Browns

We’re Not Detroit! Week 10 Winners and Losers

DeShone Kizer Browns Lions
ClevelandBrowns.com

The NFL, in a year of incredible parity, now has one winless team: Your Cleveland Football Browns. Given that the San Francisco 49ers were losing the strength of schedule tie breaker when both teams were tied, this means all of those folks who refer to the Browns as “we” when discussing the need for better draft positions1 can rest assured that even if the Browns were to miraculously win a game in the next seven weeks, they would still get to draft first overall this coming spring.

The thought that wins can be a bad thing will always baffle me, but the good news is this no longer has to be discussed.

Could the Los Angeles Chargers come to the rescue once again? There’s hilarious, and then there’s the potential for the same team to be the only one to lose to the Browns twice in a two-year stretch. We’ll cross this bridge when we come to it, but the Chicago Bears look pretty bad as well, and they’re sitting there at Week 16. The suspense!

WINNER: DeShone Kizer

In what was easily Kizer’s most complete game as a professional, the rookie put together drives, delivered over-the-shoulder passes down the sideline, and extended plays with his legs. It was the sort of game—final score notwithstanding—that Browns fans have been waiting for. His team’s passing-game turnover was a fumble by a tight end. Before the end of the first half, Kizer looked like a man who was not going to let his team go into halftime down (more on this later). Knocked out of the game for two series2 as the team examined him for broken ribs, Kizer came back with one hell of a fourth-quarter drive, one which included three (THREE) fourth-down conversions. Before the injury, Kizer completed 15-of-24 attempts for 178 yards with one TD and no INTs for a 99.0 rating. Strip out the four dropped passes3 and Kizer completed 64 percent of his passes for 232 yards. He added seven runs for 57 yards, taking contact when needed, but sliding into safety like a veteran. Given the weapons Kizer has to work with, it was a heck of a performance…

LOSER: DeShone Kizer

…outside of this game-tilting play. As it unfolded, Twitter immediately skewered Hue Jackson, but Twitter (you won’t believe this…) appears to be way freaking wrong. The play appears to have come in as a play-action pass to a streaking Seth Devalve. Watch the top of the formation as No. 87 drags across the end zone. If this was supposed to be a sneak or a run play (with no timeouts remaining) Devalve would have been blocking the right edge and not running a shallow cross while looking back for the ball. Watch, also, as Kenny Britt puts his hands in the “what the hell was that?” position.

Neither Kizer nor head coach Hue Jackson would get into the play4, but it went from one that should have, at the very least, resulted in three points after the Lions called a completely unnecessary timeout before the Browns set up to spike the ball. The end result was one of the worst plays in the entire NFL for Week 10, and it appears to have been an audible by the rookie quarterback. Jackson and Duke Johnson Jr. had every right to be pissed about what transpired.

WINNER: Hue Jackson

He ran the ball in the second half despite being down. He gave Duke Johnson 16 touches. He kept his quarterback in the game for all four quarters!

“I saw a guy who was competing and playing quarterback,” Jackson said after the game. “He was firing up the offense, the defense and the special teams. The lessons and conversations that we’ve had, they’re catching on. I saw a better version of him today. I see a guy who’s starting to get it, and that’s huge. There’s a method to my madness. He’s getting there. That’s what I look for. That’s all you can ask for, and I’m seeing the results of his work.”

LOSER: Hue Jackson

It comes down to two number: 1 and 24. The Browns are now tied with the Lions for the worst 46-game stretch in NFL history at 4-42, a streak that’s bound to be broken in Week 11 as the Jacksonville Jaguars are more than a touchdown favorite.

The clock management at the end of the first half was atrocious. Having Cody Kessler above Kevin Hogan on the depth chart (only for him to come in and produce a QBR of 0.2) is ridiculous. Hogan’s “ribs” were fine weeks ago. Put him at No. 2. Also: Losing Jamie Collins to a knee injury may be a huge blow.

