Positives: Ha! There are none, as my readers would point out.
Scott Solomon: Who? No really, who is this guy? Solomon spent most of the year on the Browns practice squad, until he was called up due to Tashaun Gipson being place on season-ending IR. In his debut, Solomon had 4 tackles, a tackle for a loss, and a sack.
Karlos Dansby: Making a quick recovery from a knee injury, Dansby returned to his usual role as the do everything linebacker. He led the team in tackles with 12, pushing his season total up to 85, despite missing 4 games.
Billy Winn’s Athleticism:
The Cavs: We didn’t have to drown in our sorrows long, because the Cavs game started at 4:30, and they beat up a top team in the West, the Memphis Grizzles, winning by a score of 105-91.
Garrett Hartley: He made both of his field goals, and that’s more than Billy Cundiff could do.
Negatives: Ctrl-C, Ctrl-V from last week’s post.
3rd-down Defense: Countless times Cam Newton, looking like the reincarnation of Ben Roethlisberger, was able to either throw for or to scramble for a key first down. On the day, the Panthers were 9-for-16 converting 3rd downs, including a 30-yard run by Jonathan Stewart that ended the day for the Browns.
Total Plays: The Browns ran only 46 plays on the day, compared to the 77 plays the Panthers ran. In last week’s game against Cincinnati, the Browns were even worse, only running 38 plays, to the Bengals 71. Prior to these last 2 weeks of “same old Browns” football, they averaged 66 plays a game.
Time of Possession: 21 minutes and 57 seconds, compared to the Panthers controlling the game with a T.O.P. of 38 minutes and 3 seconds.
QB Play: Save for an 81-yard touchdown to Jordan Cameron, the Browns QBs threw for 63 yards. Manziel looked the Manziel from the Bengals game, as he was 3-for-8, with only 38 yards. His QBR was 4.8, an improvement over the previous week, but still bad. Then Manziel answered the question of “can he stay healthy?”, when he pulled up with a lame hamstring late in the second quarter. In stepped Brian Hoyer, who looked just as bad as we remember. While he did lead the Browns to their first touchdown in over 6 quarters, he was constantly under pressure, and had a QBR of 31.6.
Josh Gordon: Once upon a time, I said Josh Gordon would completely change the Browns offense, I was right, but he changed it for the worse. Since Gordon has returned from his suspension, the Browns have averaged 274.6 yards per game. Without Gordon, the Browns averaged 356.1 yards per game. It is not all Gordon’s fault, but his return has caused whoever is playing QB tries to force the ball to him, when there are clearly better options.
Offensive Line: Our quarterbacks have no time to throw, and our running backs can’t even get back the to the line of scrimmage, needless to say, they miss Alex Mack.
Pettine’s Future: Are fans really calling for his job? He has helped the Browns to 7 wins this season, more wins than any Browns team since 2007.
Draft Watch: If the season ended today, the Browns would have the 13th and 17th picks.
— Chris Sladoje (@CST_Doje)
Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images