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Broulis Beat Report: Browns Fumbles, Slow Start Costly

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CANTON,Ohio- I have to give Hue Jackson a lot of credit. Yes, the Browns continue to lose despite the effort they put forth, but the game plan that he makes for them and his attitude remain positive. Hue’s character and patience were tested Sunday, especially after a 31-20 loss to the Washington Redskins.

After the Cleveland defense allowed Washington to get out to an early 14-0 lead, the Browns responded to tie the game at 14. Cleveland then took a 17-14 lead.

So where was the down fall of the game? Malcolm Johnson fumbled the ball and that seemed to change the momentum of the game. To top that off, Duke Johnson later fumbled the ball himself.

Coming into the season I had more praise for Duke Johnson than Isaiah Crowell. Right now, Crowell is running the ball very very well, as his field vision has improved and he has more patience than last season. I think it is safe to say that at this moment Terrelle Pryor and Crowell are the best weapons the Browns have on the offensive side of the ball.

Speaking of Pryor, he had a good first half against Redskins CB Josh Norman. Pryor continues to make progress and right now he is single handedly keeping the Browns from potential blowouts.

Other than the interception, Cody Kessler looked good considering how bad of an offensive line he has in front of him and the revolving door at center. While Kessler may not be Cleveland’s long term answer, he hasn’t really done much to hurt the Browns.

Defensively I was extremely disappointed with the Browns in multiple ways. First, lets focus on football 101, tackling! Cleveland continues to struggle at tackling. It bothers me so much when I see defenders try and tackle offensive players up high or just thrust their shoulder into them. They must focus on remembering to wrap the player up and give their teammates a chance to get there to help make the tackle.

Secondly, after catching two touchdown passes, Cleveland finally decided to keep an eye on tight end Jordan Reed. Jordan caught 9 passes for 73 yards.

Finally, the rush defense continues to struggle. Matt Jones ran for over 100 yards. You could see coach Jackson just shaking his head on the sidelines. And it wasn’t just because of that.

Kirk Cousins picked apart the defense like he did when he played Cleveland his first time around. I know, he threw an interception. But Cousins was much too comfortable standing in the pocket.

At the end of the day, having three turnovers is hard enough for any team to overcome, let alone a team with such a lack of talent and a large amount of youth like Cleveland. 

If the third quarter wasn’t such a mess, the Browns might, MIGHT have had a chance. 

At least Cody Parkey looked more comfortable kicking. 

Cleveland only has had one home game, so getting back to FirstEnergy stadium next week will be welcomed with open arms. But the task at hand for the now 0-4 Cleveland Browns is extremely tough. The New England Patriots come to Cleveland with a 3-1 record after being shut out at home to the Buffalo Bills. 

Oh yeah, by the way, they get the best quarterback in football back in Tom Brady. Hopefully Cleveland can confuse Brady enough and get some lucky breaks. Otherwise, it’ll be a long Sunday.

Speaking of a key player returning. It sure would have been nice if Josh Gordon could been able to keep himself on track.

Look, I’m not here to down grade Gordon, but isn’t obvious that football is not his top priority. I loved reading Hue Jackson say “We need to close that chapter”.  

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Credit all authors of images used in both article and as cover image : Nick broulis

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