Marshall Faulk (@marshallfaulk) September 24, 2014
This week, Marshall Faulk said, "Great craftsmanship can come from a beautiful drive, a well-executed blitz, or even a high-arcing punt that pins a team down on the one. GMC takes great pride in the craftsmanship of its vehicles," and then asked us, "At the quarter mark of the season, what has been the most well-crafted aspect of your team so far?"
As I pointed out in my game review, it has without question been the Cleveland Browns' offense that has been the most well-crafted aspect of the team thus far. Browns fans have experienced many recent years of helplessness when watching our offense -- sure, there might be a touchdown drive here and there, but the level of consistency just wasn't there. With QB Brian Hoyer now leading the charge and a good running game, the three-and-outs are occurring at a much lesser rate, and Cleveland has shown the ability to respond to scores from the opposing team by driving the length of the field.
The defensive and special teams units have been a big disappointment overall. Remember that last year, the Browns had one of the league's best run defenses in the NFL before injuries took over the final month of the season. This year, they are getting torched on the ground and through the air with pretty much the same players. Did T.J. Ward really make that big of a difference, or are the players still trying to find their groove in the Mike Pettine/Jim O'Neil system? You could argue that the Browns' special teams units have negatively impacted each of the team's three games.
We can't just assume that things will magically be fixed on defense and special teams with the extra week of preparation on the bye...but we can hope. If either unit gets their act together and the offense continues playing at a high level, then look out, because the Browns would be a prime contender for a wildcard spot in the AFC this year.