What a game. From the Joe Thomas’ 10,000 consecutive snaps to the Deshone Kizer migraine and everything in between. This is a new blog series where I will be highlighted some of the key aspects of each game, weekly. The negatives certainly outweigh the positives in Week 2. I actually cannot think of a positive. The entire game was awful. The coaching on down was pathetic. Let’s break some of it down:
I would like to start off by letting everyone know that Deshone Kizer is 21 years old. He has gone up against the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Baltimore Ravens so far in his career, both elite defenses. We saw what he could do when he was able to have vision on the football field in Pittsburgh. In Baltimore, he had a migraine and some people need to understand how horrible those really are. When you actually get one, the chances of you seeing clearly are slim to none. He was operating under center at an immediate disadvantage, which is something that cannot happen, but it is what it is. Also, his decision-making was not good. Let’s take a look at his passing chart in comparison toWweek 1:
As you can see, Week 1 (left) looks incredible compared to Week 2 (right). The only difference we can look at is the defensive backs that both teams possess. Pittsburgh’s defensive backs are sub-par. All Deshone had to do is go at Joe Haden the entire game and he could find success. Joe was playing on the right side where you can see a lot of green dots, 10-20 yards. That means the game plan was clear to go to his side. Baltimore has some pretty good defensive backs. As a result, he did not have the success that we needed.
Let’s break down a few throws:
Interception to Duke Johnson
This was the interception that really made me scratch my head. Pre-snap he can read four down lineman, does not seem like a blitz. Deshone is most likely thinking that they are going to drop back into a cover two zone with a shadow on the motion man. He snaps the ball with a three-step drop and a quick hitter. The only problem is he threw this ball way too hard. There is no need to throw a dart to Duke Johnson right there. As a result, Duke wasn’t expecting it and the interception happened.
Interception intended for Hollywood Higgins
Pre-snap reads here are rush four, man coverage with two roaming safeties. They are pressing the receivers, which would give a clear indication to Deshone. After the snap, he sees CJ Mosely in a spy, which leaves the middle seam open. The problem he had here was the timing. He threw this pass a step too late and in return, the ball was behind the receiver and fell into the cornerback’s lap. He has to get his timing right and deliver a hard ball through the seam for the touchdown.
28 Yard Dime to Hollywood Higgins
This is Deshone Kizer working a zone coverage perfectly. He has the running back and tight end chip block and go out for drop-offs, but he doesn’t need them at all. Props to Hue Jackson on the call as well. There was some miscommunication between the cornerbacks at the top of the coverage, which allowed Higgins to find the bubble and Deshone hit him perfectly. He threw a dart to him for a positive gain. As I said earlier, there were not many positives, so I figured I would throw in a clip where Deshone shows off his arm a little bit.
Outside of Rashard Higgins, there were no positives with the receiving core this week. I mean just look at this guy’s route chart:
That’s a lot of green displayed for yards after the catch. It seemed like he was open every play. The Ravens were not worried about him in the first half because they were focused on Corey Coleman. Next week, look for him to get shadowed most of the game. When you take him out of the picture, you see some pathetic excuses at wide receiver for Week 2. Kenny Britt is relaxed, just collecting his game check. Sammie Coates looks like he doesn’t even want to play the game of football. Look at this play on 4th down:
At the top of the screen, you will see Sammie Coates break out of a route literally walking. The play was intended for him as you see with Kizer’s eyes dropping back. He was the first read on this play and came out of the break like he did not want to play football at all. Secondly, looking at Kenny Britt on the bottom of your screen. Same thing. Came out of his route slower than molasses and as a result, turnover on downs. Pathetic.
I could bring out some more routes that expose these guys, but there is no point. They just don’t care. Kenny Britt needs out of Cleveland and Sammie Coates needs to be benched. If they do not want to help a 21-year-old quarterback grow, get someone that wants to.
Running Back Play
Completely nonexistent. Isaiah Crowell had 10 attempts the entire game. You cannot win a game when your feature back carries the ball 10 times. Let’s look at his carry chart:
As you can see, the positive gains were up the middle. I have no idea why Hue Jackson runs pitch plays to Isaiah Crowell. He has Duke Johnson just sitting on the sidelines while he runs a pitch to the slower running back. Isaiah Crowell is not a pitch-style running back. He succeeds up the middle. I am hoping that Hue can get Crow some more carries in the Colts game this week while making him run up the three and four gap. As you can see, he is successful in those gaps. Here’s a good run below:
This is what happens when you give Crow the ball and let him decide his cutback lane. Joe Thomas did an excellent job blocking here, per usual, when he walled off that DT, allowing Crow to cut-back and accelerate through the hole and get almost get the first down. This is what we need to see, not those dumb pitches for negative yards. When you start to develop a run game, it opens up for play action and allows Deshone Kizer to throw 50-yard bombs to Hollywood Higgins downfield.
I have nothing bad to say about our defense this week. They gave the offense plenty of opportunities to put points on the board and they failed. Eventually, the defense gets tired after 3-and-outs over and over again and then begin to gas out and give up points. The Ravens have weapons all over the field and they used them well.
The only thing I would like to add is the Gregg Williams defensive scheme where he has the safeties 20 yards off the ball is starting to get exposed. Ben Watson was open the entire game because the middle of the field was open. Gregg is terrified of a pass going over our safeties that he is dropping them back that far, but teams are starting to recognize it and they are seeing results with their tight ends. The Browns are the worst team in the league at covering the tight end. That needs to be fixed.
Hue Jackson is the worst coach in the league in terms of challenging a play. I cannot even remember the last time he won a challenge. I do not know the process they have, but it certainly needs to change because it is clearly screwing with our play. The challenge that he had was a clear incompletion to Corey Coleman, which took one glance at a replay to realize he did not catch it. It did not make any sense. Other than his awful challenging, he is doing fine. We need to run the ball more and he knows that. We’ll be alright.
Week 3: Browns @ Colts
The Browns have the opportunity to put 21 on Indy’s head. The Colts are absolutely terrible. Cleveland ranks 5th in the league in explosive pass play rate at 13% and the Colts allow explosive pass plays at the 2nd highest rate at 21%. That is a match made in heaven for the Browns. Deshone Kizer has the highest deep ball percentage (15+ yards) in the league as well. Here it is below:
Just by taking a look at this, you should be excited for the game this weekend. If everything goes well, they should destroy the Colts.