View Full Version : mkocs and I break down Sunday's game a little bit

09-26-2012, 07:15 PM
mkocs had an idea I liked. We would keep independent notes, then discuss the game. Given our schedules this may be a day or three late,, but it is a beginning I like. Scott in regular typeface, mkocs bold:

It looks like Cleveland came out ready to stop Spiller. Buffalo played into it on the first play of the game and then worked away from him for the rest of the first drive. Nice bit of planning.
Spiller made it look easy. The defense looked utterly lost in the first quarter when he was on the field. That screen pass touchdown was an absolutely pathetic piece of work from the Browns.

Fitz is not throwing tentatively.
And he shouldn't be, considering the state of Cleveland's secondary. It's an interesting problem. Of course, Joe Haden is absent because of his adderall suspension, meaning perhaps the best player on the defense isn't even on the field. T.J. Ward is a nice safety, but he's a run-stopper. This means his counterpart has to be good in coverage, which is probably why Sheldon Brown should have been converted from cornerback to safety about two years ago. Dmitri Patterson probably isn't a long-term answer at corner, and Buster Skrine is a little small to be playing so much, though he has a lot of potential in the nickel and dime packages. On Skrine, good to see him trust his speed in defense rather than tripping over himself as he has recently.

It looks like Cleveland will return any kickoff, wherever Cribbs catches it. I think it's not a bad thing.
I love Josh Cribbs. He gives all, no question. Yesterday, though, he brought out a kick from deep in the end zone that he had to run laterally to catch. Every once in a while, you have to give credit to the kicker.

Leodis Mckelvin is really good returner.
Yes, he is, and the Browns coverage unit has had intermittent problems this season. And they were pretty bad yesterday.

Cleveland has a very good pass blocking offensive line but they don't have good enough receivers to get them off the hook with consistent access to quick completions.
It's worth mentioning, I suppose, that three receivers--Greg Little, Josh Gordon, and Travis Benjamin--who are consistently on the field are rookies (Gordon and Benjamin) or second year players (Little). Mohammed Massquoi has been the most productive this season, probably, though his problem has been remaining on the field (and he couldn't against Buffalo, injuring a hamstring). I suppose this is why Cleveland's tight ends always end up with outsized numbers compared with receivers. Finally, it is absolutely astounding that all of them drop the ball. All of them. I'm not even mad--that's amazing.

Clearly heard before the last snap for the first half in the victory formaton: Nothing stupid! I wonder who said it.

I think Buffalo did well to run almost exclusively to begin the third quarter. With Spiller and Jackson out, it would have been easy to start slinging the ball, and also exactly what Jauron expected, from the look of the reults.
I agree. When Cleveland spots you fourteen points to open the game, steady-and-slow will win the race.

Both young Buffalo corners, it seems, can be had deep. Great news.
See my earlier comments about Weeden-Benjamin.

Wind power at the stadium: I like it.
That's been there for a while, not that you see much of Cleveland Browns Stadium on television so there's really no reason for anyone to know.

The Cleveland offensive line is winning 1 on 1 pass rush battles. Of course as soon as I write this, Mark Anderson plants Weeden off a speed rush past Joe Thomas of all people.
The biggest weakness on the Browns' o-line is Shaun Lauvao, by a mile. I was really impressed with the way Dareus and Williams clogged the middle against a decent interior line. Mario Williams also had a nice day working against rookie Mitchell Schwartz, who's been hit or miss so far. Bills were also able to bat passes down at the line some, which has been a problem for Weeden. Doug Dieken suggested that the line could start cutting a bit more, but I wouldn't want to risk a chop block (or a misinterpreted chop block) given the officiating situation. Weeden needs to get the ball out better--he's 6'4", after all.

Buffalo's O-line this year has been outstanding. Fitz isn't really getting much pressure, and has only been hit hard when he has jumped head frst into a linebacker. Genius, huh?
The Browns really miss Phil Taylor, who is due back from a pectoral tear in a few weeks. He and Rubin are solid up the middle in run defense, and can get a nice push to collapse a pocket. Jabaal Sheard is a nice player, still learning to play a little less wild, but they really need a pass-rusher on the opposite side to pair with him.

