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Browns' Offensive Snap Counts and Stats vs. Patriots

Looking at the offensive snap counts in the Browns' 33-13 loss to the Patriots.

Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Below, we analyze the snap counts and stats on offense for the Cleveland Browns' Week 5 game against the New England Patriots.


Pos Player Plays % Stats
QB Charlie Whitehurst
43 68% 14-of-24 (58.3%) for 182 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT. 2 rushes, 1 yard.
QB Cody Kessler
14 22% 5-of-8 (62.5%) for 62 yards, 1 TD. 1 rush, 0 yards. 1 safety.

When Josh McCown got hurt a few weeks ago, I wasn't too excited to see Cody Kessler in the starting lineup. After he suffered an injury that forced him to leave the game early, though, the emotional investment I had in this game completely left me. I guess that is a credit to the job that Kessler has done over the past couple of weeks. He wasn't lighting the world on fire, but he seemed like a smart quarterback who was accurate, which was the ceiling in his initial scouting report. With Whitehurst, I knew we'd be treated to a "nothing" quarterback -- meaning he is in no way, shape, or form part of the future, and he's not the type of skilled quarterback who can help get the ball to our young playmakers. This season is about doing what we can to develop our youngsters, and with Whitehurst in, watching the rest of the game turned into a, "what's the point?" feeling.

Running Back

Pos Player Plays % Stats
RB Isaiah Crowell 37 59% 13 carries, 22 yards, 1.7 avg. 1 catch, 18 yards (3 targets).
RB Duke Johnson 28 44% 4 carries, 1 yard, 0.25 avg. 2 catches, 21 yards (3 targets).
RB Malcolm Johnson 9 14% 0 catches (1 target).

For the first time this season, the Browns' offensive line just didn't have that "it" factor. I know the stats look bad for both running backs, but I don't think this was about either of them, particularly Isaiah Crowell, having a bad game. Crowell was still churning forward whenever he could...there just wasn't much there. The negative between these backs was seeing Johnson whiff on a catch, which led to an interception.

Wide Receiver

Pos Player Plays % Stats
WR Terrelle Pryor 63 100% 1-of-3 (33.3%) for 5 yards. 2 rushes, 3 yards, 1.5 avg.
5 catches, 48 yards (6 targets).
WR Andrew Hawkins 54 86% 4 catches, 56 yards (7 targets). 1 TD.
WR Ricardo Louis 41 65% 2 catches, 13 yards (5 targets).
WR Rashard Higgins
7 11% 0 catches (1 target).

It's all fun to say, "What if the Patriots were forced to start Julian Edelman" or "What if the Browns had to put in Terrelle Pryor by default," until it actually happens. Pryor was the last healthy quarterback on the roster by the end of the game, which isn't what you want. Pryor had a couple of nice catches again, but I nitpicked on one thing during the game: on some of his crossing routes, he has to stop coming back so hard toward the line of scrimmage, where his long strides are taking him back a couple of yards and allowing the defense to run in to contain him. It's OK to come back to the ball on comeback routes to ensure the defensive backs don't catch the pass, but you don't come back on crossing routes: that's where the quarterback's job is to lead you.

Tight End

Pos Player Plays % Stats
TE Gary Barnidge 61 97% 5 catches, 76 yards (8 targets).
TE Connor Hamlett
16 25% 1 catch, 17 yards (1 target). 1 TD.

He caught several passes up the seam as the game got out of reach, but Gary Barnidge also dropped a pass or two (personally, the one looked like a catch-and-fumble). Connor Hamlett's first ever target in the NFL went for a touchdown, so I guess that's a positive if you're looking for red zone options down the road.

Offensive Line

Pos Player Plays % Stats
OL Joe Thomas 63 100%
OL Joel Bitonio 63 100%
OL John Greco 63 100%
OL Alvin Bailey 63 100%
OL Austin Pasztor 63 100%
OL Spencer Drango
5 8%

The offensive line allowed 1 sack and 3 quarterback hits. That's right -- despite having two quarterbacks leave the game to injury, this was one of the more cleaner pass protecting games all season. Perhaps the Patriots sacrificed that so they could focus their efforts on stopping the run, where Cleveland's line struggled for the first time since Week 1.