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Browns’ offensive snap counts, stats, and PFF notes: Week 7

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The quarterback issues continue, Kenny Britt sees way too much action again, and the running backs make plays as receivers.

NFL: Tennessee Titans at Cleveland Browns Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Below, we analyze the snap counts and stats on offense for the Cleveland Browns' Week 7 game against the Tennessee Titans.

Quarterback

Pos Player Plays % Stats
Pos Player Plays % Stats
QB Cody Kessler 38 52% 10-of-19 for 121 yards,1 INT. 1 rush, -1 yards.
QB DeShone Kizer 35 48% 12-of-20 for 114 yards, 2 INT.

Notes:

  • It took seven games, but Hue Jackson finally attempted to follow the script that I would’ve had for the Browns all along with a young quarterback in DeShone Kizer: keep the game close with a very simple offense, combined with a solid defensive effort.
  • Kizer was following the script OK until he decided to loft a pass toward the end zone when there was a bunch of traffic there. I was at the game in one of the end zones, and as soon as he let the pass go, I thought, “Oh my god, what is he doing? That’s either getting picked or knocked down.”
  • I understand pulling Kizer in the second half after another interception. Cody Kessler came in and, like Kevin Hogan has as a reserve in the past, was confident in finding some receivers downfield. But once Joe Thomas exited the game, Kessler (rightly so) lost all confidence to stand in the pocket.
  • Per PFF, Kizer had an 89.2 QB rating on throws 2.5 seconds or less, one of his best marks of the season. On throws that took longer to make decisions, though, he was 3-of-8 with 2 interceptions despite not being under pressure on many passes.

Running Back

Pos Player Plays % Stats
Pos Player Plays % Stats
RB Isaiah Crowell 39 53% 17 carries, 35 yards (2.1 YPC). 4 catches, 36 yards (6 targets).
RB Duke Johnson 36 49% 7 carries, 26 yards (3.7 YPC). 6 catches, 45 yards (7 targets).
FB Danny Vitale 10 14% 1 catch, 11 yards (1 target).

Notes:

  • The Browns didn’t have a lot of big runs against the Titans, but I appreciate the commitment: 24 rushes by running backs, a season high for Cleveland.
  • The area in which the backs did the most damage was as receivers, where they combined for 10 catches for 81 yards. It’s too bad the final attempt by Isaiah Crowell near the end of regular ended up hitting the ground, because he gave a great effort afterward that would’ve yielded a first down and perhaps helped lead to a game-winning touchdown instead of a game-tying field goal.
  • Danny Vitale caught a pass and lowered his shoulder for 11 yards. It might seem silly, but when you see guys like Crowell, Duke Johnson, and Vitale create mis-matches as receivers, and then such lackluster play at the receiver position, I which they were used even more than the already-high volume of 11 catches for backs.

Wide Receiver

Pos Player Plays % Stats
Pos Player Plays % Stats
WR Ricardo Louis 65 89% 3 catches, 21 yards (4 targets).
WR Kenny Britt 55 75% 2 catches, 5 yards (7 targets).
WR Rashard Higgins 48 66% 1 catch, 11 yards (3 targets).
WR Bryce Treggs 11 15% 1 catch, 19 yards (2 targets). 1 carry, 6 yards.
WR Kasen Williams 6 8% 0 catches (1 target).
WR Sammie Coates 6 8% No stats registered.

Notes:

  • This was a swing and a miss by Hue Jackson with respect to his wide receiver utilization. Kenny Britt returned and played in 75% of the snaps, second on the team. Meanwhile, Kasen Williams, who had been a solid option the past two weeks, was tied for a team low 8% of the snaps.
  • Bryce Treggs only played in 15% of the snaps, but he had a nice 19-yard grab and a 6-yard gain off of a jet sweep.

Tight End

Pos Player Plays % Stats
Pos Player Plays % Stats
TE Seth DeValve 37 51% 2 catches, 27 yards (4 targets).
TE David Njoku 28 38% 2 catches, 58 yards (5 targets).
TE Randall Telfer 24 33% No stats registered.

Notes:

  • One of David Njoku’s catches was called incomplete by the officials, and Hue Jackson opted not to challenge it. That one was an OK non-challenge, because it wouldn’t have resulted in a first down anyway, and the team would’ve attempted a field goal regardless. Still, it’s nice to see some more down-field work for Njoku.
  • What I don’t like seeing is Njoku having 38% of the snaps. He should be out there 75% of the time, with Seth DeValve close behind him.

Offensive Line

Pos Player Plays % Stats
Pos Player Plays % Stats
OL Joel Bitonio 73 100%
OL J.C. Tretter 73 100%
OL Kevin Zeitler 73 100%
OL Shon Coleman 73 100%
OL Joe Thomas 43 59%
OL Spencer Drango 30 41%

Notes:

  • I feel like I jinxed myself on Saturday, when during my preview for the game, I said, “It’s pretty impressive that Cleveland’s line has yet to miss a single snap through six games.” I witnessed the end of a historic streak in person, which I guess is a story I can tell people down the road.
  • The Browns allowed 2 sacks and 7 quarterback hits. Per PFF, the Browns allowed 14 pressures during the game, but 10 of those came after Thomas’ exit late in the third quarter. The biggest victims were Spencer Drango (43.0 grade, allowing 2 pressures in 19 pass blocking snaps) and Shon Coleman (33.5 grade, allowing 3 pressures and 2 sacks).

I have no idea where the Browns go at quarterback after this. With how bad the play has been there, and the lack of long-term excitement about the team’s wide receivers, I don’t feel invested at all. Corey Coleman can’t get back soon enough, and Kenny Britt can’t get off this team soon enough.