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Browns’ offensive snap counts, stats, and notes: Week 1

The running backs and offensive line performed well, but quarterback and wide receiver were an issue.

Cleveland Browns v Baltimore Ravens Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images

Below, we analyze the snap counts and stats on offense for the Cleveland Browns’ Week 1 game against the Baltimore Ravens.

Quarterback

Player Plays % Stats
Player Plays % Stats
Baker Mayfield 73 100% 21-of-39 (53.8%) for 189 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT. 2 rushes, 3 yards.
  • Everyone who reads me over the years knows that I like to give players the benefit of the doubt, right? There’s no way I’m going to kill Baker Mayfield for his Week 1 performance, as I knew the Ravens (or Chiefs) would be the worst possible match-ups for Cleveland to face to start off the season, having had little practice time in this system. Just think about all the training camp sessions that I described — so much of that was the team basically doing light walk-throughs. Cleveland was a team that would’ve really benefited from several preseason games.
  • With all of that said, Mayfield’s Week 1 performance was a disappointment. I like at the type of quarterback that Mayfield needs to be in this offense, and it comes down to quick reads, high efficiency, and then using that arm to hit his talented receivers downfield on the occasion where they do break free. Instead, Mayfield barely completed 50% of his passes again. He had a pass tipped for an interception, and nearly had a couple of other interceptions. The ball placement has to be better — look at what Russell Wilson, or hell, even Gardner Minshew, did in their wins.
  • While Mayfield still rolled out a few times when he didn’t have to, I thought he looked more comfortable in the pocket than the start of the season in 2019 — which is probably more of a testament to the offensive line play, but it’s something.

Running Back

Player Plays % Stats
Player Plays % Stats
Kareem Hunt 36 49% 13 carries, 72 yards (5.5 YPC). 4 catches, 9 yards (6 targets).
Nick Chubb 35 48% 10 carries, 60 yards (6.0 YPC). 1 fumble. 1 catch, 6 yards (1 target).
Andy Janovich 9 12% No stats registered.
D'Ernest Johnson 4 5% 1 carry, 5 yards (5.0 YPC).
  • Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt looked solid in their debut, and the utilization of the backs seemed good until the game got out of reach. Although Chubb and Hunt both had fumbles (Hunt recovered his own), I see those as early-season miscues for them. These guys are the top priorities on offense, so their involvement has to be much more moving forward — of course, that is contingent upon “being within scoring reach” in the second half of a game.
  • Andy Janovich played nine snaps in his debut as the Browns’ fullback.

Wide Receiver

Player Plays % Stats
Player Plays % Stats
Odell Beckham 55 75% 3 catches, 22 yards (10 targets).
Jarvis Landry 52 71% 5 catches, 61 yards (6 targets).
KhaDarel Hodge 40 55% 1 catch, 12 yards (3 targets).
Rashard Higgins 16 22% 1 catch, 9 yards (1 target).
JoJo Natson 2 3% No stats registered.
  • For the first half of the game, we were thinking, “Hmmm, no targets for Odell Beckham Jr. yet.” But then, toward the end of the first half, he dropped a wide open third down pass. If he catches that, the Browns might have continued on to go into the half down 17-14. Instead, they missed the field goal, and the Ravens quickly drove for a touchdown to be up 24-6. The nail was in the coffin.
  • Beckham has to be better, but then in the second half, Mayfield kept trying to force feed him the ball. Over, and over, and over again. It contributed to taking Cleveland out of their offensive gameplan, and I’m surprised that Kevin Stefanski allowed it — rest assured, that won’t happen again.
  • I thought Beckham looked explosive, and he was open on the deep ball a few times. The dropped pass is 100% Beckham’s fault, and he has to be better. The facemask penalty on him also killed a drive. But Mayfield forcing the ball to him in the wrong situations compounds matters too. Both players have to be better, plain and simple. But we played this song-and-dance for 16 games last season; when will they actually turn into a dynamic duo?
  • Ugh. I don’t hate KhaDharel Hodge, but seriously, what the heck is so wrong with Rashard Higgins that he isn’t the No. 3 receiver? I thought he had won the job, but instead, this game brought me back to nightmares of last year when Freddie Kitchens refused to play Higgins. The team has stated how much chemistry that Mayfield and Higgins have, so why isn’t he the third receiver?

Tight End

Player Plays % Stats
Player Plays % Stats
Austin Hooper 56 77% 2 catches, 15 yards (2 targets).
Harrison Bryant 31 42% 1 catch, 5 yards (2 targets).
David Njoku 17 23% 3 catches, 50 yards (3 targets). 1 TD.
Stephen Carlson 12 16% 0 catches (1 target).
  • The team’s best offensive player was David Njoku, despite him playing just 23% of the snaps. He didn’t have to make a hands catch, but did a great job on two of his catches at using his body to control the catch and secure it tightly. I hate that after such a positive start, he’s now on injured reserve for an indefinite amount of time.
  • Austin Hooper only had 2 catches, and Harrison Bryant only had 1 catch. These guys will get more involved over the coming weeks.

Offensive Line

Player Plays % Stats
Player Plays % Stats
Joel Bitonio 73 100%
JC Tretter 73 100%
Wyatt Teller 73 100%
Jack Conklin 73 100%
Jedrick Wills Jr. 57 78%
Kendall Lamm 16 22%
  • The Browns allowed 2 sacks and 6 quarterback hits to the Ravens.
  • I talked up RG Wyatt Teller before the game, and his offseason work paid off, at least for Week 1: he was the highest-graded player on offense, per PFF, with a grade of 91.2. The Browns’ offensive line in general held up very well, and should probably earn the honor for the best positional unit of the game:
  • A unit that performed this good should not have scored just six points.
  • Jedrick Wills wasn’t anything great in his debut, but it’s all about expectations: I just didn’t want him to look horribly lost, and for most of the game, I thought he held up. I was very worried when he had to leave early with an injury, but fingers crossed that he’ll be ready to play Thursday or the following week.