The Cleveland Browns are 3-2 after knocking off the San Francisco 49ers in Week 6 of the NFL season. Despite an offense that has struggled to put up points consistently and that has been plagued by a number of major injuries, the Browns defense has been historically great.
For HC Kevin Stefanski, the team’s record and production on offense will be how he is judged. Stefanski is the play caller on that side of the ball which has led to much of the criticism sent his way. Some of that criticism is valid as fans and media evaluate games at a play-by-play level.
On the other hand, RB Nick Chubb and OL Jack Conklin have missed most of the season, QB Deshaun Watson missed two games despite a bye week in the middle and OL Joel Bitonio missed Week 6.
As the game is more and more broken down by individual plays, ESPN’s Dan Orlovsky did just that with Cleveland’s offense. His verdict? Stefanski and the coaching staff have set the Browns up well:
Four plays do not tell the entire story of a team but all four plays were at the most crucial times. It also helped that the players performed their duties well. As an analyst, it can sometimes be hard to tell what is good/bad coaching versus a player not doing what he was coached to do.
If Cleveland had lost to the 49ers, Stefanski would be under the gun for throwing the ball late in the game which gave San Francisco another chance to win the game. As it is, the story is almost always written by the winners.
Through six weeks of the 2023 NFL season, the Browns are 3-2 despite what looked like a very tough start to the season. Now, the offense needs to take steps further and prove Orlovsky correct. If not, Stefanski will either ride the defense to the playoffs or find himself looking for another job.
Do these four plays at important moments tell you anything new about Stefanski and the offensive coaches?