The Browns showed us two sides of the coin on Sunday. They did not execute particularly well for most of the game but rallied by the end to have a chance at a win. They really had no business even being in this game the way they played for most of it. They were fortunate that Jason Campbell was injured and the Raiders had to rely on Kyle Boller. Pat Shurmur at this point is really looking overwhelmed. Not only is he a rookie head coach, but he is having to be Offensive Coordinator too. I want him to succeed, but things are not looking good at this moment. The Browns got beat in almost every category on Sunday by the Raiders.
Offense: Advantage Raiders.
If Kyle Boller is QB for half the game and your offense is still worse, there is a problem. The problem is up front, where the young guards Jason Pinkston and Shawn Lauvao are not performing well. In addition, Lauvao has been penalty prone. The RBs cannot find a lane to run through and Colt McCoy is having trouble staying on his feet. When Colt gets time, he has to rely on receivers who he doesn’t trust, and only one of which (Greg Little) gets good separation. Colt is not doing well, its hard to succeed when your only good WR is a rookie who hasn’t played football in a year.
The Raiders offense was nothing special, but it was efficient, something the Browns were not.
Defense: Advantage Browns
The Browns defense is shaping up to be very good. While they lost, 14 points were given up on special teams. Darren McFadden had 4.6 yards per carry, which is 1.1 yards less than what he was averaging coming into the game. The Browns defense got 2 sacks, which is very good considering the Raiders have given up only 5 in 5 games. They were also able to take the player out in the backfield more often than teams do against the Raiders. The Raiders D was good, but they collapsed at the end. The coverage was lacking and they let the Browns score 10 unanswered points through the air and they weren’t playing prevent D.
Special Teams: Advantage Raiders
I really miss Brad Seely right now. He has made the 49ers special teams great, while the Browns’ have taken a step back. Josh Cribbs was completely stuffed in the return game, averaging 5 yards less on returns than the Raiders give up. Cribbs is a good kick returner, but the blocking on special teams has been dreadful. The special teams also got caught with their pants down on a 101 yard kick return and a FG fake. The Browns did not give up a KR touchdown during the Mangini/Seeley’s tenure here and the last time they gave up one was November 2008. For perspective, it was shortly after Obama was elected, Twilight was just about to hit theaters, and “Life Your Life” was #1 on the billboards.
Coaching: Advantage Raiders
While you can question Hue Jackson’s decision not to kick the FG on 4th and 1, his team executed. He was put in a bind with having to play Boller, but still won the game. The FG fake was a great call, but more importantly he wasn’t Shurmur. This team looks extremely undisciplined right now and I am missing Mangini. The Browns were called twice on Sunday for 2 men going in motion, a sign that the WRs have no idea what they are doing out there. One would hope that this team wouldn’t look completely lost after they had two weeks to prepare.
About the Author
Written by Bradley Ross
Bradley Ross was born and lived most of his life in Shaker Heights, Ohio, a suburb of Cleveland. He grew up with a passion for sports and Cleveland teams, instilled in him by his father. He is currently studying Business/Journalism at Cuyahoga Community College and plans on transferring to the Ohio State University in the winter with an expected graduation date of 2013. He is currently a Staff Writer for the Tri-C Voice Newspaper, which was a recipient of an award for the best non-daily newspaper at a 2 year college (northeast region). He runs multiple blogs off of the blogger platform including The Take By The Lake, a sports blog. Sports is his passion and he enjoys being able to write about them and cover them. He also enjoys improvisational humor, long walks on the beach, and writing in the 3rd person. Follow him on Twitter @BRoss_Voice.