Countdown to The Draft
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By Tony Grossi
Tony’s Take on the Browns’ 25-15 loss to the Baltimore Ravens
Offense: The good news was Trent Richardson had his second straight 100-yard game (105 yards on 25 carries) and he added six catches (for 31 yards), and Greg Little had five catches (52) yards and no drops. But Brandon Weeden had an awful day throwing (20 of 37, 176 yards, two interceptions). And the effort was victimized by confusion, miscommunication and an alignment penalty that nullified a touchdown. Bottom line: Terribly out of synch.
Defense: It gave up two touchdowns early, then played exceptional for seven consecutive series, then gave up the winning TD drive when Joe Haden capped a rough day by allowing Torrey Smith to saunter 14 yards into the end after a 5-yard catch. T.J. Ward contributed a 15-yard penalty on the winning drive by hitting Joe Flacco above the shoulders on a blitz. In his first game of the year, Phil Taylor had a tackle, but couldn’t bring down Bernard Pierce on a 12-yard TD run. Bottom line: Couldn’t make the plays at the end.
Special teams: After not attempting a field goal in the past two games, Phil Dawson was 5-for-5 and gave the Browns a 15-14 lead with his 41-yarder with 8:48 to play. Reggie Hodges had a net average of 40.8 on four punts – winning his battle against Sam Koch. Josh Cribbs couldn’t muster anything longer than 13 yards on a punt return and 28 on a kickoff return. Bottom line: Aside from Dawson, couldn’t make a play of impact.
Coaching: They threw on the first two third-and-1s, then handed off late in the game on third-and-11 from the Ravens’ 23 to preserve a field goal. The all-time baffler was going for it on fourth-and-2 from their own 28 with 3:53 to play and two timeouts left with the Ravens ahead, 22-15. The offensive communication problems shouldn’t be happening at this stage of the season. The team was flat from the start and dug a 14-0 hole. Bottom line: Not a great game on the resume.
|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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Follow Tony on Twitter @tonygrossi
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