Overall, I did see the potential that the Browns are developing to become a good team.
Hello Browns Fans!
I was at the game this Sunday and, when it was over, everyone was so happy about the win that no one wanted to go home. It was a great feeling! I could handle a whole lot more of that! I know you could too!
A lot of young players stepped up and played better. Still the team had some self-inflicted penalties, but have improved in a lot of areas.
Let’s review: Cincinnati came in the game being the first team to face that secondary with Joe Haden back. You know, while he was suspended, he was not permitted to interact with the other players. I don’t know if it’s me, but I swear the DB’s became very aggressive when the football was in the air. I expected Cincinnati to test Haden and they did. He was a lot sharper than they thought.
Pass defense: Rush-pass defense … B+
QB: I like Weeden, but sometimes his release of the ball is too slow, allowing the defensive players to time his release and bat the ball down. His play actions can improve especially when he fakes the opposite way with a bootleg. Overall, I grade them B+
Running Backs: Trent Richardson got dinged up early in the game with bruised ribs (not to be too concerned. I had my best game with three cracked ribs). And, the Browns backup backs stepped up big; in particular Montario Hardesty, who had 56 yards rushing and one touchdown and made the defense still respect the run … grade B+
Receivers: Main core of receivers caught the ball well. I’m still concerned about receivers shortening their routes and although we had two dropped catches that stalled drives (Owens Marecic) overall the receivers played well. Props to my young homeboy Josh Gordon! Also great gains by Watson, Greg Little, and newly joined from the practice squad to the team, Josh Cooper! You can see the chemistry between Weeden and Cooper. Receivers … grade- B
Special Teams: Greatly improved. Little more consistency on kicks and punts (40+ yards). Better coverage on kicks and punts. Great returns on punt. Field position was critical in the game and special teams provided us with great field position. Starting to see Cribbs get his chemistry on his returns. Phil Dawson – I don’t have to say anything else, just what you expected! Special teams … grade B+
Offensive Line: played better and, when they gave Weeden extra time, we had one of our biggest plays. Offensive line grade B–
Defensive line and linebackers: played big today, quarterback sack, defensive run, and turnovers. Defense made the play that probably won the game! … Grade A-
New category: Coaching. I had a concern after watching the coaching not work on managing the clock late in the game, especially when we are less than seven points up on our opponent. However, we were 10 points up in possession of the ball with less than 5 minutes left in the game. You have to work on the clock. You have to work on making your opponent spend their time outs! We didn’t do that! We threw on 3rd down and gave Cincinnati the ball back with less than 25 seconds gone off of the clock. You can’t give veteran quarterbacks the ball back with all their time outs and needing only two possessions of the ball. That decision almost cost us the game. Our defense bailed us out. We did this last year against the Steelers and it did cost us that game. If you remember, Cincinnati was driving the ball in our territory in the red zone (20 yard line) when the defense sacked the quarterback and caused the fumble and the Browns got the ball back! That was the play that won the game!
Third and one, Richardson is out of the game. First down is critical. Quarterback sneak is the play that should have been called. We opt to pass instead and had to kick the ball back to the Bengals. It would have been a great opportunity to get a field goal if we had gotten a first down. Next possession, same situation came up and a time out was called then we did call a quarterback sneak. We kept the drive alive and took some more time off the clock. Remember, the clock is the Bengals’ enemy not ours. So while I was about to grade the coaches pretty good, those concerns caused me to grade them a C+
Overall, I did see the potential that the Browns are developing to become a good team. They must cherish the feeling of victory and play well enough next Sunday to experience that feeling again!