Does Cleveland have anyone in the front seven who can rush the passer, apart from D'Qwell Jackson, who can apparently do anything?
Jackson is a really, really good player that no one knows about. That he didn't win Comeback Player of the Year last season after missing two seasons with torn pecs is borderline criminal. As I said above, they need Taylor, but Billy Winn stepped up nicely in certain spots yesterday. I'm looking forward to seeing James-Michael Johnson (LB), who had a nice preseason but has missed these early games with injury.

1. Buffalo was solid. Spectacular early, but solid after what could have been a crushing blow with Spiller's injury.
2. Trent Richardson looked good when the line got him past the line of scrimmage.
2a. Pat Shurmur seriously needs to give up the playcalling duties. Trent Richardson ran the ball two times in the second half yesterday, and only twelve times total. We threw the ball forty-three times and lost by ten. That doesn't even make sense.
3. Aaron Williams is a liability deep, which is not news to me.
4. Gilmore is a rookie, and is playing as reliably as one. Sometimes excellent, sometimes in the wrong zip code.
5. Buffalo's pass rush got handled in the second and third quarters.
5a. Browns have been unbelievably flat in first quarters last season and at the start of this one. The line (especially the left side) is a strength and it needs to be more consistent, even with bizarre holding penalties getting called on Joe Thomas from time to time.
6. Buffalo started to bring five from time to time, which I liked. I didn't like the fact it generally took one lineman per rusher to neutralize them.
7. Fitz appears to be headed in the right direction. Not Brees-accurate, but none of the weirdness we saw in the first two games.
8. Cordy Glenn is doing great. I mean great, not just good for a rookie.
9. Cleveland is two receivers, a tight end, and a cornerback away from being legitimately competitive.
9a. And a head coach, probably. The tight end situation is promising, considering Jordan Cameron (not to be confused with Cameron Jordan) is a converted basketball player who has shown a lot of potential in limited time, which I expect to increase.
10. TJ Graham, not surprisingly, not much of a factor.
11. Buffalo has a wildcat package? Wow. Must be something. Can't wait to see it. I hear Cincinnati scored a touchdown out of theirs, on a perfectly thrown bomb from a rookie wide receiver.
11a. If you guys could have wasted more plays in that, I would've appreciated it.
12. Weeden managed to avoid turning the ball over for his first 35 pass attempts or so. That's not bad. What is bad, though, is that down by ten with four minutes to play, Pat Shurmur called two consecutive play-action passes--again, having only run the ball about a dozen times to this point--resulting in a sack and an interception. This is clownishly bad. I graduated from Ohio State, but I spent my freshman year in Worcester (Mass.) at a school called Holy Cross, where I witnessed an even dumber use of the play-action fake. Holy Cross, losing probably the worst football game that I've even seen to Dartmouth, 27-25, had the ball about the Dartmouth 40 with two seconds to play and a chance for a final heave. The Crusaders (that's Cross) lined up in the I-form, twins to the short side of the field, and ran a play-action pass. With two seconds left in the game. It wasn't that bad, but it was close.

09-26-2012, 07:25 PM
Good stuff guys. It would be sweet to continue to do these types of things for other games throughout the year.

09-27-2012, 12:37 AM
Great idea for a posting - you guys made that game sound more interesting than it appeared on my tv anyway.

Weeden managed to avoid turning the ball over for his first 35 pass attempts or so. That's not bad. What is bad, though, is that down by ten with four minutes to play, Pat Shurmur called two consecutive play-action passes--again, having only run the ball about a dozen times to this point--resulting in a sack and an interception. This is clownishly bad.

So true. I'll also point out that Weeden looked awful when the team needed a late rally. You've made me think that with play calling like this, it may not be all his fault.