Week 11: Positives & Negatives
Sigh, let’s just get into this article after a disappointing Browns loss.
Positives: This section is not a joke.
Taylor Gabriel/Andrew Hawkins: While many Browns had sub-par days, Gabriel and Hawkins came to play. The Browns offense can credit these two for almost all the production for the day. Gabriel had 5 catches for 92 yards, while Hawkins had 6 catches for 97 yards and a touchdown.
Josh Gordon: Flash returns on Monday, and after this game against the Texans, he will be welcomed back with open arms. Josh Gordon’s return should open up the run game, since opposing defenses won’t be able to stack the box, and it should also open up the other receivers, like the two mentioned above. Gordon demands a double-team, unless you trust your corner enough to play man-on-man on him.
Negatives: Goodbye first place, it was fun while it lasted (hopefully not).
Offensive Line: J.J. Watt was as good as advertised, and then some: 2 sacks, 4 quarterback hits, and he helped the Texans record 5 pass deflections by lineman or linebackers. Brian Hoyer was constantly under pressure and was never able to get things going.
Brian Hoyer: Sure, he had 330 yards passing the football, but it took him 50 pass to do it. Did I mention he only had 20 completions? Good enough for a 40% completion percentage. Yes, I realize he was constantly under pressure, and he wasn’t helped out at all by his receivers or the run game, but in the end Hoyer is the quarterback and the blame will always fall on him no matter how the Browns lose.
Ben Tate: Tate’s revenge game resulted in 2 carries for -9 yards. Over his last 5 games, Tate has 53 carries for 90 yards, averaging just 1.7 yards a carry.
Defense: Facing a Texans team with quarterback Ryan Mallett, who was making his first NFL start, and whose running back is a backup 6th round pick, should have meant that the Browns would have put on a defensive clinic. That was not the case. Mallett was able to deliver a big throw on every 3rd, and on occasion, 4th down. Meanwhile, rookie running back Alfred Blue had 36 carries and 156 yards, slicing through the Browns defense like a knife through hot butter. Momentum lost.
Miles Austin: Austin has been one of the most reliable receivers in the NFL, but I guess he was due for a bad game. Austin dropped a key 4th down catch (even though it wouldn’t have counted anyway because of a chop-block penalty), and later had a ball bounce off his hands and to a Texans player for a game sealing interception.
QB Pressure: Injuries have really taken their toll on this defensive line, but 0 sacks, and only 2 hits on Ryan Mallett is not acceptable.
— Chris Sladoje (@CST_Doje)
Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images