WINNERS: Emmanuel Ogbah and Trevon Coley

Emmanuel Ogbah is quietly having himself one hell of a sophomore campaign. He may not be the pass-rushing extraordinaire Cleveland fans thought they were getting a season ago, but he’s proving to be one of the more versatile players on the defensive side of the ball. Of his 433 snaps this season, Ogbah has lined up as an edge rusher 275 times. The other 158 times have featured him on the inside of the front seven in some capacity, be it as a hand-down end in a 4-3 (111 snaps) or interior lineman/linebacker (47). During Week 10, Ogbah had a similar split between left edge and left end/tackle, and played extremely well, recording three tackles (all for a loss) and two sacks. He’s tied for the team-lead in sacks (4) after leading the team last season.

Coley, conversely, has been exclusively played as an interior lineman and continues to be one of the team’s biggest surprises when you consider he was on the outside looking in before balling out during the preseason. Against the run, Coley had two solo stops. Against the pass, he had two pressures on Matt Stafford and recorded two batted balls at the line of scrimmage. These are the sort of plays that get overlooked when a team loses a game by 14 points.

LOSERS: Myles Garrett and Jamie Meder

Garrett had three hurries and looked as if he was going to be disruptive throughout the game, but disappeared against the run and his offside penalty late in the game was brutal as it eventually led to a Lions touchdown. When you’re down seven and its 3rd-and-11, you simply need to have the discipline to not have a bone-headed penalty—more so when the guy on the other side of the ball is Matt Stafford.

Meder gets mentioned here as he’s going to be the poster child for Gregg Williams’ decision to swap out the entire defensive line, only to have it absolutely gouged in the run game. In the first quarter alone, with the Browns up 10, Williams went with Carl Nassib, Meder, and Nate Orchard. The Lions countered with four straight runs, totaling 47 yards. The Browns’ defense as a whole has been solid against the run, but the Lions clearly saw something with the second unit that allowed them to be exposed at the highest level.

WINNERS: Isaiah Crowell and Duke Johnson Jr.

The Browns tallied more than 200 yards on the ground in this one, much of which came in the second half. Here’s PFF on their successes:

The Browns worked their way into this game on the ground with the three headed monster of Crowell, Duke Johnson and DeShone Kizer racking up a 200-yard game on the ground. Crowell led the way with 90 yards, 59 of them after first contact, three missed tackles forced and a touchdown run outrunning the Lions’ contain inside the 10-yard line. This marked the the second-straight week for Crowell topping 5.0 yards per carry, 3.0 yards per carry after contact, multiple missed tackles forced and a touchdown. Browns fans will hope Crowell and the running game are rounding back to 2016 form.

In addition to his 10 carries for 54 yards on the ground, Johnson Jr. added six catches (six targets) for 34 yards through the air. It was the type of usage and balance and play calling fans have been clamoring for all season.

LOSER: Derrick Kindred

Check out the defensive back in the top right-hand corner of the clip below. What follows is a running back draw that runs effectively right in the direction of said defensive back, but said defensive back stands still as if his shoes are stapled to the turf at Ford Field. It’s not until the play comes to an end where said defensive back considers moving, only to avoid the pile of humanity that is laying at his feet, having collectively crossed the goal line. Inexcusable.

WINNER: Kenny Britt

Kenny Britt not only caught a pass, but he forced a defender to miss and crossed the goal line. With one play, Dwayne Bowe cements himself as the worst free agent receiver signed by the Browns. Fans can only hope this is a launching point of sorts for Britt. The team needs everything they can get.

LOSER: Ricardo Louis

On the Browns’ final play of the game, Louis is supposed to run a fade route to the corner, only to completely give up on the play. He looked more like Jamar Taylor than a receiver and was reportedly chewed out by Kizer following the play. In Louis’ defense, an NFL team should have a better option as a game-saving target in the red zone, but that level of effort at that point in the game is enough to be left at the team hotel.

And now, the fans…


  1. These folks also litter my Twitter mentions when discussing contracts offered to Terrelle Pryor as if they were in the room as a part of the front office. []
  2. As the game was tied at 24, by the way… []
  3. David Njoku…Yeesh. []
  4. Though Jackson said he’ll “take the fall” for everyhing… []

  • BenRM

    If more of the Browns games looked like this one, I think fewer of our heads would be exploding. As noted above, there were plenty of bad, Browns-y moments. But there were enough “hey! that’s progress!” moments to make it bearable.

