Revenge City: Cleveland Browns Week 13 Winners and Losers

Austin Ekeler Browns Chargers

Seemingly allergic to the red zone, the Browns managed to score a touchdown in just 40.62 percent of trips inside of the 20-yard line heading into Sunday’s game. Over three games prior to Sunday, this percentage is hovering below 17 percent. To put this in comparison, the Eagles lead the league at 68 percent. Believe it or not, the Brows are just below the middle of the pack in red zone attempts. The rub, of course, is once they get there, they can’t do anything about it. When you include field goals into the mix, the Browns are dead last in the NFL with just 3.2 points per trip to the red zone. In an area of the field where three points should be your floor, the Browns are right there, laying listlessly while the rest of the league capitalizes.

Conversely, when on the defensive side, the Browns are allowing a league-worst 5.87 points per red zone trip, meaning they have a differential of nearly a field goal per trip. If you assume three red zone trips per team, per game, the Browns have dug themselves an 16-point hole every Sunday on red zone appearances alone. There’s a lack of talent, and then there’s a lack of execution. The Browns are getting the trips; they’re just collapsing on themselves when they get there. It’s impressively bad.

Your 2017 Cleveland Browns: Impressively bad.

LOSER: DeShone Kizer

Of the 33 quarterbacks to throw more than one pass on Sunday, DeShone Kizer was 33rd in adjusted completion percentage. Buffalo’s Nathan Peterman, who was benched a few weeks back after throwing five interceptions in one half, had a higher completion rate once taking out things like throwaways and spikes. The Chargers blitzed Kizer 13 times, sacking him three times, and allowing just one completion on nine attempts. His passer rating under duress: 0.0.

This one was worse than the Week 11 abomination. In the event you missed it, here’s a compilation of errant passes thrown in the direction of Josh Gordon.

LOSER: Hue Jackson

His leading rusher was his quarterback. His receivers run nothing but flare routes. His team has won just four games since Thanksgiving of 2014 (though he’s only coached for a little less than two of those seasons) and are showing extremely little signs of tangible growth.

If his seat were any hotter, it’d be Kendall Jenner.

WINNER: Josh Gordon

It’s hard to not wonder “what if?” with this kid, but man… He took to the field for the first time in nearly three years only to go on to become just the second player this season to get to 85 yards on the Chargers’ secondary this season. Eleven targets in total. Seven were hauled in, but at least two more would have been six points if not for wayward throws by Kizer. It’s tough to count on Gordon going forward, but in this vacuum where we are grading game by game, this kid is an athletic freak and manifested his talents in a value-adding way for the Browns.

LOSER: Corey Coleman

Your first-round draft selection, taken with the pick that was acquired in dealing the rights to drafting Carson Wentz, went catchless on Sunday afternoon. Four targets. Zero receptions. Kenny Britt caught two balls. Hell, San Diego safety Adrian Phillips even caught one. While Gordon led the way in targets, it was Coleman who drew the easier assignment with Casey Hayward shadowing No. 12. It’s unacceptable.

WINNER: David Njoku

David Njoku has certainly had his ups and downs this season, but watching him run a seam route and have the awareness to leap into the end zone as he’s being tackled are the kind of plays that make you salivate for the kid’s future. The rookie tight end hauled in four of his six targets for 74 yards and his (team-leading) fourth touchdown reception of the season. While Njoku’s season stats (28 receptions for 330 yards) are essentially one big game from Antonio Brown, it’s also worth mentioning he was born when Bone Thugs’ “Tha Crossroads” was the No. 1 song in the country. Upside. Potential.

LOSER: Duke Johnson Jr.

Offensive MVP of the season, but this past Sunday was not kind to Duke. While Isaiah Crowell was able to get 4.1 yards per carry, Johnson Jr. managed just two yards on the ground over seven carries. Things weren’t much better through the air as one reception went for 11 yards, but the only other one went for a one-yard loss. This is one to forget.

LOSER: Jason McCourty

It was bound to be a rough day for McCourty who drew Keenan Allen in coverage, but man… Out of 64 cornerbacks to play at least half of their respective team’s defensive snaps on Sunday, only Tennessee’s Logan Ryan allowed more yardage per coverage play. McCourty was targeted 10 times and is charged with seven receptions for 94 yards and a touchdown. He was credited with two stops in the run game, but he would have needed about a dozen more to make up for how much he was abused in the defensive backfield.

LOSER: Gregg Williams

Chargers tight end Hunter Henry tallied seven catches on eight targets for 81 yards. Antonio Gates added three catches (on four targets) for 32 yards. And the Browns still can’t defend a screen pass.


