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Analyzing the Game: Hardly Prepared

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The loss against the Broncos this past Sunday was simply unacceptable. The fans called for Maurice Carthon to be fired during the bye week, but Romeo Crennel decided to keep him on. Although our hopes were not very high, we felt that with two weeks to prepare for Denver's defense and figuring out which plays are most effective, then maybe Carthon could buy himself some time. Instead, the offense took a step back, prompting to Carthon basically being forced to "resign" as they call it. The weaknesses outweighed the positives once again, but now that Carthon has been fired already, I will not be "dissecting" his decisions as much as I usually do in my game breakdowns.

Weak Points(Why Lost The Game)

  1. Goat of the Game: Joe Jurevicius. For the early portion of this game, Jurevicius was in line to be the player of the game. He caught the balls that came his way, including our lone touchdown in the corner of the end zone. However, with two dropped passes coming at a point in the game in which we potentially could have stunned the Broncos with a comeback in the fourth quarter, Jurevicius dropped the ball. I'm sure he'll be fine next week, as it seemed like he was just in a state of depression almost due to the boring tempo that the offense had set throughout the night. If Dennis Northcutt returns, Jurevicius should definitely remain a starter.
  2. Early Muff: After forcing an early punt, Joshua Cribbs muffed his first punt of the game after initially waving it off. Although the Broncos didn't score, any turnover will change momentum instantly. Throughout the night, Cribbs simply didn't look comfortable returning punts, even though I understand that the wind was strong. I don't like Cribbs as a returner because he's too excited when getting the football and will make stupid plays. As a kick returner, he can take his risks after the football is secured. When Northcutt returns, he should definitely be the top punt returner.
  3. Dropped Interceptions: We made two interceptions, which is a definite improvement, but we also dropped several that were easily attainable. Ralph Brown was in the right position for two of them, which he deserves credit for. However, dropping both of them doesn't really warrant a compliment. If Brown had made one of those picks, it could've been a 17-14 game all of a sudden with at least a few minutes left. One more note on Brown; although it cost us a touchdown, how funny was it to see Brown celebrate so much after defending one play in the end zone, only to give up a touchdown on just about the same exact play, one play later?
  4. Short Yardage Situations: This kind of relates to Carthon, but it also deals with our offensive line. It's understandable that teams cannot convert all of their short yardage plays, because defenses deserve credit for solid plays sometimes. The lack of rotation in our offensive line seemed minimal though, Reuben Droughns couldn't get past the marker, Charlie Frye took a sack on fourth and one, and Kellen Winslow was absent from the field at times. If Jeff Davidson works on one thing especially, it should be the plays called in these type of situations.
  5. Second Half Burst: I'm pretty sure most Browns fans wanted to shoot themselves after seeing the first offensive play the team ran in the second half - a pass to the fullback Terrelle Smith in the flat that almost led to an interception. That is the call I absolutely hate the most, and was not what I wanted to see after a what our offense did in the first half. Honestly, do the Browns expect to actually pick up yards on that play?
  6. Against the Run: I like to believe that the Browns are better against the run than they were in the past, but the stats simply don't show it. Tatum Bell had another solid day running against us, including a carry on third-and-long in the fourth quarter. The penetration is too deep, and too often. Thankfully, the Broncos decided to have Jake Plummer throw more than the Broncos ran the ball, which stalled many of Denver's drives.
  7. Break it, Winslow: For once, Winslow didn't stand out exactly when everyone else struggled. He fell into the mix with a dropped pass, and he still isn't breaking tackles as much as I had envisioned. He always comes so close, and then stumbles to the ground.
  8. Playaction - Worst Ever?: Is it just me, or do the Browns run one of the worst playaction fakes you've ever seen? Every single time Frye takes the football and attempts that stupid playaction fake, I know that it's not going to be run play within half a second. If I am able to tell that on television, then defenses on the field aren't going to be fooled whatsoever. All that the stupid looking playaction is doing is taking another second or two away from Charlie Frye seeing the field, and possibly having a better shot at avoiding a blitzer. Frye needs to work on his motion when faking to the running back too, because, as I said, it's way too obvious what he's doing.
  9. Travis Wilson: Quite simple: Where was he? The same goes for Antonio Perkins too. Heck, Jereme Perry was playing more than Perkins.
Strong Points(Why We Were In The Game)
  1. Player of the Game: Kamerion Wimbley. Once again, Wimbley was in the backfield and made several plays using his long arms to bring down the running back in the backfield. So far, Wimbley has already seemingly made more of an impact than Gerard Warren did for us the entire time he was with us.
  2. Two Big Moments: All week, I was furious at the comments of Quincy Morgan and Gerard Warren. So, what type of impact did those two players make on Sunday? On the first kickoff of the game, Morgan stupidly took the deep kickoff out of the endzone and was planted by Chaun Thompson at the eight yard line. And, Warren was out with a "toe" injury almost as soon as the game started. It's actually a shame that Warren couldn't stay in, because we probably would've been able to have more success on offense with him in there.
  3. Gary Baxter: For the slight period of time that we had him back, it was pleasant to watch. He does play soft coverage at times, which people hate. However, he compensates by making a big play at important times of the game. He made a great interception off of a deflection early on, and also broke up a pass on third down. I'm really disappointed that things haven't worked out as planned with Baxter, because he's the type of person that can cause turnovers on a regular basis.
  4. Andra Davis: Continuing to be a consistent defensive player, Davis' interception on Plummer set up the Browns only score. One negative here though - once again, it seems like our defenders don't block properly on a return, or they're moving too slow. Davis tripped over his own man, preventing a larger return.
  5. Placing it Inside the Ten: No complaints yet from Dave Zastudil once again, as he placed one of his punts at the two yard line. It's unfortunate that the Broncos ended up scoring on that drive. Phil Dawson continues to perfect his kickoffs as well.
I'm so delighted that Maurice Carthon has been canned finally. However, the player's need to back up the impression they've been giving, assuming Davidson calls some different plays. Against the Broncos, it was more of a game of the Browns shooting themselves in the foot than the Broncos having to do a lot of work. I also forgot to mention an early deep ball to Braylon Edwards, which should have been caught, making a similar play to the one he had against the Baltimore Ravens. Unfortunately, Frye's later pass to an open Edwards deep was picked off by Champ Bailey. Defensively, things have been very good with how often they've been on the field. If the offense can sustain some drives against the Jets, just watch how much success the defense can have. Hopefully we'll see the return of Leigh Bodden as well.