The Cleveland Browns' defense didn't really do anything to turn the corner, but the offense got a record-setting performance from QB Josh McCown en route to a 33-30 overtime win against the Baltimore Ravens. Here is my film review of this week's game.
NFL Week 5 Film Review
|Cleveland Browns vs. Baltimore Ravens
- Awarding the Game Ball: QB Josh McCown - For the second week in a row, McCown gets the game ball. How could I possibly pass up on him after he threw for the most passing yards in franchise history (regular season)? He completed 70% of his passes for 457 yards and 2 touchdowns, and also ran another one in. Although his first half was a little shaky, he was excellent in the second half and has terrific ball placement that allows his receivers to not have to break stride when catching the ball.
- Goat of the Game: DC Jim O'Neil - When a team piles up so many bad defensive performances in a row, I stop looking for individual players to pin the blame on, because the defensive issues are clearly bigger than any one individual player. Four weeks of poor defense is more than just getting unlucky, especially when your past two opponents were missing several key pieces on offense. O'Neil's adjustment this week involved the snap count utilization of his inside and outside linebackers, but that unit ended up being the major liability this week.
- Desmond Bryant Makes Early Impression: Even though the Browns were picked apart defensively for much of the game, it was good to see the team's best defensive lineman, Desmond Bryant, back and making an impact right off the bat.
On the first play of the game, backed up to their own 8 yard line, the Ravens called a run play to the left for RB Justin Forsett. Bryant, lined up at right defensive end with OLB Paul Kruger outside him.
Bryant immediately sheds the block of RG Kelechi Osemele and takes Forsett down for a loss of three yards. The Browns limited Bryant to 29 snaps (41%) in his first game back, but he's usually closer to the 65% range. Hopefully Bryant passed his first test back in terms of health, and his workload can get back to what it used to be. The Ravens went three-and-out on their first series, but so did Cleveland.
- Nate Orchard's First Start: Officially, this was the first start of OLB Nate Orchard's career as he played the first snap at weakside outside linebacker and led his unit in snaps. It wasn't all sunshine and roses for Orchard and the rest of the linebackers, though.
The tight end is going to come across the formation here to seal off the backside edge. Both inside linebackers, ILB Karlos Dansby and ILB Tank Carder, attack the inside gap.
RB Justin Forsett plants his foot in the ground when he sees Dansby in the hole. There are two apparent issues here: Orchard commits too hard to trying to go inside, compromising the edge if the running back cuts back. Also, Carder is sucked into the inside, which is unnecessary when you consider the fact that Dansby is already there. Forsett cuts this back for a gain of 11 yards.
- Lack of Pressure on Flacco: To an extent, "not having elite starting receivers" isn't a significant detriment to an offense if the opposing team's defense gives the quarterback ample time to throw.
On the Ravens' second series, they faced a 3rd-and-4 from the 19 yard line. We've talked a lot about the Browns' red zone issues on offense, but the defense is also really struggling in the red zone. After Sunday's game, they ranked 27th in the NFL, giving up a touchdown 68.18% of the time in the red zone. On this play, CB Joe Haden is lined up against the just-signed WR Jeremy Ross at the bottom of the screen.
Ross was running a crossing route from right to left, and all across the field, the Browns had good coverage. The problem is that QB Joe Flacco is way too comfortable against the Browns' four-man rush. One could argue that OLB Paul Kruger is being held here as he's trying to sway the ball away from Flacco, but honestly, I felt Kruger was just flailing a bit as he struggled to get off the block. As Flacco steps up the field, Ross reverses course, getting some separation from Haden. Ross' catch-and-run goes down to the 1 yard line.
- Naked Reverse Bootleg: It's not often the Ravens will call a naked reverse bootleg with QB Joe Flacco. Heck, they might not call it the rest of the year. The seldom use of it is what makes it effective, though.
Nonetheless, you can see that, in a perfect world, your defender on the far end (ILB Christian Kirksey) would stay home with the quarterback or on the edge. Instead, Kirksey is going to get sucked inside.
