian has impressed me many times, most recently before he broke his arm in Chicago. But he was also very competent at times for Houston last year, until his disastrous WC game. And competent definitely > the garbage the Browns have suffered this season.
    But when you look at his good moments you have to wonder what some patience might have done in Cleveland. Some teams have very short hooks with their QBs, and it doesn’t exactly scream job security to anyone. Back to Cousins, few would have protested if he had been benched or even cut before last year’s Tampa game. He had been playing poorly and was interception prone, like his many critics had said before the season. But that second half turned out to be his signature moment, and the largest comeback win in Skins history.

    I’d have given Hoyer more time if I had any say. It can’t hurt and the alternative to mediocre is often worse, as I’m sure many here might agree with after the last two seasons.

  • Sam Gold

    Very well said. Hopefully giving a coaching staff more than one or two years will make them a little more patient with the QB. Except for RG3, he can go right now. And I think I’d pull the reigns back a bit on Hue the QB evaluator and maybe Hue the OC.

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