    WINNER: Josh Gordon. To miss essentially the better part of FOUR seasons and jump on the field and immediately look like an impact player… my hat’s off to the man in the realm of athletic achievement. He made it look much easier than it is.

    LOSER: Josh Gordon. If he had managed to keep his life in line, he’d have no doubt either priced himself out of a contract here or been sent packing in The Great Purge of ’15-’16. He missed his chance at a ticket off the Titanic.

  • CBiscuit

    Loser: Peppers. The guy sitting behind me was telling us how Jabril was hanging out in the pot shop (LA) and purchasing this weekend. (Disclaimer: allegedly). If you’re goimg to be stupid like Gordon and leave a paper trail…please at least start to perform at a high level so as to properly disappoint us.

    Loser: Ndjoku. Yes he caught that TD but also dropped a couple big ones. He plays a little afraid or lacks that killer instinct. We don’t need him to be Gronk, but seeing drops and alligator arms from our 1st rounder is concerning. drops and alligator arms from our 1st rounder is concerning.

    Winner: draft position. Houston lost too.

    Winner: coziness of 30k seat stadiums. Perhaps we can downsize First Energy?

  • BenRM

    LOSER: ND and USC QBs. They just don’t seem to make it in the NFL anymore.

    Kizer is dangerous in that he gives you just enough to consider sticking with him. I have very little faith he’ll ever put it together. The offseason plans need not involve him.

  • Harv

    put my Joshie comments on the other thread. Too awestruck/devastated to dump him in my usual W/L snark puddle.


    – Better run/pass ratios. Look, at least Hue didn’t totally abandon the run like early in the season. He’s not totally oblivious to valid criticism.

    Losers of varying degrees:

    – Leak But Don’t Break Defense: No forced punts until way into 3rd quarter? No turnovers, again? They’re playing hard but so stupidly they can’t get the ball back. Absence of football instincts, and it’s not all inexperience when Kirksey and Shobert still cannot recognize a screen, ever. If we had a drinking game called “he sniffed that play out” (or for the offense, “wise time management by the Browns”) everyone would stay stone cold sober. They just run mindlessly in one direction, like the old tabletop electric football game. Which
    reminds me …

    – “Skates” Nassib’s double luxe. Yesterday fell flaton his face (as usual) pursuing Rivers, popped up, chased again, and hit Riversas he threw except … that collision knocked NASSIB down again, while Rivers remained upright and completed the big 3rd down pass! Skates is my2017 Care Bear.

    – Corey Coleman. Yesterday the opponent’s best corner and free safety were otherwise occupied. And yet, zero catches, and a crucial red zone holding call so amateurish it would have embarrassed a high school receiver. We Browns fans
    reflexively say “he has talent!” Yeah, he certainly has some. But so did Travis Wilson. And unless we’re talking Gordon-level ability, mere talent doesn’t mean he can produce in the NFL. Production requires learning how to run precise routes, holding onto the ball, helping the QB with field placement when plays break down, avoiding idiocy, playing consistently hard. His health issues don’t adequately explain these deficiencies anymore. The symptoms indicate a young man not working hard enough to learn his craft.

  • mgbode

    I might be a loser but I am now firmly entrenched on the “Browns win 1 game so no one is a winner” bandwagon.

  • Eric G

    Seriously, what a great venue. You won’t get food or drink selections like that at any other stadium.

  • MartyDaVille

    The Chargers entered the game with the statistically worst rush defense in the NFL.

    The Browns have nobody. When you need a grown-ass-man to make a big play, nobody comes through. This team just comes up small.

    You can’t fix an inaccurate passer, you can’t fix passive receivers, and you can’t fix clueless players who don’t know how to line up correctly and who don’t understand the concept of when to run the clock and when to stop the clock.

    At least we’ve been spared the disappointment and angst of Chiefs fans, who were riding so high in October.

    As head coach of the expansion Tampa Bay Bucs, McKay lost his first 26 games before winning the final two games of the 1977 season to finish his first two seasons at 2-26. For a generation, this was the accepted standard for NFL futility.

    Hue is now 1-27. John has popped the cork.

    Haslam, Sashi, Hue, and the entire Browns disorganization have officially assumed their rightful place as the objective standard for NFL cesspoolage.

    Take a bow, Berea.

  • BenRM

    Yeh – Corey’s just not very good. He’s absolutely not 1st round good.

  • Eric G
  • Eric G

    In case you can’t read it: MODELL FAILED CLE DEAN FAILED SD #THANKSNFL

    Dude circled for about 2 hours pre-game

  • MartyDaVille

    Kizer showed much better touch on his over- and underthrows yesterday.

