|CLEVELAND BROWNS (1-7)||WEEK 8||CHICAGO BEARS (4-3)|
As far as I'm concerned, the Chicago Bears played no better against the Cleveland Browns than they did against the Cincinnati Bengals two weeks ago when they lost 45-10. QB Jay Cutler supported my point that he's a tad overrated, but he was rewarded nonetheless with a rather easy 30-6 victory over the Browns.
Has a Browns team ever been so helpless on offense? I guess you could technically say we're at the same level as the Oakland Raiders, but that's not the type of competitive comparison I want to be making on gameday. The funny thing is that if our offense would've just taken a knee on every series this week, we probably only would have lost by a score of 10-3 (note: I realize that is not a reality, since the space-time continuum obviously would've resulted in different production for the Bears). Our defense played much better than last week and weren't rewarded for it; as far as the rest of the league is concerned, our defense is still a joke.
Let's get to the sad review of the game...
WEEK 8 - CLEVELAND BROWNS VS. CHICAGO BEARS (COMPLETE GAME REVIEW)
GOAT OF THE GAME:
Steve Heiden & Mohamed Massaquoi: Obviously QB Derek Anderson could go here every week, but it's only fair to spread the wealth. In the second half, when the Browns were actually showing some form of a threat, there were two cases in which Anderson made some of his best throws of the game -- one on a small pass to Steve Heiden, and another on a timing pattern to Mohamed Massaquoi.
For whatever reason, both players coughed up the football. It wasn't even like they were hit by a blindsided poke at the football either; Heiden even seemed to wrap both arms tightly around the ball and it just...fell out. That's extremely frustrating, because Heiden is supposed to be our only "Mr. Reliable" left on offense. He also dropped a pass earlier in the game. For as in-sync as Massaquoi and Anderson looked against Cincinnati, that "chemistry" no longer exists.
AWARDING GAME BALLS:
- Kamerion Wimbley: Credit to defensive coordinator Rob Ryan for helping turn Kamerion Wimbley around. He's no DeMarcus Ware, but he's getting to the quarterback a lot more than his last two years under Crennel. With his sack Sunday, he surpassed his sack total from last season. He also delivered a punishing shot on QB Jay Cutler as he released a pass, resulting in a bloody mouth for Cutler (and probably a fine).
In Stride: (Marks calendar) We are 8 games into the 2009-2010 NFL season, and for the first time this season, we finally saw a smart play design for Joshua Cribbs as a receiver (although the execution of it could have been accidental). Derek Anderson was pressured and then stepped up in the pocket.
Before he got to the line of scrimmage, he turned and threw a route nearly parallel to the line of scrimmage at Cribbs, who had motioned out of the backfield and into the flat. Cribbs caught the pass in stride and ran up the sideline for a gain of 23 yards.
By the Numbers: The final line for Anderson is as follows: 6-of-17 for 76 yards and 2 interceptions. His QB rating was a lowly 10.5. Anderson's production level is getting worse and worse by the week. At this point, I think I'd be content going back to watching Quinn get sacked every play.
Applaud the Play Call, Hate the Statistic: The Browns scored their only touchdown of the game near the start of the second half. Taking advantage of a horrible punt by the Bears, Jamal Lewis pounded his way down to the one-yard line. The Browns failed to punch it in on 1st-and-goal from the one, so on second down, Anderson sneaked forward and used his tall frame to stretch the ball over the goal line for the score.
I like the call on second down because we won't lose yardage on it, and if we fail to get in, we'd still have two downs remaining to go back to Lewis or do a small pass play. Afterward though, I was a little sick knowing that I'd still have to hear all of the play-by-play announcers say "the Browns do not have a single rushing touchdown from their running backs this season!"
- Injuries Galore: There has to be a correlation between a losing season and the number of injuries that start piling on. After already losing LB D'Qwell Jackson for the season, LB Eric Barton and DB Eric Wright suffered shoulder injuries. Wright returned, but Barton will likely undergo tests to determine the extent of his injury.
- Rob Ryan Fired Up: I appreciate the enthusiasm that Rob Ryan shows each week, and unlike our offensive coordinator, Ryan seems to know how to make adjustments after a letdown. Whereas the defense was brutal in giving up 31 points to the Packers, they had one of my favorite performances of the season in giving up 30 points to the Bears (23 when you don't include Anderson's pick six). After the Browns stopped Cutler on a 4th-and-1 from the 1-yard line, Ryan was out on the field jawing at Jay Cutler. I believe the defense is still playing hard because of him.
