Browns Season-in-Review: 2011

The 2011 Season
Record: 4-12

Eric Mangini was fired and Mike Holmgren did what he should have done all along, as he stepped into the coaching job. Ha! Just kidding, Holmgren hired Rams offensive coordinator, Pat Shurmer. Shurmer was supposed to an offensive guru and was brought in to install the West Coast offense. Along with running the team, Shurmer also tasked himself as the offensive coordinator. Dick Jauron was brought on to be the defensive coordinator and switched the defensive scheme to a 4-3. The Browns did next to nothing in free agency, bringing in back-up running Brandon Jackson and CB Dmitri Patterson. However, the Browns had their strongest draft of the last 15 years, the Browns entered the draft with the 6th overall, and with A.J. Green off the board, the Browns made a trade with Atlanta Falcons, acquiring the 26th pick, along with a 3rd round pick and a 1st round pick in the 2012 draft. Sitting at 26, the Browns then traded up to the 21st overall pick and selected DT Phil Taylor. The Browns also selected Jabaal Sheard (DE, 2nd round), Greg Little (WR, 2nd round), Jordan Cameron (TE, 4th round), Buster Skrine (CB, 5th round), and Jason Pinkston (OT, 5th round). The Browns actually had some high hopes going into the season (at least according to Browns fans). The Browns expected to lean heavily on Peyton Hillis, and Colt McCoy was expected to progress as a passer. The Browns also had one of the easiest schedules in the league.

In week 1, the Browns held a 17-13 lead going into the 4th quarter. Joe Haden made life miserable for A.J. Green in his first NFL game, however, the Bengals caught the Browns napping, and before you knew it,  A.J. Green had gone 41 yards for the score. The Bengals would go on to win by a score of 27-17, as the Browns would once again lose their season opener. In week 2 the Browns took on the Peyton Manning-less Colts, and were able to grind out a 27-19 victory. Peyton Hillis ran for 94 yards and 2 touchdowns in the game. With Peyton Hillis sidelined with a sore throat in week 3, Colt McCoy was able to lead the Browns on a 4th quarter comeback, culminating in a 14-yard pass to Mohamed Massaquoi with 43 left in the game. With the win the Browns moved to 2-1, it was the first time since the 2007 season where the Browns had an above .500 record. In week 4, Colt McCoy attempted a Browns record 61 passes in a 31-13 loss to the Titans. In week 6, Peyton Hillis continued his injury plagued and contract negotiation season, as he left the game with a hamstring issue, as the Browns lost to the Raiders by a score of 24-17. In week 7, the Browns defense held the Seahawks to 137 total yards, in a 6-3 victory. The win gave the Browns a 3-3 record.

In week 9, the Browns run defense was squashed by both Arian Foster and Ben Tate, as the two Texan running backs ran 124 and 115 yards respectively, as the Browns would lose by a score of 30-12. The St. Louis Rams would get only their second win of the season in week 10 against the Browns by a score of 13-12. The Browns were only able to muster up 4 Phil Dawson field goals. In week 11, the Jaguars ran 4 plays inside the 10 yard with 41 seconds left in the game, but the Browns defense held strong and didn’t allow the Jags to punch it in, winning by a score of 14-10. The win gave the Browns a record of 4-6. Unfortunately, this would be the last time the Browns would win for the rest of the season, as they dropped 6 straight games to close out the season. Peyton Hillis finally returned to action in week 13 against the Baltimore Ravens, but was held to 45 rush yards in a 24-10 loss. A week 14 loss to the Steelers brought on great controversy. Colt McCoy was the victim of a vicious James Harrison hit, here’s the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=06XVAXKhYh0. McCoy suffered a concussion on the play, but the Browns trainers either didn’t check him or didn’t properly do their job, because two plays later McCoy was back in the game. While no punishment was handed out, the Browns suffered a severe backlash from media outlets. Seneca Wallace would start at QB for the Browns the rest of the season. Peyton Hillis finished the season strong with 241 rushing yards in the last 3 games, but the damage had been done. Hillis jaded nearly every teammate, with his ongoing contract disputes, sitting out games with minor illnesses, and letting his ego get too big. The Browns finished the season with a 4-12 record, even though they had the 5th best scoring defense in the NFL.

Pro Bowl: Joe Thomas
All-Pro: Joe Thomas

Offensive Stats
Total Points: 218 (30th)
Total Yards: 4,621 (29th)

Passing Yards: Colt McCoy – 2,733
Passing TD: Colt McCoy – 14
Passing Int: Colt McCoy – 11
QB Rating: Colt McCoy – 74.6

Rush Att: Peyton Hillis – 161
Rush Yards: Peyton Hillis – 587
Rush TD: Peyton Hillis – 3

Rec: Greg Little – 61
Rec Yards: Greg Little – 709
Rec TD: Josh Cribbs, Evan Moore – 4

Defensive Stats
Total Points allowed: 307 (5th)
Total Yards allowed: 5,318 (10th)

Tackles: D’Qwell Jackson – 158
Sacks: Jabaal Sheard – 8.5
Int: Mike Adams – 3

— Chris Sladoje (@CST_Doje)

Photo via zimbio.com

Cleveland Browns: Season in Review

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2011

2012

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