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Browns’ offensive snap counts, stats, and PFF notes: Week 8

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DeShone Kizer didn’t turn the ball over, the running backs found some holes, and Spencer Drango more-than-delivered in replacing Joe Thomas at left tackle.

Minnesota Vikings v Cleveland Browns Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images

Below, we analyze the snap counts and stats on offense for the Cleveland Browns' Week 8 game against the Minnesota Vikings.

Quarterback

Pos Player Plays % Stats
Pos Player Plays % Stats
QB DeShone Kizer 59 100% 18-of-34 for 179 yards. 5 rushes, 18 yards, 1 TD.

Notes:

  • For the second straight week, I thought we saw a good gameplan from head coach Hue Jackson to help manage rookie DeShone Kizer. Why this wasn’t the approach from the get-go is beyond me, but it’s a path that could lead Cleveland to some wins in the second half of the season.
  • I’d still like to see the Browns take more advantage of Kizer’s mobility, both as a runner and a passer. One critique I had came in the second half, when he had TE David Njoku open in the flat off of playaction. Instead, he held the ball to see if anything else was open, and then it was too late to hit Njoku on the boundary. His throws in the red zone area were still weaknesses, and he missed Njoku beating S Harrison Smith in a one-on-one battle early on.
  • Per PFF, Kizer’s average time-to-throw on the season was 3.07 seconds, which was third worst in the NFL. Against Minnesota, it was only 2.47 seconds, which was his fastest mark of the season and one of the fastest among quarterbacks in Week 8.

Running Back

Pos Player Plays % Stats
Pos Player Plays % Stats
RB Isaiah Crowell 33 56% 11 carries, 64 yards (5.8 YPC), 1 TD. 4 catches, 54 yards (6 targets).
RB Duke Johnson 22 37% 6 carries, 33 yards (5.5 YPC). 4 catches, 10 yards (5 targets).
FB Danny Vitale 7 12% No stats registered.
RB Matthew Dayes 5 8% 1 catch, 15 yards (1 target).

Notes:

  • This was the best game of the season for Isaiah Crowell, who ran for over 60 yards the first time this season. He also had his first touchdown of the season, a 26-yarder on the team’s second offensive play. Crowell added a 38-yard catch-and-run that helped set up a score at the end of the first half.
  • Duke Johnson had some nice runs on the ground too, as both he and Crowell were over 5.5 yards per carry. Johnson had a little more trouble shaking defenders as a receiver this week, where his 4 catches went for just 10 yards.
  • Matthew Dayes got a few reps in garbage time late, but made an impact with a 72-yard kick return in the second half.

Wide Receiver

Pos Player Plays % Stats
Pos Player Plays % Stats
WR Ricardo Louis 52 88% 2 catches, 54 yards (4 targets).
WR Bryce Treggs 52 88% 1 catch, 12 yards (3 targets).
WR Rashard Higgins 39 66% 1 catch, 14 yards (1 target).
WR Kasen Williams 6 10% No stats registered.
WR Sammie Coates 4 7% 2 catches, 13 yards (2 targets).

Notes:

  • We were wondering how much work veteran Kenny Britt would get in London. Although he was active, he didn’t have a single snap. After the game, head coach Hue Jackson said “I just felt like I was going to put the best version of our football team out there this weekend, and that's what I felt good about, so that's what I did.”
  • Ricardo Louis had a nice 37-yard catch along the boundary, but had a drop earlier in the game on third down (although he was preaching there was interference). Overall, the receivers weren’t involved in the game very much, but my feeling is that Bryce Treggs is the most likely guy who can get open in a one-on-one match-up.

Tight End

Pos Player Plays % Stats
Pos Player Plays % Stats
TE Seth DeValve 32 54% 1 catch, 0 yards (3 targets).
TE David Njoku 24 41% 2 catches, 19 yards (7 targets).
TE Randall Telfer 19 32% No stats registered.

Notes:

  • This was a disappointing game for the tight ends. David Njoku’s first down drop after the Vikings took their biggest lead of the game (7 points) was a big miss, and he also kind of had a dropped pass earlier. When the game was a bit more out of reach (14 points), DeShone Kizer put a throw right on the button to Seth DeValve with two defenders on him, but he dropped it. Both tight ends received very low grades from PFF.
  • Blocking tight end Matt Lengel was active, but did not receive any snaps on offense.

Offensive Line

Pos Player Plays % Stats
Pos Player Plays % Stats
OL Spencer Drango 59 100%
OL Joel Bitonio 59 100%
OL J.C. Tretter 59 100%
OL Kevin Zeitler 59 100%
OL Shon Coleman 59 100%

Notes:

  • The Browns allowed 3 sacks and 9 quarterback hits to the Vikings. On one of Minnesota’s last defensive plays, DE Everson Griffen continued his sack streak. Per PFF, the Browns allowed just 4 pressures to the Vikings’ defense in 41 dropbacks, which was the third-best pass blocking efficiency of the week.
  • Take a bow, Spencer Drango. I thought he’d be a disaster at left tackle, but not only did he play well, he played at an above average level in my opinion. He did Joe Thomas proud, as Thomas wrote in his reaction to the game in a fascinating MMQB article. Drango graded to a 79.4 by PFF.
  • The player earning really high honors on the offensive line, though, was Shon Coleman (graded an 89.1, the highest grade of any tackle in Week 8). He didn’t allow a single pressure all game and was solid in run blocking too.

Babysteps. The Browns are starting to deploy the right gameplan, but in order for the short passing game and running game to work for four quarters, you need some more threatening wide receivers who can beat the defense here and there. Getting Corey Coleman back in a few weeks will help, but so will acquiring a receiver at the trade deadline.