- Wimbley's Knockdown: When Wimbley knocked down Cutler's fourth-down pass at the goal line, it was obviously a bad decision because an interception would've brought the ball out to the 20-yard line. Then, our offense wouldn't have been backed up into seeing Anderson throw a pick six from his own goal line. Granted, it's better that he knocked the ball down than let the receiver catch it, but he knocked it down as if it was a Hail Mary pass attempted from mid-field.
- A Little Scared? I think punter Brad Maynard was a little scared of Joshua Cribbs. On 5 punts, Maynard averaged a quite pathetic 30.4 yard average. On the other side of the field, props to punter Dave Zastudil for recording a touchdown-saving tackle on punt returner Devin Hester early on.
- Staying With the Play: Kudos to DL Kenyon Coleman for staying home when the Bears tried a reverse with Devin Hester. As Hester was handed the ball, Coleman shot at him like a cannon and took him down. How many times have we seen our defensive players be in position for a play like that, but end up whiffing?
- Francies Sees Action: Finally, we got to see a little bit of Coye Francies. He was subbed in after Eric Wright went down with an injury. On Francies' first play (I think), the Bears ran the ball with Matt Forte, who sprinted to the edge for a 10-yard touchdown. Soon after that, Francies left with an injury of his own, forcing Hank Poteat into the game. (Sigh).
- It's About Time: One-third of our payoff for the Braylon Edwards trade finally showed up today, as WR Chansi Stuckey made his first catch of the season as a member of the Browns. He made a few nice moves after the catch to stretch the play to an 11-yard gain.
- The Other Third: With the more exotic blitz packages thrown at Cutler, the other third of the Edwards deal was more productive this week. Jason Trusnik sacked Cutler once and also led the team with 7 tackles.
- Should've Been a Fumble: When Jay Cutler was hit and the ball came loose for about a 15+ yard loss, the play should've stood. I didn't see any indication that Cutler's arm was moving forward; it was moving laterally at best. His arm was angled that way due to a hit from a Browns defender too. Even with the overturn, who was Cutler throwing the ball to? It might have even hit his offensive lineman, which would be an illegal touch. In the end, the Bears had a comfortable 2nd-and-10 to work with.
- Adams and Pool: Whatever the combination was, it seemed to work this week. It seemed like Mike Adams was in mostly on first- and second-downs, with Brodney Pool coming in on obvious passing downs. Pool recorded an interception when he dove to the ground after a tipped pass. As he tried to get up, he was rewarded by being drilled by two or three Bear linemen.
- Inserting Quinn Late: The decision is still baffling to put Brady Quinn into the game when he did. We had literally no chance of coming back, and the substitution was made in a half where several offensive players had fumbled the ball. Why not make the change at half-time when Anderson was awful as usual?
- Evaluating "the Other Guy": There's not much to fo on. His first pass was located well. He had the right idea on the second play -- getting rid of the ball quickly when they brought the house. A week ago, that's the similar adjustment that Aaron Rodgers made to Donald Driver for a long touchdown. The third down play was another dropped pass. Then, we punted. Booooooooo.
- Lerner's Staredowns: I think fans would've rather watched Randy Lerner stare down and scold the players and coaches all game than watch the actual game. If someone has footage of Lerner doing this, it must be seen!
- Bad Timing of Wildcat Plays: Yeah, let's run the Wildcat on a 3rd-and-19 play. There just doesn't seem to be a "method to the madness" of running the Wildcat formation. I agree with running it, but we never build off of it or use the formation to our advantage the following play.
Brownies: Welcome back Phil Dawson; you get to join the sad state of the team by having your extra point blocked...Joe Thomas registered two tackles in the game...safety Ray Ventrone had two special teams tackles...former Glenville High School and Ohio State product Ted Ginn Jr. had two kick returns for touchdowns to beat Braylon Edwards and the New York Jets.
Bears QB Jay Cutler was hit hard all day by the Browns defense, including here by LB Kamerion Wimbley.
Up next, the Browns have a Bye week before coming back home the following week against the Baltimore Ravens on Monday Night Football. It should be an interesting two weeks though; let's hope that Randy Lerner comes through with some form of positive news, whether it be the firing of Brian Daboll or the hiring of a team president.