In my previous article about the Browns win on Saturday, I was very upbeat and happy because they had a winning record for the first time in six years.
Three Things I Hated
- Goal Line Defense: The Browns struggled in many ways defensively on Sunday. However, they were especially vulnerable in the red zone. Dontrelle Inman had two touchdown catches inside the red zone. Both of the touchdowns were defended pretty horribly. The first one he beat all-pro corner Denzel Ward to the inside, and the safety help came too late. Ward, should not have gotten beat to the inside in the first place, but in the red zone that can happen, and a corner usually knows if he has safety help or not, and it seemed like Ward first, didn’t keep Inman from the inside, and second, he didn’t try to rip at the ball or break up the pass. Ward is a concern overall as he sat out a lot of the second half because he re-aggravated a groin injury. Head coach Kevin Stefanski said in his post-game presser that the team wasn’t too worried about Ward’s injury. Hopefully that means Ward will cover Amari Cooper all over the field next week. With that being said, Ward needs to step up and improve his game if he has any chance of locking down the Cowboys and Cooper Dontrelle Inman First Touchdown
- Jedrick Wills Jr.: The Browns first pick in the draft looked solid through the first two games. However, this week was a completely different story. Wills Jr. was lucky to not have to face 2nd overall pick Chase Young, as he went down with an injury early. Young was hurt so Wills Jr. got the chance to prove his worth versus Montez Sweat, who is also a great defensive end for the Washington Football team. Wills Jr. was at the mercy of Sweat all game. Before the game, in his presser on Thursday, he stated that their defense relies on their defensive line. Well maybe he should have listened to himself, because he was all over the place on Sunday. Wills Jr. is just a rookie playing the toughest position other than quarterback on a football field. Wills Jr. got beat inside too many times, and he forced Baker to scramble out of the pocket. Baker is good at throwing on the run, but to be successful he needs to have a clean pocket to step up in or else accuracy fades. I’ll let this one slide for the rookie out of Tuscaloosa, but he needs to step up his game if he is the make a difference for this football team.
- Injuries All Over: Boy oh boy, I know injuries happen to every team and you have to be tough enough to embrace the next man up culture. Second-year corner Greedy Williams did not play on Sunday, along with linebacker Mack Wilson. Both of those players practiced this week so I’m not really sure why they didn’t at least test it out? I really don’t know. On top of both of those guys, Denzel Ward aggravated a previous injury and was out most of the second half. Remember Ward was the number four pick in the draft. Right now I would say he is always hampered by injuries. I’ve also said all along he needs to bulk up, which it doesnt seem he has done. Kevin Johnson came in at corner for Ward in the second half and looked decent. Is it the end of the world if Ward misses a couple of games? Well, no, but it certainly doesn’t help.
Three Things I Liked:
- Kareem Hunt and Nick Chubb: This one was pretty obvious am I right? I give a lot of credit to first-year head coach Kevin Stefanski for sticking to his game-plan even though there were some times that the run game wasn’t working all that well. However the run game is how the Browns won this game. By running the ball they controlled the clock, and kept their defense rested throughout the day. The post game totals for Hunt and Chubb were very easy on the eyes. Chubb rushed 19-times for 108-yards and two touchdowns. Hunt wasn’t as dominant in the ground game, rushing the ball 16-times for only 46-yards. However, Hunt caught two balls out of the backfield, one being a touchdown on an important Browns drive. Baker Mayfield motioned Hunt to the outside and he noticed a linebacker was matched up with him. There was also a safety and corner on the same side, but Odell Beckham Jr. was in the slot and drew a double team from them. That’s the true impact of a guy like OBJ. Mayfield noticed the mismatch and the double team so he hit Hunt right on the numbers and Hunt plowed into the end zone, breaking two tackles on his way to the end zone. If these two backs continue to be the heartbeat of the team, then I think the Browns are in pretty good shape.
- Takeaways: First let me say this, Baker didn’t throw any interceptions, and that is a big deal. On the defensive side of the ball, the Browns made Dwayne Haskins Jr.’s day a nightmare. Cleveland got interceptions from Karl Joseph, Malcolm Smith, and B.J. Goodson. Joseph almost lost the interception because he fumbled on the return, but the Browns bounced on that loose ball as well. The fact that two linebackers both had interceptions this week, is quite the accomplishment. Before the game people were ripping the Browns defense, and especially the backers, who people said were just backups and horrible in pass coverage. Well take this you haters. Goodson also recovered a fumble just before halftime. Then, superster Myles Garrett decided he was done playing the Washington Football Team. Garrett went right around Moses from Washington to sack Haskins Jr. who also fumbled on the hit. Guess who recovered the fumble? Yes Myles Garrett himself called GAME.
- Browns Fans: Not many people understand the life of a Cleveland Browns fan. Ever since I was born I either cheered for a bad football team, or didn’t have a football team to root for (Browns move to Baltimore). Us fans have stayed loyal and I think that means a lot to the players. Over time some younger football fans were put-off by the Browns because they were so bad. There is an entire generation of people who have been put off by the Browns, but for those of us who stayed loyal, Sunday was a long time coming. The Browns and its fans have endured quarterback after quarterback failures. Hell, we even experienced the worst football season in NFL history when our Browns went 0-16. It’s time, it’s our time now. Sports can do amazing things that no one can really explain. For years the best player on the team was a kicker. That kicker was Phil Dawson, and he said it right to the fans last year when he retired: “Like I said when I was here and I still believe it to be true, there will be no greater place on the planet to be when the Lombardi Trophy goes down Euclid Avenue, and you can bet your last dollar that I’ll be there to celebrate with everyone.” Not to get ahead of myself, but a Browns Super Bowl Parade would be something of legends.
*I’ll try and get an article out every day regarding the Browns game versus the Cowboys next weekend. Usually tomorrow is when players talk to the media, along with Thursday. I’m actually vulnerable by believing in this team that will most likely let me down. Either way, Go Browns.
Follow Me on Twitter: @BrownlojCLE
/ 9 hours ago
Ah! The legendary days of former Cleveland Browns head coach Hue Jackson are funny...