    We all knew this was going to be a bad season, we just didn’t think it’d be as bad as it has been. But if the final 7 games look like this (and to a lesser degree, parts of the Vikings game), I think we will all be just a bit more forgiving…maybe, just a little.

  • tigersbrowns2

    Hi BEN … good post

  • tigersbrowns2

    The Browns should be using Njoku more when they’re in the red zone … at this time , this is your superior athlete to throw to … throw it to him !

  • RGB

    WINNER: #1 over all pick. Thank you SF. And the process.
    LOSER: Njoku. Please, PLEASE, make just one contested catch. I’ve haven’t counted, but has he met my pre-season projection of 10 drops?
    LOSER: Williams. While your insistence on playing your DBs deep on Every. Single. Play. may indeed stop the 60 yard bombs, it allows opposing offenses to gain 15 yards on Every. Single. Play. in that gigantic gap between the LBs and DBs.

  • BenRM

    I can be team sunnyside when there are things to actually be sunny about!

  • RGB

    As long as they’re not fade routes.

  • MartyDaVille

    LOSER: THE NERDS
    The Plan might be great in theory, but the execution stinks. Unless, of course, The Plan actually calls for 1-24, in which case The Plan stinks. Either way, this is not just an embarrassing situation, it’s disgraceful. Amateur Hour in Berea. They have FUBARed this, and if they don’t hit a grand slam this off-season, they need to have their desks and staplers moved downstairs into Storage B and be replaced with someone who has a clue.

    LOSER: THE FADE
    I hate the fade. I’ve always hated the fade. It’s a waste of a down with a small margin for error and a low chance of success, no matter who runs it, including Brady and Gronk. It’s idiotic to think that Browns rookies can pull it off. Stupid play-calling.

    LOSER: TABOR AND HUE
    The Browns kick off from midfield and blast the ball into the end zone, so the Lions get it on the 25. A complete waste of penalty yardage. The Lions, on the other hand, kick off from the 50, pop it up, force the Browns to return it, and tackle Peppers at the 15. Smart play. The coaching on this team stinks.

    LOSER: CODY KESSLER
    Jeez oh man, Whatshisname was wide open!!!

    LOSER: RICARDO LOUIS
    Not his finest hour.

  • Skulb

    Doesn’t have the speed he needs in the middle and has to choose: give up huge bomb or get shredded intermediate.

  • BenRM

    Dude…how bad did Kessler look?
    Also, yes. Special teams are total crap.

  • RGB

    The Teflon Goldfish will never be fired.

  • WFNY_DP

    “His team’s passing-game turnover was a fumble by a tight end.”

    Erm, if you don’t count the end zone INT that removed any sliver of hope at the end. And that throw was BAD.

  • RGB

    So, let’s support our CBs with a run-supporting SS.
    What could go wrong?

  • WFNY_DP

    I would argue that Ogbah, Shelton, and Garrett have shown enough ability to get to the QB that teams aren’t going to habitually have the time to beat us deep. But, if you ALWAYS give up a seven-yard safety valve in the middle, no amount of pass rush is going to help.

  • “WINNER: #1 over all pick. Thank you SF. And the process.”

    Don’t pat yourself on the back yet. I think the fun had just begun.

  • Saggy

    He can’t catch the ball. Guy is really just a rocket with cement blocks attached where there should be hands.

  • Skulb

    Yes. But that’s why you need speed at ILB. If you’re slow there you will always be susceptible to tight ends and in general to plays over the middle. Defense is like an organism; if one part fails it all looks like trash. And this particular weakness of lacking speed in the center of the defense is one of the most common ones in the NFL. Large men who can run very fast are rare apparently. And that is what you need. Look at Zach Brown in Washington. That’s the guy you need, or someone like him. When this guy isn’t there you have to do so much with positioning and angles at ILB and SS at such a high level that it is bound to break down occasionally.

