The Broulis Beat Report talks about what went wrong for Cleveland after losing 20-13 to Pittsburgh on Sunday afternoon.
- Last week, I wrote about how the entire team seemed to be playing with better execution and more poise. Well, that all went right down the drain after the second half of the second quarter. After the Pittsburgh Steelers scored their first touch down courtesy of a James Washington catch from Steelers quarterback Devlin Hodges, the momentum went towards Pittsburgh and it never really went back to Cleveland’s side.
- Freddie Kitchens did a good job using running backs Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt in the first-half. After that, it’s like they forgot those two were on the roster. The offense should run through both players and it wasn’t as if the game was getting away from them. The running game should have still been in play. Chubb carried the ball 16 times for 58 yards. Hunt had 7 carries for 46 yards. Give Pittsburgh credit for slowing down both backs.
- I understand that wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. is being doubled most of the time. So, why wasn’t Kitchens calling plays to get Beckham open? There is simply no excuse for a lack of creativity to get Beckham open and get him the ball in space. Odell finished with 3 receptions for 29 yards. That’s unacceptable for a player as talented as him.
- The execution of plays on the offensive side of the ball baffled me. The offensive line looked bad from the mid-way point of the second quarter on. They didn’t do a good job of opening holes for the running game and Baker was almost constantly under pressure when trying to pass the ball. Knowing how well the Steelers play at home, on defense, I expected a better offensive game plan than what I saw on Sunday afternoon.
- I’d like to know what happened to the Cleveland Browns secondary? They made Devlin Hodges look like a Pro Bowler. Pittsburgh had nothing going on the ground and just a few simple deep passing plays cost the Browns big time in this game. When you see that your front seven is doing a good job at handling the run, you should never have a problem taking care of the deep passing game.
- I’m not sure if they practice it often, if at all, but the entire defense looked like they’ve never learned how to tackle. It was a pathetic showing and this is on coaching for not fine tuning the basic fundamentals of football.
- The Cleveland Browns were, on paper, the superior team. They even had two defensive starters in Olivier Vernon and Larry Ogunjobi returning. Cleveland has won three-straight and Pittsburgh didn’t even have their starting Pro Bowl center Maurkice Pouncey (suspended), best wide receiver (JuJu Smith-Schuster) or their best running back (James Conner) available. Cleveland had a 10-0 lead and just like that, it’s as if everything changed. The Cleveland Browns had no reason to lose this game. I understand that this is why you play the game, but the Browns simply had to be smart, execute and use basic fundamentals and after they had the 10-point lead, it all disappeared.
- “We wanted to show we could win without some key people. I’m proud of winning under the circumstances we were under”. That was Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin after the game. Impressed? I was. Great mind-set. So, what is Freddie Kitchens mind-set with a loaded roster?
Credit all authors of images used in both article and as cover image : Nick Broulis