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Browns’ offensive snap counts, stats, and notes: Week 7

D’Ernest Johnson received PFF’s highest grade for a RB this season.

Denver Broncos v Cleveland Browns Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Below, we analyze the snap counts and stats on offense for the Cleveland Browns’ Week 7 game against the Denver Broncos.

Quarterback

Pos Player Plays % Stats
Pos Player Plays % Stats
QB Case Keenum 71 100% 21-of-33 (63.6%) for 199 yards, 1 TD. 4 rushes, 7 yards.
  • The salary that Case Keenum has been making as a backup has been poked at by Browns fans occasionally, but he got to prove his value in the team’s 17-14 win over the Broncos. I don’t think Keenum offers enough long-term starting value, but he can keep the ship sailing for a stretch.
  • When the first or second play of the game happened, seeing Keenum run a playaction fake and roll to his left, I thought I was watching Baker Mayfield. The point in bringing that up is that Keenum has familiarity with Kevin Stefanski, so even on a week with no real practice for him, he was able to operate the playbook.
  • Things I didn’t like from Keenum: holding the ball a bit too long in the two-minute drill, a time when I wish Cleveland would’ve just run the ball. He almost gave me a heart attack a few times when a rusher was coming and he didn’t feel it coming.
  • The biggest clutch play that Keenum made was an uncharacteristic one: on fourth down near the goal line, he tucked it and ran, and should’ve been stopped about 1.5-2 yards short, but instead he bowled and spun forward for a first down.

Running Back

Pos Player Plays % Stats
Pos Player Plays % Stats
RB D'Ernest Johnson 49 69% 22 carries, 146 yards (6.6 YPC), 1 TD. 2 catches, 22 yards (2 targets).
RB Johnny Stanton 11 15% 2 carries, 5 yards (2.5 YPC). 1 catch, 1 yards (1 target), 1 TD.
RB John Kelly 3 4% 2 carries, 13 yards (6.5 YPC).
  • What a [bleeping] game for D’Ernest Johnson. His performance against the Cowboys last season was nice, but also chalked up to, “Well, Dallas’ defense is the worst in the NFL, so it’s hard to evaluate him.” The Broncos’ defense was much better, and Johnson shredded them. Good offensive line blocking certainly helps, but a lot of those extra yards that Johnson picked up were his vision, speed, and strength.
  • In fact, PFF graded Johnson to a 90.6, which was the highest grade given to a running back in the NFL this entire season. More from PFF:

He broke five tackles and gained 75 yards after contact while rushing for seven first downs as well. Four of his 22 runs went for 10 yards or more, and he was held to zero or fewer yards on just one carry.

  • The Browns utilized Johnson as a bellcow back. John Kelly, promoted off the practice squad, had 2 carries for 13 yards. Fullback Johnny Stanton converted two 3rd-and-short runs, and also caught a touchdown pass.

Wide Receiver

Pos Player Plays % Stats
Pos Player Plays % Stats
WR Odell Beckham 43 61% 2 catches, 23 yards (6 targets).
WR Rashard Higgins 42 59% 1 catch, -2 yards (2 targets).
WR Jarvis Landry 38 54% 5 catches, 37 yards (8 targets).
WR Anthony Schwartz 29 41% 2 catches, 22 yards (3 targets).
WR Demtric Felton 22 31% 3 catches, 21 yards (3 targets).
  • This was a bad game for Odell Beckham Jr, and one has to wonder if the knee issue is still lingering in his head a little bit. We know the shoulder injury is painful for him on top of that — but he’s not playing loose at all right now. He had two catches to start the second half and was extremely fired up after them. I understand that reaction to an extent, but it also goes to show you the mental aspect that Beckham is trying to get over right now so that he can be a playmaker again without overthinking things.
  • Jarvis Landry returned and had an immediate impact. He just has that “it” factor, and his 5 catches for 37 yards were a lot more valuable than the stats would indicate. He had one grab overturned on a challenge late in the game.
  • For the second week in a row, a reverse to Anthony Schwartz went for negative yardage. I wonder if this will eventually set up some double reverse to Landry, followed by a pass.
  • Donovan Peoples-Jones suffered an injury before the game and did not see any snaps. Rashard Higgins wasn’t involved much in the receiving game. Demetric Felton saw his most action of the year.

Tight End

Pos Player Plays % Stats
Pos Player Plays % Stats
TE Austin Hooper 46 65% 2 catches, 42 yards (3 targets).
TE David Njoku 42 59% 2 catches, 18 yards (2 targets).
TE Harrison Bryant 30 42% 1 catch, 15 yards (2 targets).
  • The play of the game for the tight ends was the tight end screen pass. It worked well early on, but by the second half, the Broncos had caught on to it and defended two of them well.
  • Austin Hooper received the third-highest game grade by PFF (86.7), which has to be a tribute to his blocking on the day.

Offensive Line

Pos Player Plays % Stats
Pos Player Plays % Stats
OL Jedrick Wills 71 100%
OL Joel Bitonio 71 100%
OL JC Tretter 71 100%
OL Wyatt Teller 71 100%
OL Blake Hance 71 100%
  • It was great to see the entire line start and finish a game, especially Jedrick Wills.
  • Is Wyatt Teller hitting midseason form? He received his highest grade of the season from PFF (91.1).
  • PFF says that Blake Hance received the lowest grade among the Browns’ starting linemen, allowing four pressures. I still value his versatility, and Jack Conklin might be able to return this week.