The Manziel Era:
Positives: The Browns sure looked good in the first half, right?
Joe Haden: For those of you expecting a revenge game from Sammy Watkins (scorned from the Browns passing on him in the draft), no need to fear, because Joe Haden is here. Haden held Watkins to just 3 receptions for 11 yards, on 9 targets. Haden also chipped in with 2 pass deflections, and interception (his 3rd of the year, and 3rd in the last 3 games), and he blocked a Bills field goal at the end of the second half.
3rd-Down Defense: The Browns defense allowed the Bills to convert just 2 of their 15 3rd-down conversions. Normally, when you do that, you walk away with a win.
The Defense: The Browns defense held the Bills offense to just 19 points, including 4 field goals. They allowed the Bills to gain just 287 yards of offense, 181 passing, and 106 rushing. The 287 total yards allowed was the second best game of the season for the Browns defense. The run defense allowed just 3.5 yards per rush, and the pass defense was able to pick off Kyle Orton twice. The outing would likely have been better had the defense not worn down by the 4th quarter, by being on the field so much in the second half.
Johnny Football: Taking over for an ineffective Brian Hoyer in the 4th quarter, Manziel was the quarterback everyone wanted him to be. Manziel was 5-for-8 passing for 63 yards, but it was what he did with his feet that made our jaws drop.
Negatives: With a win, the Browns would have jumped to 2nd place in the AFC North, but the loss keeps them in last.
Brian Hoyer: Brian Hoyer, we hardly knew you. Is this the end of the Hoyer Era? Hometown product Brian Hoyer, has been the most successful Browns quarterback since their return in 1999. In his 15 starts, Hoyer boasted a 10-5 record, but in his last 4 starts, Hoyer threw more interceptions (6), than touchdowns (1). In the game against Buffalo, Hoyer was 18-for-30 throwing the football, for 192 yards, and 2 interceptions. In the game Hoyer had a QBR of 24.9, compared to Manziel’s QBR of 98.3. It was fun while it lasted, but we all knew that Manziel was the future.
Rush Offense: Whether it be “The Crow” or Terrance West, the Browns running back couldn’t get anything going against the Bills defense. The Bills do have the 8th best run defense in the league. Still, 26 rushes for 74 yards isn’t going to cut it against any opponent.
3rd-Down Offense: I’ll just give you the stat, and let that flow over you. The Browns, on third down, converted just 3 of their 12 attempts.
Terrance West: Save for an 18-yard run at the end of the game, West was a liability on the field for the Browns. Rushing for just 32 yards, West also had a fumble which the Bills scooped up for a touchdown to give them a 14-3 lead. The fumble came directly after the Bills offense scored the first touchdown of the game. West also had another fumble in the red zone, only to have it be reversed on replay.
Center Injuries: We all know about Alex Mack and his importance to the team. Backup center, Nick McDonald, left the game with an ankle injury and did not return, leaving the Browns with a 3rd-string center playing out the game. If you thought the run game was bad without Mack, how bad will it be without McDonald?
— Chris Sladoje (@CST_Doje)
Photo via clevelandbrowns.com
Video via G4MarchmadnessHD