  • Harv

    Winner: Entertainment! Watchable game, baby. Not great or even competent football but DeShone is mobile and throws a pretty ball. I remembered that when Kessler came in.

    Winner: Effort. They played fairly hard much of the time. So there’s that.

    Loser: False positives. If an opponent is coming home off a huge Monday night win and playing the league’s most pathetic team, when will the hangover show up? I would say most likely: 1) at the start of the game; 2) at the start of the second half when they have a lead; 3) At game’s end if they have a big lead. The Lions were tired and flat at the start of both halfs, which helped the Browns offense immensely. When the juices got flowing things changed considerably, so let’s keep that in mind.

    Loser: DeValve. The boy can run and the boy can catch. But Mr. Ivy League doesn’t have a great football IQ or hasn’t been coached up so well. Another week, another killer penalty due to bad technique kills a drive at the worst time. And that fumble pretty much ended the upset bid.

    Loser: setting the edge, by everyone, from young ‘uns to veterans.

    Teams like this generally will lose a game they should win and win one they should lose. Detroit’s hangover had the Browns set up for the upset, even with the talent disparity. But the coaching – manifested in decisions directly from the staff, and penalties, technique issues and lack of awareness/lack of discipline by players – give opponents unlimited chances to take the game back. The next 3 games are the sweet spot for that win, when opponents view them with contempt. By December, though, no opponent wants the scarlet L from the Browns and it’s parade time, baby.

  • WFNY_DP

    I think the two things go hand in hand, but I don’t see how leaving gaping holes in the middle covers for a lack of speed. I’d rather have a slow ILB or SS (and Peppers, if he was ever going to play there, is NOT slow) at least making the QB/TE work for it. Our D-line has made enough progress that it’s time to start trusting that they can provide enough rush to, err, cover for the DBs and LBs.

  • RGB

    No speed at the ILB can be helped with a speedy SS who spent his college career supporting the run.
    Boy, if we only had a player like that on our team…

  • mgbode

    I only need a 5-2 finish to the season. Hue & Sashi would be basking in the afterglow should it come to pass.

  • RGB

    Mike McCray gave Peppers plenty of practice supporting a plodding ILB…

  • CBiscuit

    If that would happen, Berea would turn into a den of celebratory decedence, the likes Caligula has never seen.

  • RGB

    Unless Bortles learns how to play QB, I think the upcoming Jax game is ripe for throwing a monkey wrench into the process, errrr, I mean winning.

  • CBiscuit

    In hindsight, I should not have bet the kids’ college funds:( But at the same time, the world needs ditch diggers too…

  • I think it would’ve at least been an incomplete pass if Louis ran to the spot. I’d argue the ball was perfectly placed. The WR just wasn’t there.

  • “The boy can run and the boy can catch. But Mr. Ivy League doesn’t have a great football IQ…”
    He also stayed in bounds for some reason as the team was trying to score late in the fourth. Caught a perfect first down pass, but for whatever reason, decided to stay in bounds.

  • mddawg

    Watched the game from the second quarter onwards, here goes:
    Winners: Deshone Kizer-excluding the goal line brain cramp, he played superbly. He made so many throws with excellent ball placement and on a rope with touch. I can’t recall any QB since the return making some of those throws I saw yesterday. At least there’s hope on the QB front if he can follow this up with other similar performances this year.
    Duke and Crowell-great running performances.
    NFL Sunday Ticket streaming-for relieving me of Browns Red Zone anxiety, for some reason the score bar at the top of the screen was ahead of the actual stream so I was apprised of the score before the play. Great for the beginning of the second half but not afterwards.
    Losers-Hue, Special teams, Njoku, Jamie Collins-after making the interception, injures his knee (which impacts the defense) and is probably out for a few weeks. Terrible season from an availability standpoint, hope he makes a speedy recovery.

    Trap game or not, I wasn’t expecting the Browns to win but I really enjoyed it and hopeful for the rest of the season when fans start griping about us winning games and losing the 2018 No 1 pick.

