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Tony's Take: Predictability, imbalance on offense and a key dropped pass doom the Browns

Sep 28, 2012 -- 6:00am

By Tony Grossi


Tony's Take on Browns 23-16 loss to Baltimore Ravens

Offense: It got very predictable – first down pass, second down run, third down pass. In the second half, they threw 30 times and ran five times. Thus, Trent Richardson rushed only 14 times for 47 yards. Brandon Weeden kept firing away and wound up 25 of 52 for 320 yards with a Pick 6. Greg Little had two drops, including one at the goal line in the fourth quarter, and had one ball whiz through his hands. Bottom line: Somebody has to catch the ball in the clutch.

Defense: They kept Joe Flacco and Ray Rice from dominating the game, but ultimately couldn’t stay with the diversified offense. Craig Robertson (one INT), Billy Winn, Jabaal Sheard and Usama Young were extremely active. But the DBs gave up 228 yards to Anquan Boldin (131) and Torrey Smith (97). Safeties Young (knee), T.J. Ward (hand) and Tashaun Gipson (knee) all ended with injuries. Bottom line: 438 total yards allowed, but only 16 points to the offense.

Special teams: Josh Cribbs was knocked cold running with a punt and then banged his head off the ground after his helmet flew off. He did not return after leaving with a concussion. In his place, Travis Benjamin had a 40-yard punt return. Phil Dawson made field goals of 50, 51 and 52 yards. Punter Reggie averaged 41.4 net on seven punts. Bottom line: Let’s call him Prime Time Phil.

Coaching: For the fourth loss in a row, they had the team in the game in the fourth quarter. But there was no rhythm to the offense and a pass-run imbalance of 50 to 17 is not a good thing. Pat Shurmur lost his cool after a penalty and cost his team another 15 yards for unsportsmanlike conduct. Bottom line: Need a win. Fast.

Tony Grossi covers the Browns for ESPN 850 WKNR, ESPN 1540 KNR2 and www.espncleveland.com.

He has covered the Browns with distinction since 1984 and is one of 44 voters for the National Football League Hall of Fame. Email your “Hey Tony” questions to tgrossi@espncleveland.com

Follow Tony on Twitter @tonygrossi

 

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