Running Backs: F
As for Cleveland’s rushing attack which came in leading the league, the final stats speak for themselves as to how miserable the unit was on Sunday. In total, Cleveland running backs carried the ball 17 times for a grand total of 23 yards.
Though it is really irrelevant what the exact numbers were, Isaiah Crowell carried the ball 13 times for 22 yards, and Duke Johnson rushed four times for one yard. Though this extreme lack of productivity is hard to fathom, it was really a reflection of some awful decisions made by both running backs at times. The amount of plays which went for negative yardage was unparalleled even for the Browns. The running backs would have done better just falling forward across the line of scrimmage every play. It’s no wonder why Cleveland abandoned the running game altogether as the second half progressed.
Many will blame the horrendous play of the running backs on the offensive line. But while there weren’t very many running lanes all afternoon for the Browns, Johnson and Crowell only did themselves a disservice trying to make too much happen. The poor play of the offensive line wasn’t bad enough to render these types of numbers. This was a direct result of horrible decisions by the running backs which led to numerous negative plays which killed drives.