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.

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