Nobody on the Browns knows Flacco has the ball, including Kirksey, who is still thinks his backside pursuit on the running back might stop Baltimore from getting into the end zone. Flacco's keeper put the Ravens up 7-0 mid-way through the first quarter.
- Setting Plays Up for Duke: I love the way that offensive coordinator John DeFilippo is using his personnel on passing downs, and QB Josh McCown is following the script very well.
Facing a 3rd-and-2 from their own 27 yard line, the Browns have three receivers, a tight end, and a running back. WR Travis Benjamin is at the top of the screen with WR Andrew Hawkins in the slot next to him. RB Duke Johnson doesn't sell like he's trying to block -- he slips through the center of the line and out into the flat.
Pay attention to the defender with the green line and the linebacker in zone coverage next to him. Also, both Benjamin and Hawkins are going to be in position for nice blocks right away, with Hawkins not even looking to catch the ball, so I think this was a "downfield screen pass" of sorts by design.
Right at the snap, McCown looks right and sees the man coverage on the wide receivers. The linebacker closest to Johnson drops back in zone as the other one starts sprinting toward the young running back.
Even though it's a short throw, when McCown delivers these short passes, his ball placement is outstanding. He always hits the receiver in stride and right at the chest/shoulder level, which allows them to get those valuable yards after the catch. This simple play went for 27 yards (and you can also see Hawkins' block above, but Benjamin did a great job on the outside to get Johnson an additional 10 yards).
- First Half Red Zone Woes: The offensive red zone woes got better in the second half, but in the first half, fans had to suffer through seeing the team settle for field goal after field goal.
This is a 3rd-and-3 from the 20 yard line. RB Duke Johnson came in motion to the trips bunch to the right. WR Brian Hartline will run up to try to set a pick for Johnson on the outside, while TE Gary Barnidge is running a shorter flag route.
The defender gets around the pick quickly and is right on Johnson before he can even get out into the flat. This was the first read for QB Josh McCown, and I would've thought his second read would be Barnidge, who had outside position on his one-on-one matchup. Instead, McCown sees a bit of an opening to step through.
I think McCown wanted to try to run for the first down here. However, LG John Greco, who wasn't blocking anybody, takes this moment to peak back at his quarterback, and inadvertently bumps in to him a little, which makes it easier for the defensive end to grab McCown by the ankles and bring him down for a 5-yard sack. Cleveland settled for a 43-yard field goal, making it a 7-3 game with 3:16 (Stone Cold! Stone Cold!) left to play in the first quarter.
- Danny Shelton Standing Out: We were looking for a game in which NT Danny Shelton would stand out more often. That doesn't mean he has to make some highlight-reel stuff every play (which I think some people expect), but you'd like to a couple of plays that make you go, "whoa, look at Shelton!"
I counted three plays in which Shelton blew up plays in the backfield. I'm only covering one of them in this review, which came on the Ravens' next possession on a 2nd-and-10.
Shelton drives the Ravens' center a yard and a half into the backfield...
...and then breaks free from the center to wrap his arms around RB Javorius Allen. Allen gained two yards on this play. On one of Shelton's other big plays later in the game, he dropped RB Justin Forsett for a loss of five yards. Shelton did have two unsportsmanlike penalties called against him, and both were relatively harmless but completely unnecessary acts that you hope he learns from.
- Sometimes, You Just Get Beat: On the next play, facing a 3rd-and-8 from their own 29 yard line, the Ravens lined up with five receivers.
QB Joe Flacco then called for an adjustment, bringing two of the receivers on his right in tight as additional blockers. The Browns didn't appear to make any adjustments of their own. CB Tramon Williams is matched up one-on-one with WR Kamar Aiken at the bottom of the screen.
The Ravens have 7 guys protecting just 4 rushers, as Cleveland stuck with their original plan and dropped three defenders into zone coverage over the middle. As you can see, they are guarding nobody, and Flacco has a ton of space to survey his outside options. He looks to the left first, but then decides to come back to air our the deep ball for Aiken. Williams has pretty good coverage on the play, but the deep ball is just perfect. In terms of coverage, I'm willing to live with Williams' one-on-one effort on a play like this. Sometimes, the opposing quarterback just makes a heck of a throw, which in this case gained 48 yards.
