If you missed our film study on the Browns’ entire first offensive drive against the Ravens, click here. Cleveland’s defense did their job and forced a punt on Baltimore’s opening possession, allowing Isaiah Crowell to have a historic run on the same day Jim Brown’s statue was unveiled.
2nd Offensive Series
SUMMARY: The Browns gained 85 yards on 1 plays, with 1 penalty on the drive, taking up 0:11 of clock. The play was an 85-yard touchdown run by RB Isaiah Crowell, giving the Browns a 14-0 lead mid-way through the first quarter.
Play 1 (1st-and-10 @CLE 15): 85-yard rushing TD by Isaiah Crowell
You can’t really see him here, but the Browns are in the I-formation with FB Malcolm Johnson as a lead blocker and RB Isaiah Crowell as the tailback. On the left edge (again, when I say left, I am speaking from Crowell’s perspective), TE Gary Barnidge is going to ride No. 55 (OLB Terrell Suggs) upfield. Johnson is going to lay in to No. 32 (S Eric Weddle).
LT Joe Thomas will initially deliver a chip on the lineman in front of LG Joel Bitonio. Then, Thomas will get to the second level and seal off No. 57 (ILB C.J. Mosley). RG John Greco is going to pull over and surprise No. 54 (ILB Zachary Orr).
One of the keys here is that, besides Thomas (blue circle), Greco (magenta circle), and Johnson (yellow circle) all hitting their blocks successfully, they all do so at the same time, which prevents someone from being initially blocked only for them to creep back into the play. CB Shareece Wright (No. 24) was praised by PFF for the big game he had against the Bills in Week 1, but he takes an awful angle here, which prevents him from being a last line of defense against Crowell.
Crowell splits the remaining defenders and then shows off his speed as no one comes close to catching him on the 85-yard touchdown.
Here is a GIF of the action I just described:
Conclusion: I wonder if I’ll get to cover another one-play touchdown drive all season for the Browns; you don’t see them that often. Cleveland fans had to feel like they were on cloud nine after this run, which put the team up 14-0. This is what this team can do on the ground when C Cameron Erving or OT Spencer Drango aren’t out there whiffing on blocks.