CANTON, Ohio- Maybe I’m wrong, but the 31-28 score doesn’t indicate how badly the Browns played. Oh, and they lost and fell to 0-3.
Let me get this thought out of the way, right away. I know the Browns played a bit tougher and made the score close at the end. If they recover an onside kick, maybe they get lucky and send the game into overtime. But let’s look at this game for what it really was with the following:
- Let’s start out with the eight dropped passes. There may be more, I got so frustrated with this team, especially from an offensive stand point, I gave up counting. Kizer made a few bad throws, but his receivers are doing a terrible job, especially Kenny Britt, of helping the rookie. It’s only week 3 and I’m done with Britt. This guy has butterfingers for hands and his attitude towards the media is worse. I’d rather give a younger guy who feels the need to have to make catches to keep his job, as opposed to a player who probably isn’t fearing his job being lost. If I were in charge of that, he would and should be. Britt had a touchdown, but that doesn’t even come close to how poorly he’s played in his short time with Cleveland.
- Sticking with the WR’s, they cannot continue to drop all these passes and get called for offensive pass interference. Hue Jackson better get on all of them about this and make it known that there is a zero tolerance for that type of stuff. Bottom line, our wide receivers stink for the most part. We see some nice catches every once in a while, but that’s it.
- Why is Kizer throwing the ball 47 times? I understand that once Cleveland got down big time in the second half, that forces you to pass due to a lack of time, but it’s almost as if the Browns hardly ran the ball in the first half. Hue Jackson needs to do a better job of running the ball more while Cleveland isn’t down big.
- Isaiah Crowell had a few good runs, but nothing special. I’ve been saying that Crowell isn’t a good or great RB, he’s decent, but not the type of back you want to sign long-term. I wish Matt Dayes would get more carries.
- Shockingly, the Browns held the Colts under 100 yards rushing. Jacoby Brissett threw for 259 including his first career passing touchdown to T.Y. Hilton.
- The Browns did sack Brissett 3 times for 16 yards. Kizer was sacked once for 7 yards. This number came down thankfully from the last 2 weeks. There’s a positive for you if you’re a Browns fan.
- The did Browns did do a better job of adjusting defensively in the second half.
The Browns still managed to rack up over five penalties total (10 for 113 yards). The Colts had 11 for 99.
When you allow 28 points in the first half alone, you are more than likely going to lose the game. That’s exactly what Cleveland allowed and to make things worse, those scoring drives by the Colts were four drives in a row. No punts in between. I mark an X on my scoring sheet during the games when a team has a 3 & out. The Browns had three of those on their first three drives. Duke Johnson ended that. The Browns went 5/13 on third down conversations. That’s pathetic. Indianapolis went 8/17. Most of that was in the first half.
I understand that there may be a lot of people that think Kizer shouldn’t be playing quarterback right now. If the Browns had a better option, I’m sure they would go with that player. They were hoping that Kessler or Osweiler would be the answer. Both failed miserable. So, right now, the Browns went with the best guy and the guy they want to give a chance to prove he can be the future. Tampa Bay and Tennessee did the same thing with Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota. The Raiders did the same thing with Derek Carr. Here is my stance on that. If you have the benefit of having a veteran QB who can win you a decent amount of games or is a top 10 QB and the younger guy has time to learn, I’m all for sitting the rookie. However, again, Kessler did nothing, Osweiler did nothing, and with a lack of weapons on offense and a bad defense, Cleveland would’ve had to way over pay any mediocre QB at best to come here. I’d rather let my rookie learn on the field like the above mentioned QB’s did. But, the coaching staff and players surrounding Kizer must do a better job of helping this QB along the way. I know Kizer will make bad throws and I know he’ll hold onto the ball too long at times, but both of those things are things DeShone can get better at as he plays more.
Some might say that the Browns have a decent to good chance at beating a Bengals team that seems down this year. If the Bengals leave Green Bay 0-3, do you really think they’re going to be fearing coming into Cleveland? If anything, they may breathe a sigh of relief. So, the Browns host Cincinnati next Sunday at FirstEnergy in hopes of earning their first win of the season.
Credit all authors of images used in both article and as cover image : Nick broulis