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Browns' Week 4 Offensive Snap Counts vs. Chargers

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Looking at the offensive snap counts in the Browns' 30-27 loss to the Chargers.

Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Below, we analyze the snap counts on offense for the Cleveland Browns' Week 4 game against the San Diego Chargers.

Quarterback

Pos Player Plays % Stats
QB Josh McCown
71
100% 32-of-41 (78%) for 356 yards, 2 TDs, 1 FUM, 1 2-pt. conversion.

The offense we saw the Browns operate from against the Chargers is exactly what I called for after last week's game. Our offensive coordinator decided to feature the passing game as our strength, but used the quickness of our receivers in the short passing game to get open and find yards after the catch. We probably saw Josh McCown have the best game he could possibly have. Yes, a lot of his yardage came on runs by receivers after the catch, but keep in mind that McCown often stood in the pocket until the last possible second before lofting an accurate ball to the open crossing receiver.

Based on some of the quarterback play I've watched over the past two weeks, I'd rather have McCown on my team than about 10 other guys who started on Sunday. One could even make the absurd-sounding case that McCown is not playing any worse than Peyton Manning right now. The big difference is that Denver is 4-0 since they are yielding 16.5 points per game while Cleveland is yielding 25.5 points per game.

Running Back

Pos Player Plays % Stats
RB Duke Johnson 43 61% 8 carries, 31 yards, 3.9 avg. 9 catches, 85 yards, 1 TD (10 targets).
RB Isaiah Crowell
26 37% 12 carries, 63 yards, 5.3 avg. 3 catches, 62 yards (3 targets).
FB Malcolm Johnson 18 25% No stats registered.
RB Shaun Draughn
2 3% 1 carry, 6 yards. 1 catch, -1 yard (1 target).

I predicted this would be the breakout game for Duke Johnson, and he became a major factor in the passing game. To my surprise, Isaiah Crowell also has some big plays as a receiver. Cleveland also called a few running plays out of Shotgun, much to my approval. Shaun Draughn spelled Johnson later in the game and got the ball on both plays.

Wide Receiver

Pos Player Plays % Stats
WR Andrew Hawkins 61 86% 2 catches, 27 yards (3 targets).
WR Travis Benjamin 56 79% 6 catches, 79 yards (10 targets).
WR Taylor Gabriel 46 65% 4 catches, 22 yards (5 targets). 1 2-pt conversion.
WR Dwayne Bowe 4 6% 0 catches (1 target).
WR Brian Hartline 3 4% 1 catch, 7 yards (1 target).

The wide receivers all stepped up again...except for Dwayne Bowe. It's telling that Cleveland typically goes with a four-receiver rotation, yet when Brian Hartline exited early with an injury, instead of incorporating Bowe into the rotation, they basically said, "let's do a three-man rotation instead."

Tight End

Pos Player Plays % Stats
TE Gary Barnidge 62 87% 6 catches, 75 yards, 1 TD (6 targets).
TE Jim Dray 28 39% No stats registered.
TE Rob Housler 4 6% No stats registered.

In hindsight, one of the good moves the Browns made this offseason was not retaining Jordan Cameron. Although Gary Barnidge won't be a Pro Bowl caliber receiver, he has very good hands, knows how to get open, and isn't afraid to be targeted in big moments. The other tight ends are being phased out of the passing game.

Offensive Line

Pos Player Plays % Stats
OL Joe Thomas 71 100%
OL Joel Bitonio 71 100%
OL Alex Mack 71 100%
OL Mitchell Schwartz 71 100%
OL John Greco 71 100%
OL Cameron Erving 2 3%

The offensive line surrendered four sacks to a Chargers team that entered the game with just one sack. Based on my memory, I'd say one of the sacks was on Josh McCown for holding the ball too long, one was on the club as a whole for scheming a play that let a rusher off the edge come free, and the other two might have been on the offensive line.

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Amount of Offensive Plays, By the Week

  • Week 1: 71 plays
  • Week 2: 49 plays
  • Week 3: 75 plays
  • Week 4: 71 plays

We'll have coverage on the defensive snap counts later on.