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Browns’ offensive snap counts, stats, and PFF notes: Week 2

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David Njoku gets his first career TD leading the tight ends in snaps, and Rashard Higgins leads the wide receivers after not being on the roster more than a day.

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Cleveland Browns v Baltimore Ravens Photo by Rob Carr /Getty Images

Below, we analyze the snap counts and stats on offense for the Cleveland Browns' Week 2 game against the Baltimore Ravens.

Quarterback

Pos Player Plays % Stats
Pos Player Plays % Stats
QB DeShone Kizer 52 73% 15-of-31 for 182 yards, 3 INT. 5 rushes, 26 yards, 1 fumble.
QB Kevin Hogan 19 27% 5-of-11 for 118 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT. 1 rush, 5 yards.

Notes:

  • This was the definition of ugly for DeShone Kizer, who turned the ball over four times despite only playing about three quarters worth of action. It started early with him holding on to the ball too long, leading too a fumble. Two of his interceptions came in the red zone on plays in which his receivers were open.
  • Give credit to Kevin Hogan, who stepped in and was decisive on his first drive, drilling both of his receiving tight ends for big plays. He also had a nice outside shoulder throw to Corey Coleman, which the receiver just barely missed hauling in. Backed up in his own territory, he nearly had a 40-yard completion to Rashard Higgins on third down, but that wasn’t hauled in either.
  • Unfortunately, Hogan also tried to make a play that wasn’t there near the end of the first half, leading to an interception. That set off a trickle down effect that turned the game around. Worst-case scenario, Cleveland should’ve headed into the half down by a touchdown. Instead, they were down two scores, with Baltimore getting the ball to begin the second half.
  • Per PFF, Kizer graded out to a 32.3. When he wasn't pressured, Kizer was just 13-of-25 for 149 yards and three interceptions, the second-worst grade under pressure of the week. He also couldn’t push the ball downfield successfully, which goes against what appeared to be one of his strengths in the preseason.
  • PFF also offered insight into whether Kizer improved how quickly got the ball out. The answer? He got worse:

In Week 2, Kizer ranks last in average time to throw (3.36 seconds), average time per attempt (3.01 seconds) and next to last in average time to sack (4.55 seconds). All of these metrics were worse than the 3.05, 2.55, and 4.4 he posted in those same categories respectively last week.

Running Back

Pos Player Plays % Stats
Pos Player Plays % Stats
RB Duke Johnson 37 52% 4 carries, 21 yards (5.3 YPC). 3 catches, 59 yards (6 targets).
RB Isaiah Crowell 32 45% 10 carries, 37 yards (3.7 YPC). 0 catches (1 target).
FB Danny Vitale 6 8% No stats registered.
RB Matthew Dayes 4 6% No stats registered.

Notes:

  • I get that Hue Jackson doesn’t want to baby DeShone Kizer, but even if the running game isn’t working out the best, it’s irresponsible to have this team throw it 42 times and only hand the ball off to running backs 14 times. To compare, Baltimore attempted 34 passes and handed it off to their running backs 29 times.
  • Duke Johnson was back to his reps with the running backs this week, and his long run of 16 yards nearly went for a touchdown, but officials said his foot stepped out of bounds at the 3 yard line. Two plays later, Kizer was picked off. Johnson also made an incredible one-handed catch downfield. PFF says Johnson only had 3 snaps in the slot:
  • Only four snaps on offense this week for Matthew Dayes, and we still aren’t seeing enough of fullback Danny Vitale in my opinion. On a positive side, none of the running backs allowed a pressure in pass blocking this week.

Wide Receiver

Pos Player Plays % Stats
Pos Player Plays % Stats
WR Rashard Higgins 54 76% 7 catches, 95 yards (11 targets). 1 rush, 4 yards.
WR Kenny Britt 42 59% 1 catch, 2 yards (2 targets).
WR Corey Coleman 38 54% 1 catch, 9 yards (7 targets).
WR Ricardo Louis 32 45% 2 catches, 27 yards (2 targets).
WR Sammie Coates 26 37% 0 catches (4 targets).

Notes:

  • The Ravens’ top two cornerbacks are pretty good (Brandon Carr and Jimmy Smith), and they shut Cleveland’s top two receivers down as Kenny Britt and Corey Coleman combined for 2 catches for 11 yards on 9 targets. Britt had an offensive pass interference call against him and gave some very lazy-looking effort on a couple of plays. Coleman also had one drop and couldn’t haul in a downfield pass from Hogan.
  • After getting called up on Saturday, our speculation about Rashard Higgins playing the slot came true, and he stunningly delivered the best performance of the game, catching 7 passes for 95 yards. I mean, that’s like an RKO out of no where. At least Hue Jackson got one thing right in the gameplan. Per PFF, 88.4% of Higgins’ routes came from the slot, and he caught passes against five different defenders.
  • With Kasen Williams inactive, Sammie Coates saw his first receiving reps of the season. He was targeted on several deep balls, but couldn’t haul any in. I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s cut before long.

Tight End

Pos Player Plays % Stats
Pos Player Plays % Stats
TE David Njoku 34 48% 3 catches, 27 yards (4 targets).
TE Seth DeValve 31 44% 2 catches, 61 yards (4 targets).
TE Randall Telfer 19 27% 1 catch, 20 yards (1 target).

Notes:

  • At least the tight ends delivered in the receiving game. The trio of Seth DeValve, David Njoku, and Randall Telfer was targeted 9 times, leading to 6 catches for 108 yards and 1 touchdown.
  • I feel like DeValve should’ve been used a little more, and I’m also still puzzled about why we’re using Njoku on screen passes on early downs. He doesn’t look fast enough to build a full head of steam from the line of scrimmage.
  • PFF says that Njoku allowed two pressures in five pass blocking attempts.

Offensive Line

Pos Player Plays % Stats
Pos Player Plays % Stats
OL Joe Thomas 71 100%
OL Joel Bitonio 71 100%
OL J.C. Tretter 71 100%
OL Kevin Zeitler 71 100%
OL Shon Coleman 71 100%

Notes:

  • The Ravens registered 3 sacks and 10 quarterback hits. Overall, I thought the protection held up better than it did a week ago. Kizer’s three interception came when he was not under duress.
  • Per PFF, the Browns' top three graded players on offense were C J.C. Tretter (83.4), LG Joel Bitonio (82.7), and LT Joe Thomas (80.8). Congrats to Thomas for surpassing 10,000 consecutive snaps to begin his career.
  • Digging deeper into Tretter’s improved day, PFF says his pass block grade was 89.8 and he allowed no pressures ont he day.
  • RT Shon Coleman logged two tackles on the day.

Thanks to Pro Football Focus for some of the neat stats they provided. You can follow their PFF Twitter account exclusively about the Browns @PFF_Cleveland.