The Browns and the Panthers are the only teams in the NFL to be leading at half time of every game this season. The Panthers had a bye week 4, leaving the Browns as the only team in the league to lead in all six weeks at the end of the first half.
In those first halves the Browns have outscored their opponents on average 13 to 7. The Browns average of 13 first half points ranks them 10th in the league, ahead of New England, Seattle, and Kansas City.
Contrary to their first half success, the Browns rank 26th in the league in first quarter points, scoring only an average of 2.8 points in the opening quarter. It’s the second period where the Browns offense gets clicking. In the second quarter the Browns offense ranks third in the league behind Detroit and Denver with 10.2 points per second quarter.
Despite the offense coming into rhythm in the second frame, it drastically slows down coming out of half time. The Browns are 31st in the league in second half points, and 24th in the league in points against in the second half.
This past week both coordinators Norv Turner and Ray Horton downplayed the need for halftime adjustments for the team to succeed.
“In the second half, we did not do a good job converting third downs, particularly early,” said offensive coordinator Norv Turner. “We had two three-and-outs in the third quarter and they were able to keep the ball a long time. So people want to talk about halftime adjustments, you go into the second half, and all those things. We had limited plays in the third quarter. It wasn’t about adjustments, to me, it was about converting third downs.”
Ray Horton also chimed in with his response to the Lions’ second half adjustment of isolating linebacker Craig Robinson one on one with Reggie Bush.
“I heard a story about Detroit said they made a great halftime adjustment,” Horton said. “I guarantee you the last thing I told our guys was ‘empty.’ They hadn’t run any, and they’d run it all year long. So we were ready for empty. They threw, I want to say, four empty passes, and one of them was basically successful. One play hurt us.”
The Browns face a Packer’s team on Sunday that gives up the second most points in the league in the second half at 16.6 per game. Additionally the Pack rank fifth in second half points scored, averaging 14.2 a game.