Sep 29, 2013; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Browns inside linebacker D

Could the Browns Finish Even or Better with the Right Adjustments?


Oct 20, 2013; Green Bay, WI, USA; Cleveland Browns head coach Rob Chudzinski watches the game against the Green Bay Packers in the 4th quarter at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

If you take a look at the Cleveland Browns remaining schedule it’s not out of the realm of possibility to see them finish .500, or dare I say maybe 9-7.

Now don’t get me wrong, it’s a big reach there is no question about it.

However, if you look at the remaining schedule after this weekend’s game in Kansas City, there a several winnable games left on the docket.

With that being said, the Browns need to fix a few glaring issues to achieve this goal, but it’s not totally out of the question.  If they can get improved play at the quarterback position, it would be a huge start to making this thought a reality.  Whether it’s Brandon Weeden somehow digging down deep to elevate his game or Jason Campbell taking over and playing the best football of his career it is possible.  It would certainly help this Browns team score enough points to let this top ranked defense handle the rest.

Speaking of the defense, as good as they have been all year, they would need to be a bit better.  I know you are asking, “How can they play better than they have been”, and the answer is to get off the field on third downs.

The Browns defense is currently leading the league in yards per play, but on third downs they are ranked 26th in the league.  This stat shows the Browns defense is just not able to keep opposing offenses on the bench.  With that being said,  they have allowed opposing teams to keep drives alive by staying on the field, which have resulted in points.

Last week, defensive coordinator Ray Horton alluded to the fact the Browns have far more defensive plays than the top defenses in the league, which attributes to this poor ranking on third downs.  One could argue however, that their lack of stops on third down is the reason for the high-ranking, not the amount of plays.

Last but not least is the running game.

There is no question the running game needs to improve if the Browns want to make it a possibility to get to .500 or better.  Their current league rank of 23rd will definitely not get it done that’s for sure.  What will help though, is completing more passes by having a legitimate passing attack.

Take for instance last week in Green Bay.  Weeden was 17 of 42 for 149 yards and a completion percentage of 40.5.  With Josh Gordon and Jordan Cameron at his disposal, these numbers are just inexcusable.  Take Aaron Rodgers last week, he was without half his offense and still managed to go 25 of 36 for 260 yards and 3 touchdowns.

The point is if you have no real threat behind center that defenses need to be concerned about your not gonna be able to run the ball.  If Weeden was able to complete some passes and sustain some drives, you would be amazed at how that would open up the run game, even with a journeyman like Willis McGahee.  But until that happens, the run game will continue to be inconsistent.

So depending on how easy you think all or some of these fixes can be, determines whether the Browns are able to get to .500, get above or just continue down the path they are on.

Let us know what you think below.

-MR(@puckelves)

With some of the aforementioned fixes, could you see the Browns finishing .500 or better?

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Tags: Brandon Weeden Cleveland Browns Jason Campbell Josh Gordon

  • Letterman007

    Coach Chud keeps putting Weeden in to start, and yet there is more regression than progression ! Everyone else including the NFL people on ESPN know he doesn’t have what it, so why does he continue to use ” Flipper The Inept”as a starter or even use him period ! Until they do something at QB I’m afraid this is another in the LONG line of fruitless seasons !

    • Mike

      It sure does seem that way doesn’t it Letterman!!! Curious to see how the rest of the year plays out. I do believe things would be totally different right now if Hoyer didn’t go down.

      • Letterman007

        Hoyer may not have been the long term answer, however he was the best they had,and your right things would be different with Hoyer at QB!!

        • Mike

          It seems like we are always wondering what if this happened, or that happened around here. Hopefully things will start looking up soon, and soon I mean in May when we are on the clock lol..If you are on twitter follow me and I’ll follow back..Always up for some good Browns conversation!!

          • Letterman007

            I don’t do twitter or face book. Sorry but have a few friends that had some problems due to them! This is about it for me. I see Campbell is starting Sunday, thank goodness!! Can’t get any worse than Flipper !!

          • Mike

            No worries, appreciate the conversation on here!!! Wouldn’t it be something if Campbell led them to a win in KC…Would make for some interesting headlines on Monday!!

          • Letterman007

            Everyone thinks there are a plethora of NFL caliber QBs in the next draft and they may be wrong! Bridgewater and Mariota can return to school as underclassmen and Manziel is like RG3, mobile and injury prone, not to mention the off field antics.I live in South Carolina, about 30 miles from Clemson and have watched Tajh Boyd for years. Other tan being mobile he is Brandon Weeden. Stares down recievers can’t read a defense, and lacks touch on the ball! the kid from UCLA got blown up by Stanford, Franklin from Missouri is hurt, my cousin in Ohio knows him. That leaves the kid from Baylor and the one from Oregon State. Who’s your choice?

          • Mike

            A kid we really like here at DPD is Derek Carr from Fresno State. And yup if the name sounds familiar he is the brother of former 1st round pick David Carr. If you get a chance watch some vids on him. Has passed for 2700 yards 27 touchdowns and 4 interception so far this year. Has a lightning-quick release!!! Something lacking around these parts lately

          • Letterman007

            Saw him play on a Thursday night on ESPN game. You are right, he can throw with quick release! I do remember his brother, first pick of the Houston Texans and pretty much a bust and now out of football ! He backed up Manning in NY the last few years. Unfortunately, from what I saw, he reminds me of him and I’d hate to risk a first round pick on him? The guy from Oregon State looks a little better, but not worth a first round pick either.
            Mariota, Bridgewater, or Famous Jameis Winston are worth a first round pick, although Winston is not allowed to come to the NFL yet !

          • Mike

            David Carr was an excellent quarterback when he came out, and arguably could have been a very good pro quarterback. Unfortunately, he wound up in the same situation as another excellent quarterback out of college we are all familiar with by the name of Tim Couch. Both of these guys were put into impossible situations and set up to fail. Was a shame in both case because they both had a huge ceiling, but they were both shell shocked, careers ruined.

          • Letterman007

            The thing about Couch was the system in Kentucky with coach Mummy was more of kids playing in the street ! You go down to the Ford and cut across the street. They basically drew up plays in the sideline dirt. Not necessarily a good environment to learn to read defenses? But your correct, they didn’t have much to work with. But David Carr went to different teams and could only become a back-up !
            What the Browns need is a combination of Bernie Kosar (mind) and Bryan Sipe (athleticism and mobility) !! Another words, Bridgrwater, Mariota, or Famous Jameis Winston!!

          • Mike

            Obviously Bridgewater is a great talent. Mariota has some accuracy issues which around here we don’t wanna hear about, but a skill-set comparable to Colin Kaepernick. Same thing with Jameis Winston, extremely scary with his legs, but accuracy an issue, and is somewhat a streaky thrower. Guess we will just have to wait and see how it plays out. Still early on in the process.

          • Letterman007

            We must wait and see who comes out and who goes back to school. Then we need to see our draft position and who is ahead of us!! Minnesota and Jacksonville will both need QBs and, at present, they will draft ahead of the Browns. I doubt either will listen to trade talk to move down ! We’ll see how things end up ?

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