||52||73%||13-of-24 (54.1%) for 182 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT. 5 carries, 35 yards, 2 fumbles.
||19||27%||5-of-8 (62.5%) for 49 yards. 3 carries, 23 yards, 1 fumble.
The opening drive led by Josh McCown was very good as the team was sharp on third-down conversions and had some nice running plays against a tough Jets front. It's easy to say that McCown should have just slid and taken the three points on that drive, but I agree with Mike Pettine -- how are you going to coach a guy not to be a competitor and put his body on the line for the team?
When assessing Johnny Manziel, we have to put this into perspective. Last year, I was down on him because he looked completely lost and unprepared, and his teammates thus seemed to have the life sucked out of them too. Yesterday, Manziel actually looked like he could be an NFL quarterback, but the problem is that he's still early in his "rookie stage." If last year was basically a waste, then this might as well have been his first rookie start after not really having had any reps for the past three weeks. After Manziel's turnover to start the second half, it seemed like the team had the life sucked out of them like last year. I don't blame Manziel for that, but it is an unfortunate carry-over side effect from what transpired in 2014.
|RB||Isaiah Crowell||35||49%||12 carries, 20 yards, 1.7 avg. 2 catches, 13 yards (2 targets).
||31||44%||7 carries, 22 yards, 3.1 avg.
||6||8%||2 catches, 14 yards (2 targets).
||6||8%||1 carry, 4 yards, 4.0 avg. 0 catches (1 target).
I guess I was optimistic heading into the game when I said that the Browns' running backs would be lucky to average 3.0 YPC against the Jets. Cleveland still has a difficult time running against teams with good defensive fronts, which is something that bit them down the stretch in 2014. We didn't see Duke Johnson as a receiver, and Malcolm Johnson was used sparingly.
|WR||Andrew Hawkins||50||70%||3 catches, 24 yards (6 targets).|
|WR||Brian Hartline||50||70%||2 catch, 20 yards (5 targets).|
|WR||Travis Benjamin||46||65%||3 catches, 89 yards, 1 TD (3 targets).|
|WR||Taylor Gabriel||34||48%||2 catches, 20 yards (4 targets).|
Travis Benjamin used his speed to make some nice plays and Brian Hartline had a highlight reel catch that will be not be discussed across the NFL. It'll be interesting to see if our receivers got open when Johnny Manziel was in the game after we watch the All-22.
|TE||Gary Barnidge||61||86%||3 catches, 38 yards (5 targets).|
|TE||Jim Dray||26||37%||1 catch, 13 yards (3 targets).|
|TE||Rob Housler||6||8%||0 catches (1 target).
This week in the NFL, we saw tight ends emerge as key weapons for quarterbacks. Rob Gronkowski. Travis Kelce. Ladarius Green. Austin Seferian-Jenkins. Jason Witten. Tyler Eifert. Even Jordan Cameron had 73 yards receiving for the Dolphins. Cleveland targeted their tight ends a total of 9 times, but the production wasn't quite there. Jim Dray isn't an athletic enough of a tight end to haul in the nice pass that Josh McCown threw to open the game. Gary Barnidge appeared to have a third down drop. Rob Housler was targeted in the end zone on the opening drive, but seemed to stumble throughout his route getting to the corner.
The pass protection was not all that bad. Remember that Josh McCown had all day to throw on the first series, and Johnny Manziel had some time too before the game got out of hand and the Jets starting sending the house. The run blocking remained a problem, as well as the amount of penalties this unit had. John Greco missed three snaps which Cameron Erving filled in for him on, but Erving also played in four other snaps in which Cleveland featured six offensive linemen (which I predicted in the pre-game).
We'll have coverage on the defensive snap counts later on.