This might be jumping the gun a little bit, but how could you not be excited from what you saw in Sunday’s win against the Atlanta Falcons?
In the two games, Freddie Kitchens has been the Browns’ offensive coordinator, the team has largely looked like what many thought it should have looked like since the beginning of the season. Under Hue Jackson and Todd Haley, the offense did not have much of an identity. Fans knew about the offensive weapons the team had, yet those weapons never seemed to be used properly to elevate the team’s chances of winning games.
Over the past two games, Jarvis Landry, the team’s number one receiver, has not had his best games, but that’s ok because we know what he can do. The key to success for this offense mostly was and still is getting the ball to its running backs in space and letting them do the dirty work to get yards and that’s exactly what has happened thanks to Kitchens, who, by the way, was promoted from being the running backs coach.
See the correlation yet?
Week after week, fans heard the same phrase about needing to get the ball into the hands of RBs Nick Chubb and Duke Johnson, but it never happened. This week alone, the two combined for 191 rushing yards, 64 receiving yards on seven catches (seven targets) and three touchdowns.
THAT’S how you use your running backs to your advantage.
Baker Mayfield’s play hasn’t gone unnoticed either. Over the past two weeks, Mayfield has thrown for 513 yards with five touchdowns and one interception. His completion percentage stands at 74.2, raising his completion percentage on the season to 61.8, his passer rating is 118.5 and he has only been sacked twice.
Hopefully, the days of questionable calls from Haley are gone, but of course, there is still room to grow. After all, Kitchens is dealing with being an offensive coordinator and play-caller for the first time in his NFL coaching career, minus the Browns’ preseason victory over the Detroit Lions back in August.
Since two weeks is not enough time to accurately judge if Kitchens can do the job well on a consistent basis, we must hold out on making any rash decisions because, as fans, it’s always easy to want to hop on the next thing that seems like a good idea since the team has been bad for so long.
With the team on a bye week, it’ll be exciting to see what Kitchens and the offensive staff can come up with to further bring this team out of NFL futility.
I say we keep using that wishbone formation to our advantage and see what 2019 holds for the Browns’ future.