- Giving Up Chunks on the Ground: Two plays later, the Browns' rush defense showed their vulnerability to the Ravens' ground game again.
On 2nd-and-10 from the 23 yard line, OLB Scott Solomon was on the edge with ILB Karlos Dansby next to him. The Ravens' right guard is going to dive at NT Danny Shelton's legs, preventing him from making any push on this play. It's a borderline chop block, but the Ravens' center finishes his chip quickly before leaking out to get in the path of ILB Christian Kirksey. With the running play headed left, Dansby is going to take an outside rush, which seems...unusual, given that is what Solomon is already doing.
The green is Shelton being cut block, the blue is Kirksey letting the center get out in front, the cyan is DE Desmond Bryant being sealed to the inside, and the magenta is Dansby committing too much to the outside. Forsett just runs between Bryant and Dansby for a gain of 15 yards.
- Kruger in Coverage: If Jim O'Neil is going to make another adjustment this week, I would beg him to start giving more snaps to OLB Barkevious Mingo again as a strongside linebacker. All things considered, Mingo was a decent coverage player and adequate against the run last year, and the team used the hell out of him despite the fact that he was playing the whole season with one arm. This year, he's supposed to be fine, but in a game like this, he only has four snaps while we have to watch OLB Paul Kruger drop into coverage?
This is the Ravens' next play -- a 1st-and-goal from the 8 yard line. The motion receiver is moving horizontally at the snap. He runs about three yards upfield and turns toward the quarterback, setting a pick on Kruger. Off of the playfake by QB Joe Flacco, FB Kyle Juszczyk runs into the flat.
Kruger pursues Juszczyk, but when he has to sidestep the other receiver, it's too late. Flacco delivers the pass and Juszczyk's catch-and-run gets him into the end zone. The Ravens led 14-3 with 0:16 left in the first quarter, as Browns fans had to be surely fearing a blowout was in the making.
- Mulligan on Record-Setting Day: After both teams traded three-and-outs, the Browns' next possession saw them with a 1st-and-10 from their own 34 yard line.
QB Josh McCown had WR Travis Benjamin running a deep route to his right. Off of the playaction fake, WR Andrew Hawkins, who was tight right, fakes an outside route before sitting short in the middle. TE Gary Barnidge runs a route up the middle and TE Rob Housler runs a route to the flat across the formation. The Ravens are playing Cover-2 defense here, and when Benjamin sees the opening, he stops around the 50 at the sideline.
One of the Ravens' defenders doesn't bite for the fake run and gets right in McCown's face. McCown sees Benjamin with his hand up here and decides to throw it off his back foot just before the defender crashes in to him. The defender in cyan interceptions the lofted pass, but McCown gets a mulligan on his record-breaking day because of a roughing the passer penalty.
One little note here: if McCown was able to sell the rollout, he could have planted his foot and tried to step back into the middle of the pocket as the defender went by him. This would've allowed he and Benjamin to improvise, perhaps on a deep ball down the middle. Cleveland eventually punted, but were able to move the ball to midfield to help change field position.
- ddd: After the Ravens went three-and-out, the Browns channeled one of their bread-and-butter type of plays from a year ago with QB Brian Hoyer and offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan: roll one way, and throw it back across the field to the open guy who slipped free.
Facing a 2nd-and-3 from their own 46 yard line mid-way through the second quarter, the Browns lined up in a three tight end set. WR Travis Benjamin was the lone wide receiver at the top of the screen. TE Rob Housler is tight left, running a crossing route to the right. TE Gary Barnidge is tight right. He will sell the fact that he's blocking to the left for a potential run play before fading upfield. TE Jim Dray runs a shallow in-and-out.
This frame shows Benjamin and Housler running deep and intermediate routes, respectively, which pull the defense away from the left side of the field. Barnidge has yet to start running his route, so the defender near the cyan arrow starts following the action toward where McCown is going.
After McCown reaches the right hash, he turns and lobs the ball to Barnidge, who is wide open and picks up 35 yards.
- First Half Red Zone Failure, Part 2: Facing a 3rd-and-6 from the 15 yard line, the Browns spread the field with five receivers.
