You can look at this game a couple of ways. You can choose to focus on the offense, which was every adjective for bad that you can imagine, or you can look at the defense, which was every adjective for good that comes to mind.
The Browns rode that dominating defense the entire game, and it helped them squeak out a win against a team they likely should have blown out. The Seahawks were without their starting quarterback Tarvaris Jackson and starting running back Marshawn Lynch, which makes the defense’s unsurprising and almost expected.
The offense, though, continues to take steps in the wrong direction, as this was the most painful offensive performance to watch so far. It’s hard to completely defend Colt McCoy right now, as he was all over the place even when he did have time to throw. He continues to throw into double coverage and sailed a few passes to wide-open receivers. That being said, the offensive line’s problems have contributed a lot to McCoy’s struggles. The team obviously misses left guard Eric Steinbach and must address the right side of the line in the 2012 NFL Draft.
There isn’t just one person to blame for the offense’s bad season – it’s an all-around team effort.
But, again, a win is a win, right?
Here are some more observations following the Browns’ win:
- Running back Montario Hardesty gained 95 carries on 33 carries, which are both career highs. He took a lot of big hits and got right back up, but Browns fans shouldn’t get too carried away. Those 95 yards were accumulated on a lot of carries, and Hardesty isn’t the type of back who can take that punishment forever. Not many are, even before they have surgery on their knees.
- Here’s a real problem though: newly-acquired Chris Ogbonnaya was the team’s leading receiver with three catches for 43 yards.
- Injuries are really piling up on the Browns now. The team lost a few more players on Sunday, most notably wide receiver Mohamed Massaquoi (concussion), tight end Ben Watson (concussion), and right guard Shawn Lauvao (knee). Running back Peyton Hillis didn’t play, and many other Browns are nursing injuries of their owns. Cornerback Joe Haden was at least able to play for the first time since injuring his knee against the Tennessee Titans.
- Rookie wide receiver Greg Little continues to impress, as he caught five balls for 31 yards. The numbers don’t look like much, but Little is always fighting for yards after the catch and has proven himself to be a difficult guy to bring down. He’s become a reliable target for McCoy, and now leads the Browns in receptions this season.
- Special teams continue to be an issue for the Browns, as they had two field goals blocked on Sunday. Sorry to anyone who had Phil Dawson on his/her fantasy team and needed those points.
- There are a lot of great things that can be said about the performance of the Browns defense. They got continuous pressure on Seahawks quarterback Charlie Whitehurst, registering three sacks (including one by safety T.J. Ward, his first in the NFL). The Browns also forced two turnovers and allowed the Seahawks to gain only 162 yards of offense. If there is one thing to be excited about with the Browns, it is their top-ten defense.