  • tigersbrowns2

    hi MG … i’m thinking this week is our best chance to win a game , we have the Packers at home.

  • BenRM

    True. They were catchable if the receivers were all an extra half foot taller and/or their arms were a foot longer.

  • CBiscuit

    Glad you got to go. Yeah, it was good times. The crowd was a nice blend of apathetic Charger fans (who were nice, friendly hosts) and shockingly (as always to me) a good number of Browns fans. Weather was good and other than the predictably crappy result, which saved me disappointment, good times.

  • RGB

    LOSER: Schobert. That shoulder sideswipe to Rivers’ head was bush league. I’m sure Williams approved.
    WINNER: Brown #1 pick. SF all but concedes the overall #1 by inexplicably beating Da Bears. Thanks guys!
    WINNER: Sashi. Gordon’s trade value is skyrocketing.
    WINNER: The Process. 0-12! More data to analyze. More decisions to evaluate.


    They beat the Bears because THEY HAS GRABAPOLLO. We will also probably inexplicably beat the Bears, and then have another Week 17 game against Pittsburgh’s seconds and thirds and maybe also almost win that, thereby wrecking the entire Plan.

  • Shadow_play

    Packers won yesterday and Browns lay just as bad at home as on the road.

  • RGB

    Ndjoku needs to stop double catching.
    We can’t downsize. We’ll need all those seats when The Process works.


    The Bears and/or the Steelers’ third string will be the Browns’ best bet.

  • mgbode

    We shall see.

  • BenRM

    Apropo of nothing, Ol’ Mitchell Tribs is not looking so hot.

  • Chris

    How about the time out that was called after the sack with 1:41 left in the first half? Chargers would have been fine running out the clock, giving the Browns a halftime lead. Instead, Rivers drives, gets a couple of shots at the endzone, and settles for a go-ahead field goal.

    Did Hue really think his anemic offense could score from their own half of the field with forty-or-so seconds left with no timeouts? Even in that situation, giving up points was more likely than scoring them.

    Oh, that’s right…. Process

  • Chris

    Ugh… we’ve already been over this CBisc. Peppers doesn’t smoke weed. He was in the pot shop buying 8-10 bottles of water.

  • Chris

    Or thrown half a twain closer

  • Chris

    Winner: CLE+14 (or whatever the hell it was). Well done boys.

    Loser: Perhaps more embarrasing than his 1-27 record, Huge Action is just 6-21-1 against the spread over that time

  • Shadow_play

    Agree with the Bears, but even third String Steelers will play hard and are better coached and probably more-talented than the Browns.

  • tigersbrowns2

    Joe Schobert … interesting fella. not sure if he’s a winner or a loser half the time … the guy is all over the field & is 2nd in the NFL in tackles … and yet I’m not sure he can hang with anyone in the pass game as he’s constantly getting burned.

    and this might be the one guy from our team that makes the Pro Bowl.

  • Harv

    rooting for the kid because his effort is off the charts. But number of tackles does not equate to impact player (see Jackson, D’Qwell, perennially up there among league leaders). In a 4-3 he’s free to run and supposed to be making tackles – but many are already after decent gains. Just don’t see him sniff a play out and blow it up, and looks totally fooled by any screens. He’s out of position a lot, especially in the passing game. He’s been a rare ok Sashi pick, but QBs aren’t changing plays at the line because they see Mean Joe Shobert.

  • tigersbrowns2

    Hi HARV … “Mean Joe Schobert” , i like it.

  • paulbip

    Hey WOOF….The Browns mascot is an elf and not a dog.

  • jpftribe

    Further supporting my theory that player evaluation is the problem for the Browns at WR.

  • paulbip

    The book on Ndjoku out of college was can’t catch and won’t block.

  • paulbip

    Just what has Kizer given? I called him an Anderson clone in training camp.

  • JM85

    The Packers almost beat a healthy Steelers last week. It won’t be Green Bay.

  • JM85

    Winner- Gordon. He was great yesterday and I hope he really has turned his life around.

    Winner- us. Only 4 more of these.

  • Dave

    Winner: The “perfect season” parade organizers.

  • Petefranklin

    Loser: Schobert for fumbling away two fumbles that he got his hands on.

  • Petefranklin

    Clowns plus three and a half this week, don’t let your bookies snickering throw you off the scent.

  • Petefranklin

    I guess I should say hold your nose when making this bet.

  • Chris

    Throw the points.

  • tigersbrowns2

    hi JM … i still think we beat the Packers at home.

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