Does it seem the Browns are up against a wall for this season? They were 5-5-0 going into this week’s game against the Detroit Lions who obviously aren’t going anywhere. But for Cleveland, a string of wins just could catapult them back into the playoff hunt which will come sooner than later.
11 games on the books with six remaining. Have you gazed at the rest of the schedule? It ain’t a pretty sight and will be a tough stretch. But good teams should be able to defeat other good teams.
What could have been a statement game for the Browns was anything but as they barely won 13-10. Yes, it was a win. And yes, they needed the victory.
One thing is for certain: if Cleveland played this poorly against the league’s worst club, how are they going to react against the Ravens, Packers, Bengals and Steelers down the stretch?
So who played well for the Browns? Who didn’t?
RB Nick Chubb - Nobody moves the sticks like Chubb as he is constantly grinding those tree stumps he calls legs. 22 carries for 130 yards is only part of the success. Late in the game he converted a third-and-three and also a third-and-two for another set of downs and more importantly, kept the clock running. Nice day Nicholas.
LB Anthony Walker - Somebody please extend this man quickly. Every week he leads the defense in leadership and usually tackles. This week he led the club with eight.
CB Denzel Ward - His man Amon-Ra St. Brown had just four catches for 18-yards all game and was never a factor. QB Tim Boyle’s deep right toss intended for Josh Reynolds was a very athletic interception by Ward at Cleveland’s 20 in the third stanza.
LB Malcolm Smith - The veteran was a game difference maker. His interception in the first quarter came on a third-and-13 at the Browns’ 23-yard line and stopped a very good Lions drive. Late in the fourth quarter, he slammed Detroit RB D’Andre Swift on a third-and-two with 9:53 remaining in the contest with Cleveland holding a 13-7 edge. The Lions were forced to kick a field goal. Four tackles with one batted pass.
Leftside offensive line - Much of Chubb’s success was to the left with LT Jedrick Wills and LG Joel Bitonio opening holes. Add blocking by Austin Hooper to this side and the lanes were just there.
RG Wyatt Teller - Having a Pro Bowl year does not excuse the amount of penalties the star guard had today. Two were after the Browns had made a key third down conversion. In the third quarter Teller had a holding call after TE David Njoku had gained 10-yards on a third-and-10. That drive ended in a punt. On the next possession, the drive began with a false start call. During the second drive of the fourth quarter, Teller had an illegal block above the waist flag which set them back 10-yards that dropped the offense back to the Cleveland 25.
K Chase McLaughlin - The king of not missing hooked his lone field goal attempt wide right and then had an extra point blocked.
The weekly third down mention - This offense just can’t get any traction on third down plays. In the first half this unit went three for seven. Not to be outdone, the second half was exactly the same ending up with a horrible stat of 6 for 14. Good teams find a way to keep the ball instead of running out their punter.
QB Baker Mayfield - Late in the third quarter, Mayfield looked like damaged goods after being planted into the turf one too many times. Gimpy, shoe untied, slowly moving back into the huddle, standing at an angle was the picture the Lions defense was given. Yet, he continued to play. And when he did it was overthrows, short-armed passes, complete sails and twice intercepted. Midway through the second quarter he had a 27.1 QB rating. Once in a while he would toss a downfield strike to Rashard Higgins or Ja’Marcus Bradley or a short pass to Austin Hooper, but overall he was just off all day. 15 for 29 for 176 yards and a final QB rating of 53.2. In the third quarter alone three drives ended in three punts. On one possession it was: incomplete pass to Njoku thrown short, Rashard Higgins short incomplete pass, Higgins overthrown incompletion.
Safety play of John Johnson and Grant Delpit - Johnson had a very inconsistent game and was out of position several times. But the inclusion of both of these players being inserted into this category had to do with the 57-yard touchdown run by Detroit running back D’Andre Swift. Going to his right after cutting upfield, Johnson had a direct shot at Swift at the 45-yard line and then watched the speedy back run right past him. Both Greedy Williams and Greg Newsome were engaged in blocks and were out of the play. That left Delpit all alone who took the Swift head bob to the rightside, then cut up the middle for nothing but green. Click the “Watch on YouTube” link and watch Johnson and Delpit’s reactions on this particular play.
DT Jordan Elliott - He didn’t have many reps, but the ones he did he was continuously pushed out of the play as Detroit continued to run up the gut for big yardage. Accounted for one tackle all game.
Milk Bones – this is the worst idea you’ve had....I’ll be there in 15 minutes
Tight end play - There were doses given here and there about the overall talent is in this room. Then, the tight ends were ignored. Austin Hooper had several key passes that helped in the short game and is a very good downfield blocker. He was targeted seven times with four catches for 53-yards including a key 20-yard snag. Njoku did the most with his two catches while Harrison Bryant had two targets for zero catches and some nice downfield blocking.
DT’s Malik Jackson and Malik McDowell - The Malik’s proved stout at the line of scrimmage for most of the first half, and then allowed huge chunks of yardage in the second half.
WR Ja’Marcus Bradley - The little used receiver caught both of his targets including a 37-yard strike in the third quarter that set up the Browns at Detroit’s 48. Finished with two catches for 46-yards and a 23.0 average.
CB Herb Miller - The backup cornerback was impressive in punt and kickoff coverage.
Was Baker Mayfield’s grade as a "Frownie" correct?
This poll is closed
I would have preferred in the category as a Milk Bone