Cleveland Browns: Power run arrives with a bang
By Joel W. Cade
The Power Run Game
I have been writing about the exciting possibilities of a revamped offensive line and what it could mean for the power run game. This week, the Browns committed to the power run scheme and it paid off.
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Isaiah Crowell lead the league in rushing this week with 133 yards on 18 carries for a 7.4 yards per carry average. Some will object that he got 85 yards on one carry, but this attempt to discount the performance misses an obvious point. Crowell ripped off an 85-yard run against what was, heading into the game, the league’s best run defense. Give him credit for that.
Particularly successful was the weak side power run. The Browns ran the power toward the weak side of their formation after the Ravens showed they were vulnerable against the weak side run against the Buffalo Bills. The Browns saw the weakness and exploited it.
For all the liability he is in the passing game, Pasztor is an asset in the power run attack.
The Screen Game
The Browns improved in the area of screens and draws against the Ravens. The screen is a difficult play to master, but when done well, it is almost impossible to stop. Even though one screen was called back on a block in the back by wide receiver Terrelle Pryor, the screen game as a whole was much improved.
One of the major reasons for the improvement McCown’s patience is allowing the screens to develop. Instead of dumping the ball at the first sign of pressure, he allowed the backs and linemen to get into space.
Another reason for the improvement was the offensive line getting into position laterally instead of vertically. One easy mistake for linemen to make on screen plays is to go downfield too fast. After hitting the defensive lineman and releasing, offensive linemen are taught to begin looking downfield for a block. It is easy to run in the direction one is looking, but a lineman has to look one way and run another.
When a lineman goes downfield too fast, the screen is tackled underneath for a short gain or loss. Or the lineman gets an ineligible man downfield penalty, as the Browns have done in both games this season. But against the Ravens, the Browns offensive line ran laterally, putting them in position for key blocks leading to positive yardage.
The Browns offense began to look like a Hue Jackson offense on Sunday. As a result, they were gaining yardage throughout the game. Right now the Browns need to figure out how to finish drives and stay away from idiotic penalties.
Next: Browns: Is the O-Line getting worse?
The offensive line played better than last week against the Eagles. However, next week will bring challenges of its own against the Miami Dolphins with a new center and right guard go along with a new quarterback for the Browns.