WR Duke Johnson is wide left, running a short crossing route. TE Gary Barnidge is in the slot to the left running the fade. WR Brian Hartline is closest to the right of QB Josh McCown, running a deep crossing route. WR Andrew Hawkins is in the middle on the right, running a post route. WR Travis Benjamin is wide right with a route straight up the field.
The Ravens are playing man coverage, and in the green circle, you can see that the defender covering Johnson gets caught up in traffic with Barnidge's fade route.
If there is one play I could personally ask McCown about in this game, it would be this one. He appears to be winding up to throw the ball to Johnson, who clearly has separation and would get the first down.
Then, he pulls the ball down and DE Lawrence Guy sacks him for a loss of ten yards. The Browns settled for another 43-yard field goal by K Travis Coons, trimming the Ravens' lead to 14-6 with 4:05 to go in the quarter. After K Justin Tucker missed a 51-yard field goal, the Browns ran the one-minute drill to get into field goal range and kick a 37-yarder to make it 14-9 at the half.
- Open Field Tackling for Kruger: The Browns received the ball first to begin the second half, but had to punt once they got to midfield.
The Browns stuffed the Ravens for a loss of a yard on their first rushing attempt of the second half. On 2nd-and-11, I don't quite understand what happened on the right side of the line, where three Browns defenders immediately burst through on a non-screen pass. The run was going to the left the whole way, though, and OLB Paul Kruger had an opportunity to make an open field tackle. RB Justin Forsett did not have a full head of steam upfield yet because he was trying to work away from the penetration coming from the right.
Kruger forces Forsett wide, but can't make the tackle, allowing him to pick up 7 yards and set up a 3rd-and-4.
On 3rd-and-4, TE Nick Boyle lined up on the left and ran a simple crossing route. There had to be some sort of miscommunication here between ILB Christian Kirksey and OLB Armonty Bryant (both in the cyan circle). Either that, or they were caught daydreaming/yucking it up while the play was going on.
- Not in Position: A few plays later, backup RB Javorius Allen burst through for a 44-yard gain.
This came on a 2nd-and-10 from the Ravens' 38 yard line. Most of the Ravens' line blocks to the left. ILB Tank Carder starts charging inside at the snap. When he sees the run going outside, he tried to adjust, but the offensive lineman has an easier time sealing him off to the inside now. ILB Karlos Dansby tries to stay patient on the backside of the play, but once he sees what is developing to the outside, he takes a poor angle to get trapped among the crowd.
The secondary doesn't do a good job minimizing the damage here either. SS Donte Whitner charges the running back instead of playing things safe. He overpursues and whiffs on his diving attempt. Also, on the left, CB K'Waun Williams engages the block from the receiver in front of him right as the running back is getting through the hole. Sorry, I just hate it when I see defensive players purposely engage in a block right as the play is next unfolding next to them. A few plays later, QB Joe Flacco's sneak up the middle put the Ravens up 21-9 with 7:47 left to play in the third quarter.
- McCown's Mobility: LT Joe Thomas is right -- QB Josh McCown is pretty mobile for a 50-year old.
After picking up two first downs on their next drive, the Browns faced a 3rd-and-7 from the Ravens' 31 yard line. WR Travis Benjamin is the lone receiver to the bottom of the screen, running a comeback route. In the trips bunch to the left, WR Andrew Hawkins is running the shallow crosser, TE Gary Barnidge is running the deep crosser, and WR Taylor Gabriel is hovering around the first down marker on the left.
McCown steps up in the pocket as the Ravens rush wide. Baltimore had dropped three players into zone coverage, with Hawkins in front of them and Barnidge at the level behind them. McCown draws a couple of the defenders up when he starts running.
McCown waits for the right time for there to be an opening for Barnidge and hits him right in the hands for a pickup of 15 yards.
- McCown's Rushing TD: As far as I can remember, QB Josh McCown had not tucked the ball and run with it since his helicopter play in the first game of the season.
