March 4, 2024

What an abomination. Looking at the schedule before the season started, everyone probably had this week circled. This was as close as a sure-shot victory before-hand as it gets. In terms of Vegas odds, we were favorites. Why wouldn’t we be favorites against the New York Jets? Their quarterback is Josh McCown. They tried to give us the game. They gave us every opportunity to take this win and go to Houston, but we did not do it.

Hue Jackson decides to bench our rookie Quarterback after stating all week that he is going to be patient with him. Let’s be honest, if Zane Gonzalez made his 2 field goals, we would have been going into the half with the lead and Deshone would have never been benched.

What a mess. There are so many negatives to look at in this game, so let’s get started.

I do not think Deshone Kizer played bad at all. He came out the second series on 3rd and 14 and threw a deep sideline out to Bryce Treggs, the guy he seemed to have targeted a lot in the first half.

Take a look at this throw: 

Pre-snap the Jets show a blitz but end up rushing 3, dropping 8. Deshone knows it is man to man with a deep safety, that 15-yard out route is going to be there every day of the week. Great protection allows Deshone to deliver a great throw.

Next let’s take a look at our Red Zone trip:


This is sad. As you can see, Deshone decides to step up to the line and kill the first play call. First call was most likely a draw, he saw that they stacked the box so he killed the play and ran an audible. Well, the audible seemed like a great idea until he snapped the ball. The Jets defensive end and outside backer read it, most likely would have been a short gain, but it was a sloppy toss and Crowell tried to catch it, but didn’t. This one is all on Deshone, he knows that as well.

Deshone was picking on Morris Claiborne the entire first half:

Kacy Rodgers (Jets DC) decided he wanted to cover 1 man most of the game. This specific play he called a blitz. It’s 1st and 10, usually Hue decides to let Crowell get a carry on 1st and 10. It was a play action skinny-post route to Ricardo Louis and Deshone throw a dart, right on the money for 21 yards.

After that play we are set up to keep marching down the field and at least get into field goal range.

Crowell has a nice 16-yard run between the guard and tackle: 

This actually looked like a flea-flicker. If you look close enough, Crowell drops his hands after the hand-off and it looks like he is going to drop it back to Deshone. Looking at Njoku on your bottom part of the screen, it was clear that he was the first read. If crow kicks that back to Deshone, he goes to Njoku for a wide open touchdown. Nonetheless, it was a good 16-yard carry that took us to the 30.

Then everything falls apart. Incompletions, penalties, runs for no gain. We are at 4th down, bringing Zane Gonzalez out for a 52-yard field goal.

He missed it.

Time goes on and we find ourselves in the Red Zone again. Hue decides to run Deshone on 1st down, and then throw the next two downs. Why he thought that was a good idea is beyond me, but we are at 3rd down on the 4 yard line:

The Jets read him like a book. They only rush 4 and drop back 8. It is a simple out-route and Marcus Maye jumps it for the interception. Deshone threw this one super late. He is supposed to have the ball out of his hands as soon as the tight end breaks out. He waited for almost two more steps and the rest is history.

The defense does what they do, and we get another opportunity for some points before halftime.

Zane Gonzalez misses another field goal and we go into the half down 3-0 after the Jets kicker kicks a BOMB.

I know everyone was just as surprised as I was to see Deshone Kizer on the sidelines to start the second half. I immediately thought that he was having migraines again, but no. Hue just decided to pull the rookie who he said he wanted to have patience with. Hmm…

Kevin Hogan comes out and the receivers decide that they want to catch passes from this guy.

They march down the field and David Njoku makes an acrobatic catch off of a skinny post route. It wasn’t a good ball, but he brought it in with one hand:

The Jets were man to man again, this time they rushed 5. They had one linebacker on Duke Johnson and one with a QB spy, making sure Kevin Hogan cannot escape. Njoku bullies his defender and makes an incredible catch. This guy is the real deal.

Our defense steps up again and we get the ball back.

This happened next:

2nd down, Hue runs a play action pass, the Jets blitz. Cover-one, man to man and Hogan feels the pressure and throws a bad ball to Ricardo Louis and it gets picked off.

That is what you get with Kevin Hogan. He can throw all the check-downs Hue Jackson desires, but when it comes to staring down the barrel of the gun and delivering a good throw, that does not happen. He does not have the arm strength that Deshone has, that is the reality of the situation.

After this, Josh McCown goes down and scores:

I would love to hear what Jamar Taylor was thinking right here. They have the goal line set in, with a Tight End out wide with Jamar Taylor one-on-one. Anyone can look at this set and know that if Josh drops back, it is a fade to the corner of the end zone. Jamar sits on it, and as soon as he goes flat-footed Austin Seferian-Jenkins bullies him and scores.

Then we fast-forward some to when it is 10-7 and Cleveland is on the 3 yard line. It is 4th down and usually when it is 4th down and you have the opportunity to get some points, you take the points. Hue had a different thought and decided to go for it:

Not even close. What was Hue thinking here? Take the points, tie the game, and give it to our defense. Nope, let’s run it and get stuffed at the line.

The Jets march down the field and score again. 17-7.

Afterwards, Duke Johnson does what Duke Johnson does:

Simple screen drop-off to Duke and he takes it 41 yards for the touchdown. He is so good when he gets out with some space to run.

So the score now is 17-14. Man… If only we had an opportunity to kick a field goal on the 3 yard line! We would have been tied. Nice one, Hue.

After that, we try an awful onside kick that is not even close to being recovered and we lose the game.

I decided to go heavy offense in this blog this week because I do not have a lot of negative things to say about our defense. They are on the field a ton and do a lot of things right. Jabrill Peppers is out of position and Gregg Williams plays him in Mars on each play, but other than that, not many negatives. We witnessed the Myles Garrett effect when he was on the field. We are talking about a guy that walks on the field to take his first career snap and he gets a sack. He is going to be special.

This week we go down to Houston and play a Texans team that just lost 2 large components in their defense, JJ Watt and Whitney Mercilus. Their defense will still show up to play because they have a ton of other talent on that side of the ball. Deshaun Watson is showing why I said he was the best quarterback in the 2017 draft class, I do not see this one being close.

The spread opened at -12, that is a lot of points to cover with a banged-up defense, this tells you how much respect the Browns have in Vegas.

I do not know who will be under center, I think all of you know who I think should be, but we will see. I still have faith in Hue and Sashi to turn this disaster around.

Go Browns.

Follow the author: @MikeCLE_

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