Continuing the trend of good defense with streaky offensive work, the Cleveland Browns took on the Baltimore Ravens this past Sunday and held them to only 24 points. Despite good play on defense, the offense couldn’t put it all together, especially given the weird circumstances at quarterback. Here’s the game notes for week 2 for the Cleveland Browns.
1. A Tale Of Two Quarterbacks:
When quarterbacks sustain a head injury, they usually go into the tent as a way to test for concussions. This time however, it was to ease DeShone Kizer into more relaxed state. Kizer’s migraines are a reminder of the history of Cleveland’s quarterback problems. In stepped Kevin Hogan who delivered a good performance leading several solid drives and throwing his first career touchdown to rookie tight end David Njoku. Hogan was eventually pulled for Kizer, who also had a couple good drives that just ended poorly.
The main take away from this week at quarterback is that the depth is there, and that Kizer is indeed a rookie. This game served as his, “Welcome to the NFL, Rookie” game that most young quarterbacks go through. Three interceptions and a fumble are a hard pill to swallow. What remains to be seen is how Kizer rebounds the next week. Considering they’ll be playing an Indianapolis Colts squad that has been struggling as well, this could be just what the team needs. Browns fans should feel some sense of worry, but shouldn’t jump to, “he sucks, get rid of him,” quite yet.
2. The Hollywood Sign:
Rashard “Hollywood” Higgins was brought up from the practice team on September 16th. His motivation once he reached the main roster again was“I don’t want to be cut no more.” He would leave his mark in the game by leading the team in receptions with seven and receiving yards with 95.
Higgins could see more of a workload coming his way as the Browns first receiver, Corey Coleman, suffered a broken hand. This will be Higgins’ chance to make a name for himself and if he can build on this game, he could be destined for great things.
3. Britt is Rubbish:
Two weeks into the new season, and wide receiver Kenny Britt hasn’t done anything. He currently has two receptions for 15 yards. He isn’t getting a lot of targets and dropping many of those he does get. While it’s still early, one can start to draw parallels to former Browns running back, Ben Tate.
Especially after watching last week’s press conference where Britt showed attitude towards reporters. It was similar to what happened with Tate in his first few weeks in Cleveland. The only thing that’s keeping Britt from the same fate at this point is that he hasn’t been a cancer in the locker room. If he avoids that, maybe he’ll keep his job.
4. Different Year, Same Problem:
One of the problems last year was defending the run, and that was the theme this week with Baltimore totaling 136 rushing yards. While Benjamin Watson nearly broke 100 yards, they were able to hold the Ravens to 217 yards passing. The running game broke down this week, and the main reason was over pursuit.
The Browns’ defense looked overeager and it showed as blitzes were exploited for long runs. If Cleveland is going to develop, the first thing Gregg Williams is going to have to do is find ways to close those gaps.
5. Waving The Yellow Flag:
11 Penalties for 65 yards is ugly. While the excuse for a young team is definitely there, when you cost yourself yards, there are adjustments that must be made. Perhaps the biggest offender was right tackle, Shon Coleman, who committed at least three penalties between holds and false starts. One goal this team needs to hold themselves to is cleaning up their laundry because this is starting to become unacceptable.
6. Looking Forward to Next Week:
The Browns will travel to Indianapolis to take on the Colts. The Browns may catch a break with Colts’ quarterback, Andrew Luck being behind schedule in terms of his recovery. If the Browns are going to have any success against Indianapolis, they’re gonna have to attack through the air. The Colts couldn’t stop the air raid as Arizona Cardinals’ wide receivers J.J. Nelson had 120 yards on five receptions and Jaron Brown had 73 yards on four receptions.
They’ll also have to contain Colts’ replacement quarterback, Jacoby Brissett, who in addition to his 216 yards passing rushed for 22 yards. At this point, the Browns are a 2.5 point favorite, but things could change during the week.