Facing a 2nd-and-goal from the 10 yard line, the Browns lined up three receivers to the left. WR Travis Benjamin and WR Andrew Hawkins both ran slants toward the middle. TE Gary Barnidge ran straight up the middle, with RB Duke Johnson swinging out to the right flat. The Ravens are in man coverage, which will take the defenders away from the left side of the field.
Barnidge stumbles into the safety over the middle, and then the safety starts hovering toward the crossing receivers. Barnidge also falls onto the ground as McCown steps up to the opening he sees developing on the left.
You can see Barnidge on the ground at the bottom of the screen. He is unintentionally preventing the defender from pursuing McCown on his way to the end zone. McCown's score brings the Browns to within 21-16 with 1:06 left in the third quarter.
- Time to Start Picking It Up: Even if the Browns can't play well collectively as a defense, they can overcome some of their weaknesses if individual players make big plays. We saw it several times with NT Danny Shelton, and early in the fourth quarter, we saw it with OLB Armonty Bryant.
Bryant actually lines up as a defensive tackle on this 3rd-and-12 play from the Ravens' 39 yard line. He is lined up over the right guard, as the inside linebackers will both be dropping back.
Bryant does a swim move on RG Kelechi Osemele, much like we saw the other Bryant do on the first play of the game (a run), except this time, it looks like Osemele might have been releasing Bryant? I didn't quite understand that.
The running back sees Bryant coming free and tries to block him, but you can see the size difference. Bryant just bullrushes the running back straight into Flacco, who stumbles backwards for a 14-yard sack.
- Gabriel Burns the Ravens Again: WR Taylor Gabriel's biggest plays of 2014 came against the Ravens' defense, and he burned them again in Baltimore.
On the first play of the Browns' ensuing drive, Gabriel lined up as the lone receiver to the right. He is running straight up the field for 25 yards before turning this into a very deep post route. WR Travis Benjamin is running a deep slant across the middle. TE Gary Barnidge comes back across the formation off of the playaction fake to serve as an extra blocker for QB Josh McCown after he rolls out that way. The Ravens' secondary is playing zone coverage.
The safety decides to key in on Benjamin's route, so when Gabriel crosses behind the safety, there is a ton of open field for McCown to loft the ball to. The play goes for 56 yards, down to the Ravens' 23 yard line.
- Bringing the House: The Ravens decided to bring the house on a 3rd-and-5 play from the 18 yard line.
Cleveland lined up with five receivers. WR Travis Benjamin, WR Andrew Hawkins, and WR Brian Hartline were on the left, pretty much running straight up the field. TE Gary Barnidge was fading to the right corner, with RB Duke Johnson split wide right and coming across. The Ravens are bringing seven rushers, unbeknownst to McCown, meaning they'll only have four defenders covering five receivers. Someone is going to be uncovered.
McCown just gets the snap and already has a defender in his face. He doesn't make a bad decision to loft the ball up to his biggest target on the field, given his time to make a decision is pretty much less than a second.
The uncovered receiver would've been Johnson. He threw up his arms after he saw McCown loft the ball to Barnidge, as if to say, "ahhhh, I was wide open!" Of course, it ended up being OK because Barnidge did a Houdini act with the football rolling from his ankles, while on the ground, up to his hands, after neither he nor the defender could catch the ball initially on the jump ball. The touchdown gave the Browns a 22-21 with 12:23 left in the game after the two-point conversion attempt is no good.
- Finding a Seam: After the Browns' defense forced a three-and-out, Cleveland couldn't sustain a drive and punted right back to Baltimore with a short field. The Ravens had six rushes on the drive and one incomplete pass, and it was enough to get RB Justin Forsett into the end zone on a 1-yard plunge. The Ravens re-took the lead at 27-22, but missed the two-point conversion with 5:56 left in the game.
The Browns' running game had not been effective most of the game, which is why we saw QB Josh McCown air the ball out repeatedly. When you do that enough times, though, the defense is finally going to give in at some point and start giving you a little more space to run. I out-lined the blocking above for this run play on 2nd-and-2 from the Ravens' 44 yard line.
Everyone, including FB Malcolm Johnson, gets a hat on a defender and holds their ground. When you give RB Isaiah Crowell, he is going to pick up yardage in chunks of 15-20 yards at a time. This run goes for 18 yards.
