Do the Cleveland Browns Run Too Often?


The Cleveland Browns have made it clear that they want to establish themselves as a running team. Through the first five games of the season they had done just that. Then last week against the Jacksonville Jaguars happened and many are asking themselves a ton of questions about the Browns.

Some are wondering if Alex Mack is irreplaceable?

Some are wondering if Kyle Shanahan’s playcalling is predictable?

We all are wondering how/why Paul McQuistan is on the team, much less starting, after seeing him “block” last week?

Following this tweet, the question is do the Browns run too often?

The Browns run the most on second down in the league? Wow.

While that means the Browns are sticking to their guns as a running team it also may set them up for failures. The Jags game is the first game that the running game has failed for the entire game but the Browns have had times where it struggles for periods of time during a game. Could it be that they are running too much? Could it be that Shanahan has become predictable in his play calling, especially on second down?

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We see the second down run play so often for a variety of reasons. If the Browns are unsuccessful on first down, either on a run or a pass, a run play on second down can help setup Brian Hoyer and the offense for a make-able third down. When the Browns do get a decent gain, but not a first down, on the first play of a series, Shanahan likes to go back to the run play to try to pickup the first quickly.

Each of these has led to patterns that opposing defenses are aware of. It seems as if the Browns show some lack of confidence in Hoyer and his receiving corp by this decision making. After a failed first down play, giving your quarterback two downs to get a first may build confidence for the team. After a solid first down play, especially a run, Hoyer can be setup perfectly for a play action pass. If they don’t get it the Browns still have the threat of run or pass on third down.

Do the Browns run too often? No, but the data shows that they may run far too often on second down and need to do something about it.

Whether they will, or are able, this week against the Raiders is a big question.

What do you think?