  • Harv

    yeah, there was something else he did I couldn’t remember – I think that was it. A receiver lining up in the wrong place forced Kizer to waste a crucial time out but that was Coates.

  • BenRM

    We do! His name is Julian Salt…no that’s not right…

  • BenRM

    I hope there is a 30 for 30 on this guy some day. I want to know how he remains so untouchable. Who does he have pictures of?

  • tigersbrowns2

    hi Scott … i’d argue that the DB had the back of the end zone covered right out of the gate … i thought the announcer got it right , it should’ve been a back shoulder throw.

  • Harv

    and a bonus LOSER: training camp red zone reps to Osweiller. There was no serious intention for him to be executing those with this team. For exponents of “The Plan” (as if there’s been a single, agreed upon and immutable one since January of ’16) explain how giving those finite reps to Osweiler make any sense when Kessler had clearly regressed and they knew Kizer would be playing. It’s as if they were writing a book called “How Not to Develop a Young Player.”

  • mddawg

    Except he failed to keep his feet inbounds when the ball was thrown to him in that situation. In his defense, he’s a rookie and most tight ends take 3 years to develop.

  • Saggy

    So, basically, you need Barkevious Mingo. Except bigger. And better. Too bad they didn’t draft him.

  • Saggy
  • Saggy

    But you have to think that they just had a bye week, which gave Kizer enough time to get 5,000 red-zone reps if he wanted to. So I’m not sold on the camp Reps-to-Oz being such a big deal in this game.

  • mgbode

    I think those reps to Os were brilliant and needed. Brock is now the starting QB of the Broncos who sit one spot ahead of the Texans in the NFL Draft. As we hold the Texans pick, we need the Broncos to win a game!

  • RGB

    Maybe I should add a “Teams we want to win” section to my weekly Browns Draft Status post.

  • mgbode

    Yes, please.

  • RGB

    Minka looked good Saturday.
    So did Ridley.

  • mgbode

    Jake, Joe, and I have an article coming out tomorrow and you’ll enjoy where we all have Ridley on it.

  • RGB

    There’s a DB on UGA by the name of J.R. Reed. He’s a redshirt sophomore, so he probably won’t come out, but add him to your list of kids to watch.
    His dad is Jake Reed.

  • Harv

    respectfully disagree. Think whether a 21 year old QB gets the intense repetitions and attention available only in camp and preseason has an impact all year. Even if the CBA permitted and the coaches had excess time in the bye, his development was delayed. The point is: it made no sense to give live reps to Osweiller and Kessler while Kizer pantomimed the moves, alone, post practice.

  • tigersbrowns2

    hi MD … Collins is out for the rest of the season with an MCL injury.

  • tigersbrowns2

    hi HARV … or that sneaky FO of ours was trying to prop-up Osweiler as legitimate trade bait ??

  • Harv

    and as a cost/benefit analysis, how did that work out for Sashi – our latest smartest-man-in-the-room? Let those other suckers, those neanderthal dummies, bring in experienced guys and let their rookie QBs go slow. Watch us get some more assets and keep our rookie QB from getting training camp reps … and then start him against ferocious defenses! And then: yank him, start him, yank him, start him … I’m digging the “plan,” Tiges. Hazing is the best way to create The Man.

  • tsm

    Now that is thinking ahead – HBT at the highest level!

  • tsm

    My beef with them is that they didn’t keep McCown and have him teach Kizer how to play the position. McCown starting until the bye week might have let us see a different Kizer now. Oh well, the HBT knows more than all of us peons.

  • tigersbrowns2

    of course , i was kidding … i posted this in an earlier thread today : Hue benched Kizer for the week 6 game against the Texans & then benched him early in the 3rd quarter of the week 7 game against the Titans after throwing his 2nd INT of the game … since that time , Kizer had zero turnovers against the Vikings & didn’t have one yesterday until the Browns last offensive play … i will still say Kizer will be better the rest of this year & the long run for Hue’s tough love & instead of coddling him like a little baby.

  • scripty

    Here’s the thing, there’s a lot of people who did not think it would be this bad and their obliviousness has fueled even more negativity, sadly.