What a difference a week makes… or does it? I guess it just depends if your glass is half empty or half full. You see, there were some good things in Sundays 34-27 loss to division foe Cincinatti. However, the end result (you know, the part that actually matters) is the same as week one.
Things I liked -
- Impending owner Jimmy Haslem travelled by bus with the team to Cincinnati. This is a guy who wants to connect with the fans and the players. He's walking the walk.
- Weeden seemed much calmer on the day going 26/37 for 322 yards and 2 passing TD’s. Most importantly he finished the day with ZERO interceptions. How’s that for improvement?
- Richardson was a man possessed on Sunday. He hit the hole hard and made it a point to initiate contact with second level defenders. TR finished the day with 19 rushes for 109 yards, 4 catches for 36 yards and 2 TD’s! Let's see how he does next week before crowning him as king. That said, he sure looked like the real deal today!
- Mohammed Massaquoi finished the day with 5 catches and 90 yards receiving. Great to see Mo Mass have a big day. Little was the only WR to find the endzone today, but it was Mo Mass who shined most at that position.
Things I didn’t like –
- Buster Skrine got the start of a game ready Sheldon Brown. How did that decision work out for Shurmer? Skrine was getting punked all day long. Would Sheldon Brown have given up those plays?
- Penalties, penalties… and more penalties. Over 100 yards worth! Dimitri Patterson was called for a ‘neutral zone infraction’ not once but TWICE. How does that even happen? You think you'd figure out where the football was after being called for it the first time. DON'T LINE UP OVER IT!!!
- Joe Haden. I couldn’t help but be upset with him. I hope that Adderall party in Vegas was worthwhile because he single handedly cost the Browns this win. I know I’ll take some crap for this statement but you can’t tell me the Bengals would’ve been picking up those giant chunks of yardage had Haden been playing.
- Defensive game-plan. Defensive coordinator Dick Jauron got ALL the praise last week. Let’s bring him back down a little closer to Earth. I knew they would be playing a lot of zone without Haden in the lineup but it was just god awful. If it weren’t for a few overthrows from Andy Dalton, we could’ve lost by as much as 3 scores.
- Special Teams. I won’t beat on the punt coverage teams any more than their coaches will this week BUT Josh Cribbs didn’t do a whole lot to impress me either. I specifically remember him taking the ball 5 yards deep in the end-zone out on return and diving at the 17 yard line in hopes of reaching the 20. If you’re gonna take the ball out from that deep in the end-zone, you better run through people and exceed the 20 yard line.
I’ve said before that I won’t talk about ‘victories’ within a game but I will say this loss was far more palatable than last weeks. (if that even makes sense) However, if this franchise wants to turn the corner then we’ll need to put more of a focus on the end result. 0-2 is 0-2 no matter which way you position it.
Hopefully the team can put all facets of the game together next week when the Buffalo Bills come to town. One thing is for sure… the coaching staff better start looking at tape of CJ Spiller on the bus ride home. All he’s down so far this year is rush for 292 yards on 29 carries posting 3 TD’s in two games. For those with lesser Math skills, that’s an average of 10 yards per carry.
What did you love and hate about the Browns in week 2?