- Dumping it Off to the Crow: The Browns had the Ravens on their heels as the fourth quarter was ticking down, but Cleveland needed a touchdown -- a field goal would do them no good.
Facing a 2nd-and-6 from the 22 yard line, WR Brian Hartline ran a short curl route on the left, with TE Gary Barnidge running an intermediate route over the middle. WR Travis Benjamin ran an intermediate out route on the right, with WR Andrew Hawkins running a shallower out route. RB Isaiah Crowell steps up as a blocker at first before leaking out to the left of QB Josh McCown.
This is right as McCown was dumping the ball off to Crowell. Barnidge probably would have been a better option (green circle). However, McCown's first reads on this play were Hawkins and Benjamin on the right, and both of them were covered. McCown's next instinct was to see if Crowell had released into his route, and when he didn't see a defender on him, he let it go.
Here is the same thing as the previous screenshot, just from a different angle. Give Crowell some open field and he will make defenders miss.
Crowell cuts in, gets the first defender to miss, and then cuts to the outside as Hartline helps chip one of the oncoming defenders. Crowell then does his patented dive at the pylon to score from 22 yards out and put the Browns on top 28-27 with 3:03 left to play.
- Successful Two-Point Conversion: The Browns needed to expand their lead to three points to prevent the same scenario that happened in San Diego from happening.
The Ravens are in man coverage with WR Andrew Hawkins in the slot to the left of QB Josh McCown. Hawkins runs on the inside of the defender, and the defensive back must believe that he's going to cut to the middle.
Instead, Hawkins dips his shoulder and runs to the left. It's an easy throw-and-catch to the back left corner of the end zone, and the Browns led 30-27.
- Ravens Find New Life: On an incomplete pass on 3rd-and-6 to start their two-minute drive, the officials flagged CB K'Waun Williams for unnecessary roughness in what looked to be an atrocious call. It extended the drive for Baltimore.
Facing a 2nd-and-7 from the Browns' 42 yard line, QB Joe Flacco is going to dump the ball off to RB Justin Forsett in the flat. The Browns' cornerback at the bottom appears to be in man coverage, although ILB Christian Kirksey (green) is signaling something to the cornerback right here.
Either Kirksey or the cornerback have to be responsible for Forsett, but the cornerback is playing his man on the crossing route the whole way. Kirksey sees the crossing route and picks it up, but blindly runs into the tight end crossing from the other direction. SS Donte Whitner finally brings Forsett down after a gain of 32 yards, but Baltimore is now at the 9 yard line. Forsett injured his ankle on this play, removing him from the rest of the game.
- Orchard Disrupts Flacco: The Ravens got a 6-yard gain on first down and then were hit for a loss of 1 yard on second down, both of them being rushing attempts.
Facing a 3rd-and-goal with 0:35 left, the Ravens ran a playaction with the intention of rolling QB Joe Flacco out to the right. I think they wanted to go for WR Kamar Aiken, but the fullback in the flat would've been an option too. CB Pierre Desir is covering Aiken, and the two linebackers next to Desir are playing the bootleg pass the entire way (ILB Karlos Dansby in magenta, OLB Nate Orchard in green).
Dansby stays with and jams the crossing fullback immediately. Aiken has some separation from Desir with half the field to run toward. Fortunately, Orchard is on a mission with great closing speed as he forces Flacco backward.
If Orchard wasn't there, Flacco could've rolled out and probably throws a touchdown to Aiken. He can never step up, though, and has to lob the ball to the corner and out of bounds. Orchard does a good job avoiding contact with Flacco after he releases the pass. The Ravens kicked a 23-yard field goal with 0:25 left in the game to tie it at 30-30.
- What Could Have Been: I agree that Mike Pettine's clock management once the Ravens got inside the 10 yard line was silly. If you want a chance to drive yourself, take all the timeouts you can. Cleveland came out aggressive despite their just being just 25 seconds left and needing at least 45 yards to give K Travis Coons a last-second shot.
