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

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Cleveland’s offense hits another wall against the Steelers.

Cleveland Browns v Pittsburgh Steelers Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

Below, we analyze the snap counts and stats on offense for the Cleveland Browns’ Week 8 game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Quarterback

Pos Player Plays % Stats
Pos Player Plays % Stats
QB Baker Mayfield 64 100% 22-of-36 (61.1%) for 180 yards, 2 TD, 1 INT. 1 rush, 9 yards.
  • The Steelers kept blitzing Baker Mayfield and Cleveland’s protection had no answer for it. The gameplan on the team’s first drive of the game was a sound one — get RB Duke Johnson the ball in space in the flat, and then negate Pittsburgh’s blitzing pass rush with running plays with Nick Chubb. But you can only go so long without a downfield threat.
  • As the game went on, Joe Haden was ready for every receiver screen that Cleveland threw. On Mayfield’s interception in the first half, he was in the middle of calling some type of adjustment when JC Tretter snapped him the ball — and Mayfield just chucked it deep right, presumably because he tried to make something out of an abandon play of sorts.
  • Mayfield isn’t absolved of blame here. His throws were a bit high and not on target. Something needs to be done about the pass protection — I look at the time to throw that Ben Roethlisberger was afforded to throw and would love to see what Mayfield could do with that same amount of time. When Pittsburgh brings an extra man, they get a free lane. When Cleveland brings an extra man, Pittsburgh so easily picks it up.

Running Back

Pos Player Plays % Stats
Pos Player Plays % Stats
RB Nick Chubb 31 48% 18 carries, 65 yards (3.6 YPC). 2 catches, 10 yards (3 targets).
RB Duke Johnson 23 36% 2 carries, 0 yards (0.0 YPC). 2 catches, 16 yards (3 targets).
RB Dontrell Hilliard 15 23% 1 catch, 24 yards (1 target).
  • It was extremely frustrating to see Duke Johnson get the first two plays of the game (2 catches for 16 yards), and not have a reception the remainder of the way. It’s like — “we have something that works, so let’s not use it again.” Johnson’s injury may have played a factor, but then why did he still play 21 snaps after that?
  • I thought Nick Chubb had some really nice runs in the first half, going 10 carries for 52 yards. In the second half, he had 8 carries for 13 yards. That’s what happens with an imbalanced offense, though. Lots of Cleveland’s success seemed to involve running from a non-heavy package, yet they’d insist on bringing in heavy packages in which they were out-matched.
  • Dontrell Hilliard played some snaps late in the game and had a nice catch-and-run for 24 yards.

Wide Receiver

Pos Player Plays % Stats
Pos Player Plays % Stats
WR Antonio Callaway 59 92% 5 catches, 36 yards (6 targets). 1 TD.
WR Jarvis Landry 52 81% 8 catches, 39 yards (12 targets).
WR Damien Ratley 32 50% 1 catch, 21 yards (4 targets).
WR Breshad Perriman 9 14% 0 catches (1 target).
  • If I’m looking for a shred of optimism this week, it is the fact that Antonio Callaway made two very tightly-contested catches, and also did not drop the wide receiver screens that were thrown to him. The touchdown grab was his second of the year.
  • Jarvis Landry wasn’t getting separation, and to have 8 catches for 39 yards shows just how limited his downfield presence was. His longest catch went for 21 yards on a scramble play, so besides that, he had 7 catches for 18 yards. How many times did Cleveland want to go to the same play before realizing it wasn’t working?

Tight End

Pos Player Plays % Stats
Pos Player Plays % Stats
TE David Njoku 54 84% No stats registered.
TE Darren Fells 24 38% 1 catch, 6 yards (1 target).
TE Orson Charles 14 22% No stats registered.
TE Seth DeValve 5 8% 2 catches, 28 yards (2 targets). 1 TD.
  • 54 snaps for David Njoku, and he wasn’t targeted once all game.
  • In need of offensive playmakers, the Browns once again refused to play Seth DeValve...that is, until the final (garbage time) drive, when Mayfield targeted him twice for 28 yards, including a touchdown. Remind me again why he isn’t seeing at least a third of the snaps each week?

Offensive Line

Pos Player Plays % Stats
Pos Player Plays % Stats
OL Desmond Harrison 64 100%
OL Joel Bitonio 64 100%
OL JC Tretter 64 100%
OL Kevin Zeitler 64 100%
OL Chris Hubbard 64 100%
OL Greg Robinson 2 3%
  • The Browns allowed 2 sacks and 7 quarterback hits.
  • Week 1 against Pittsburgh was a bad game for LT Desmond Harrison, and the Steelers exposed him again in Week 8. Per Pro Football Focus:

This was a rough one for left tackle Desmond Harrison. He struggled to protect the edge in pass protection and took two bad holding penalties, both being charged as a result of him tackling a much smaller defender in space.

  • I am not saying that JC Tretter should be benched, but you can tell he is laboring a bit on his ankle when the pressure comes up the middle. If I’m the Browns, I look at the fact that the bye is coming up in three weeks. Cleveland should consider moving to Austin Corbett at center for these next two games, giving Tretter more than enough time to heal up — and you also get to see what your No. 33 overall pick has to offer.
  • Greg Robinson was the lucky sixth lineman to get two bonus snaps this week.