Overall, I see more chemistry between the running backs and the linemen and the wide receivers and the quarterback.
Hello Browns Fans!
Count ‘em. Three in a row! The Browns are 5 and 8 after starting 0 and 5 and winning the last three in a row! I feel a confidence in this young team as they have matured during the course of this season. Like I mentioned last week, this defense is not a fast starter and that’s something they’re going to have to change. You won’t always be able to dig yourself out of every hole you dig yourself into. After the 80-yard run by running back, Jamal Charles, in the first series by the Kansas City Chiefs, the defense then shut KC out! Those were the only points scored by Kansas City!
Quarterback: Brandon Weeden again didn’t turn the ball over (that’s good). He played a pretty consistent game. He also broke a record – this being his fifth win, is the most victories for a rookie quarterback in Browns history. I think that record is going to grow. He spread the ball out among receivers. He still has to work on not holding onto the ball too long, but he does scramble, which he hasn’t done in the past, to keep drives alive. He seems to continue to get better but there is still a lot of room for improvement.
Running Back: Trent Richardson, in terms of rushing yards he hasn’t done as well in the last three weeks, but he has continued to contribute offensively, scoring two touchdowns Sunday. I’m liking the mixture of Richardson and Hardesty. It seems to help Hardesty more than Richardson in the changes in speed but I’m glad to see some relief for Richardson because it is tough to play that position all season and it’s hard to catch your breath. We still haven’t seen Richardson’s best.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends: Everybody contributed, tight ends and receivers. Gordon still gets better each week (eight more receptions). I haven’t forgotten about Greg Little, who we criticized when he wasn’t playing well and now I want to compliment him – he is playing good. He’s had one drop in the past eight games, 33 catches and is maturing as a receiver. He also had a 17-yard reverse run that helped keep a drive alive and ended up in a score.
Offensive Line: Continued to improve, in fact I think they’ve gotten a lot better in terms of holding penalties, offside penalties, etc. I think a couple of times Weeden got sacked because he held on to the ball too long. Other times, coverage sacks (meaning the receivers couldn’t get open). I think if they continue to minimize the foolish penalties, they will continue to improve. Remember the Red Zone (inside the 20-yard line) where we couldn’t score a touchdown and sometimes didn’t even give ourselves a chance to kick field goals? Well, we scored three touchdowns inside the Red Zone! Should have been four but the offensive pass interference called on Richardson was ridiculous!
Defensive Backs: Continued to play shutdown football. Big interception late in the game: Tashaun Gipson, a free agent, intercepted a pass – huge play! Haden got beat once, but he plays aggressively and he’s a tough guy to get past, but overall the defense was very stingy Sunday!
Linebackers/Defensive Linemen: Kept pressure on Brady Quinn and sacked him five times. Veteran Juqua Parker had another sack and leads the team with five. Can’t help but recognize that the Browns, all of a sudden, are getting one heck of a pass rush and it’s from names that we haven’t heard before like Jabaal Sheard and Frostee Rucker, who both have four sacks. I guess what I’m trying to say is we have a new team and we are starting to hear these names more and more as they mature as a defensive unit. They are not high-draft picks, nor big college stars, but just hard-playing young men.
Special Teams: Really turned it all the way around this Sunday! The 93-yard punt return by Benjamin Travis set a franchise record and the whole thing was brilliantly set up! I don’t call it trickery, but I call it strategically-planned. Cribbs is respected as a legitimate punt-return threat. So, when Cribbs ran up to show an all-out block of that punt, Kansas City relaxed because the threat of return was gone. Didn’t give the same respect to Benjamin Travis and he made them pay. Timing is everything! You have to have timing to return and timing to cover. And when you disrupt the timing to cover, you have a chance for the big play. I also want to mention that Phil Dawson converted his 300th field goal this past Sunday. He did it on his first attempt, a 23-yarder, and added to it with two other field goals.
Coaching: We continue to get new wrinkles in our offense. Double-reverse and the new formation with Cribbs as quarterback called ‘The Wildcat.’ I like this move because it gives opposing defenses more formations to work on, which means you can’t be effective defensively on all of them. I like the fact that Weeden is running when he is forced out of the pocket instead of trying to complete difficult passes.
Overall, I see more chemistry between the running backs and the linemen and the wide receivers and the quarterback. I would like to see the team focus more on running the clock out when we’re into the last quarter and we are a couple of touchdowns ahead.
I think overall this was one of the best games played by the Browns thus far! I’m looking for four wins in a row! I’m really looking for five! Go Browns!