Big plays are often negated by yellow flags. Amidst our stretch of losses this season, penalties have killed the Browns, particularly on the road. Case in point:
- @ Pittsburgh: We had a chance to drive at the end of the game for a game-tying field goal attempt. After a nice punt return by Joshua Cribbs though, the play was brought back because of a holding penalty on Darnell Dinkins. Phil Dawson missed a 50+ yard field goal by about two or three yards, and we lost all hopes of winning the division.
@ Arizona (#1): In the first quarter, Leigh Bodden kicked the football while it was on the ground after Daven Holly had broken up a third-down pass. Bodden's may have been good enough for three points, but it counted for five yards in Arizona's favor, and a fresh set of downs. After the game, Bodden stated that he didn't know what he did was a penalty. Romeo Crennel took the blame for this:
"If [Bodden] didn't know kicking the ball was a penalty, then why don't a lot of people kick the balls?" Crennel said. "You can't kick the ball unless you're a kicker lining up to kick an extra point or on a kickoff. You don't kick the ball. If he didn't know, then I did a poor job."
@ Arizona (#2): Safety Brodney Pool had a late hit on Cardinals' receiver Steve Breaston, resulting in a 15-yard penalty and aiding the opposition's drive.
"At the end of the game - when field position is critical and yards are important - we get a personal foul to cost us more yards, which, as it turned out, if you're 15 yards closer it might help you in the game," Crennel said. "Things like that are disappointing."
@ Arizona (#3): Similar to the Pittsburgh game, we were flagged 15 yards needing a game-winning drive on a kick return when Simon Fraser retaliated a headbutt from a Cardinal with a headbutt of his own.
"That's not disciplined and that's not smart football," Crennel said. "We had far too many penalties in the game."