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Cleveland Browns Offense Continues to Be a Horror Show


You would be forgiven for thinking that the Cleveland Browns offense has been celebrating Halloween all season, as it remains a truly terrifying display week after week. After Sunday’s 20-10 loss to the San Francisco 49ers, the disturbing trend of ineffective, bland offensive showings by the offense (in keeping with the tradition of previous seasons, which is a nightmare all its own), the Browns are in need of some major retooling.

After Sunday’s game, the Browns now sit with the 28th overall offense in the NFL, ahead of the likes of the Miami Dolphins, Indianapolis Colts, St. Louis Rams, and Jacksonville Jaguars. Two of those teams are starting rookie quarterbacks and, as of Sunday, the other two were without the quarterbacks who started their respective seasons.

Here are a few terrifying stats:

  • The Browns average 15.3 points per game (28th)
  • They average 92.4 rush yards per game (29th)
  • The passing stats are deceiving, as the Browns are constantly thrown into must-pass situations (i.e. being down at the end of a game). That being said, they average 218.1 yards per game. (20th)
  • All included, the Browns average 306 yards per game (25th)
With the injuries piling up and an offensive line that resembles five ghosts given the ease with which defenses pass right through them, there is certainly potential for these statistics to get worse before they get better, especially as the Browns begin facing better defenses.
This is, of course, nothing new for Cleveland. Offensive ineptitude is the Browns’ most consistent characteristic each and every year. Take a look at where past Browns teams have ranked:
  • 2010 – 29th
  • 2009 – 32nd
  • 2008 – 31st
  • 2007 – 8th
  • 2006 – 31st
  • 2005 – 26th
  • 2004 – 28th
  • 2003 – 26th
Every season, even with an increasingly frightening trend of predictability and bland offense efforts, a slew of excuses can be made for such performances. This season is, after all, the first year of the West Coast offense in Cleveland, and Colt McCoy is still trying to figure it out in his first season as a full-time starter. Head coach Pat Shurmur is handling the offensive play calling. The Browns supposedly don’t have a receiver who can stretch the field. Running back Peyton Hillis can’t seem to stay on the field.

These are all fine reasons that attempt to explain the problems of this offense. However, none are as scary as the notion that the Browns seem to offer nothing in terms of game-to-game adjustments. A lack of personnel may play a role in that, but this team isn’t doing itself any favors by not playing a little looser, especially in the passing game.

But the scariest thing of all? The Browns are only seven games into the 2011 season. This has the potential to be one of those slow, torturous years for Browns fans, a season in which the team “stays the course” in its philosophies for a myriad of vague reasons, spewed out at each press conference in response to reporters’ questions about the team’s lack of creativity.

Brace yourself, Browns fans, the real horror show might still be on its way.


Tags: Cleveland Browns Colt McCoy Offense Pat Shurmur Peyton Hillis