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Browns’ offensive snap counts, stats, and PFF notes: Week 17

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A good day for a couple of receivers, while QB DeShone Kizer gives a microcosm of everything good, bad, and baffling about his play.

NFL: Cleveland Browns at Pittsburgh Steelers Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Below, we analyze the snap counts and stats on offense for the Cleveland Browns' Week 17 game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Quarterback

Player Plays % Stats
Player Plays % Stats
DeShone Kizer 65 100% 16-of-30 for 314 yards, 2 TD, 1 INT. 6 rushes, 61 yards.
  • This game was a microcosm of everything good, bad, and baffling about DeShone Kizer. Let’s start with the good: his mobility was mostly an asset this week, helping break the Steelers’ defense down and also escaping a fourth down sack to find a wide open Corey Coleman at the end of the game (even though he dropped it). Kizer’s deep pass to Josh Gordon was the only pass all season that he threw in stride deep down the middle-to-right side of the field. He also zipped a few nice intermediate passes.
  • The bad? So many incompletions were skipped in the dirt or at the feet of receivers, and I don’t think they were intentional. He threw the ball low to an open fullback for what would’ve been a touchdown had it been up higher. Kizer also missed Isaiah Crowell and Duke Johnson uncovered in the flat on two instances, showing bad pre-snap reads. The outcomes were a sack and an interception.
  • The baffling? Taking a timeout with two seconds left in the first quarter instead of just letting the quarter expire. PFF says that Kizer was 15-of-22 for 299 yards, 2 TD (141.3 QB rating) when he wasn’t pressured. Under pressure eight times, he completed 1 pass for 17 yards, threw an INT, and was sacked 6 times (0.0 QB rating).

Running Back

Player Plays % Stats
Player Plays % Stats
Isaiah Crowell 36 55% 15 carries, 21 yards (1.4 YPC).
Duke Johnson 30 46% 6 carries, 20 yards (3.3 YPC). 1 TD. 6 catches, 75 yards (6 targets). 1 fumble.
Marquez Williams 10 15% 0 catches (1 target).
  • It wasn’t a good final game for Isaiah Crowell, and it might end up being the final game of his career in orange and brown. I don’t see Cleveland offering him a big contract, and if Crowell is going to make average money in the NFL, I think he’s done dealing with Hue Jackson.
  • Duke Johnson, on the other hand, continues to be the team’s best offensive weapon, despite the unfortunate fourth quarter fumble on a long screen pass (although in fairness to Johnson, he was hacked on the facemask before losing the ball). It’ll be interesting to see whether Dorsey tries to work out an extension with Johnson.
  • In his debut with the team, fullback Marquez Williams had 10 snaps, about the same workload that Danny Vitale was getting. Williams was targeted on a low pass in the end zone, but couldn’t haul it in.

Wide Receiver

Player Plays % Stats
Player Plays % Stats
Josh Gordon 54 83% 4 catches, 115 yards (7 targets).
Corey Coleman 52 80% 1 catch, 18 yards (6 targets).
Rashard Higgins 45 69% 3 catches, 68 yards (4 targets). 2 TDs.
Ricardo Louis 11 17% 0 catches (2 targets).
Sammie Coates 8 12% No stats registered.
  • If people questioned Josh Gordon’s effort the week before, they certainly couldn’t do that against the Steelers. His flag route was a thing of beauty, setting up the team’s first touchdown. He also beat a defensive back to a ball to not only prevent an interception, but make the catch.
  • A forgetful game for Corey Coleman, and now it’s time to start thinking about his ceiling as a receiver or whether the slot would be more suitable for him. Just look at how much further along JuJu Smith-Schuster is than him. I feel bad that the final chance at winning came down to a point blank drop on him; he shouldn’t have to live with that horror. But it is a play he needs to make — he knows that.
  • Rashard Higgins had two stud games this season, and no one could’ve expected that second one to come in Week 17 when he logged his only two touchdowns of the season. He was able to make amends for fighting so hard last week for a touchdown before fumbling. Higgins also helped break up an interception.

Tight End

Player Plays % Stats
Player Plays % Stats
Seth DeValve 35 54% 0 catches (1 target).
David Njoku 24 37% 2 catches, 38 yards (3 targets).
Randall Telfer 20 31% No stats registered.
  • When David Njoku reached up to catch a short but high pass and then proceeded to rumble downfield for a big game, I threw my arms up in the air, because that is the type of play I had hoped to see from him all season. Now we get the tease in Week 17? Hopefully Njoku can work on his craft this offseason to be a bigger part of the offense in 2018.
  • As for Seth DeValve and Randall Telfer, I expect both of them to be considered for the unemployment line.

Offensive Line

Player Plays % Stats
Player Plays % Stats
Spencer Drango 65 100%
Joel Bitonio 65 100%
J.C. Tretter 65 100%
Kevin Zeitler 65 100%
Shon Coleman 65 100%
  • The Browns allowed 6 sacks and 10 quarterback hits.
  • Despite that, PFF says that the Browns pass-protected well against Pittsburgh, allowing just 6 pressures all game. They say that each running back allowed one sack, and Kizer was responsible for two of the sacks.
  • J.C. Tretter and Kevin Zeitler did not allow any pressures.

At some point, we’ll do a round-up of snap counts for the entire season. Kizer may have actually played more than any other Browns quarterback since 1999 aside from Derek Anderson, when you think of the number of games he started.