The Browns got a 25-yard completion with 0:14 left on the clock. QB Josh McCown took too much time on the next play for just a gain of a yard, leaving 0:06 left. McCown hit WR Travis Benjamin for a gain of 20 yards to the 34 yard line, but time expired before a timeout could be called. Here is something interesting I noticed, though. On that final play, this Ravens defender puts his hands on Benjamin here and chucks him. This contact occurs at least 10 yards down the field. It could've been an illegal contact penalty, and with the completion, I believe Cleveland would have gotten an untimed down to attempt the game-winning field goal.
Also of note, look at McCown threading the needle to Benjamin. Thankfully, McCown was very accurate in the second half.
- Defense Steps Up in Overtime: The Browns' defense forced a three-and-out to begin overtime. Who would've predicted that?
Facing a 3rd-and-10 from their own 15 yard line, the Ravens lined up with five wide with man coverage.
The Browns have excellent coverage on this play, and two of their defenders are putting nice jams on the shallow routes. QB Joe Flacco tries to roll out, and when he does, DE John Hughes (green) starts sprinting toward him. There is a bit of a wall that forms (magenta line) with the two Browns and Ravens over there, which gives Hughes a clear lane to surprise Flacco and force him to throw the ball out of bounds.
- Barnidge Shows Off His Quickness: The Browns began their overtime drive with two Shotgun draw plays to RB Duke Johnson, which combined for 9 yards.
On 3rd-and-1 from their own 44 yard line, the Browns went empty backfield. TE Gary Barnidge lined up in the slot and did the move that we saw WR Andrew Hawkins do all the time last year -- fake in, plant your foot, and then go out.
Barnidge clearly beats the defender, and it's a short, safe throw. The catch-and-run goes for 15 yards, putting the Browns on the verge of field goal territory at the Ravens' 37 yard line.
- Mack Reacts Quickly: The Browns faced a 3rd-and-1 from the Ravens' 27 yard line.
No. 57 is going to get a great jump at the snap as Cleveland plans on running the Shotgun draw again to RB Duke Johnson.
The cyan circle is where the ball is -- C Alex Mack has snapped it, but it hasn't gotten to QB Josh McCown yet. Mack does a great job recognizing the blitz and is angling that way.
Mack does what he can to push the defender further upfield, which allows Johnson to cut in to the vacated area.
Johnson gets three yards and a fresh set of downs, which helps ensure an easier field goal try for K Travis Coons. The Browns got the ball 11 yards closer after this play, and Coons kicked the game-winning 32-yard field goal on third down. The Browns win, 33-30!
- Special Teams Notes: The Browns had 9 special teams tackles with 2 each from ILB Tank Carder, CB Justin Gilbert, and TE Rob Housler and 1 each from ILB Christian Kirksey, CB K'Waun Williams, and CB Johnson Bademosi. P Andy Lee averaged 43.4 yards per attempt on 4 punts, with a net average of 37.4 yards, both below his typical average. K Travis Coons was 4-of-4 on field goals, hitting from 43, 43, 37, and 32 yards.
- Snap Counts on Offense & Defense: If you missed them, here are the links to our snap count trackers for offense (link) and defense (link).
- Brownies: The Browns converted 12-of-19 (63%) 3rd down attempts, while the Ravens converted 5-of-14 (36%) 3rd down attempts. ... Cleveland out-gained the Ravens in yardage 505 to 377. ... Baltimore had 12 penalties for 98 yards, while Cleveland had 9 penalties for 74 yards. ... The Ravens had the ball for 29:01 compared to the Browns having it for 39:16. ... As much as I love what K Travis Coons is doing on field goals, his kickoff distance was sub-par this week, giving Baltimore good field position, and he even had a 15-yard penalty called on him for a late (albeit weak) hit. ... CB Justin Gilbert only played on special teams this week, returning one kickoff for 15 yards. ... The Browns' running backs had 8 carries for 9 yards (1.1 YPC) in the first half, but had 14 carries for 62 yards in the second half+overtime (4.43 YPC), and I think running from the Shotgun helps.
Up next, the Browns take on the Denver Broncos at home. Keep it tuned to Dawgs By Nature for our coverage leading up to the game!