It was only two short weeks ago that the Browns running attack was riding high atop the NFL.
My how times have changed.
After two poor games that saw Cleveland rush for a total of 67 yards on 37 carries – a 1.81 per carry average – the Browns have slipped to 11th in league in rushing.
While some of the problems can be attributed to the injuries along the offensive line, running back Isaiah Crowell needs to carry the water on this one as well. Against the New England Patriots and Tennessee Titans, Crowell rushed 22 times for a grand total of 38 yards – a tidy 1.71 per carry average if you are scoring at home.
Crowell talked prior to the season about becoming a 1,000-yard rusher this season, and things looked good early on after he broke the 100-yard barrier in two of the team’s first four games. But reality has quickly set in for a player that entered the season having rushed for 88 or more yards in a single game only three times in his career.
“We can do better than what we did. We have to get our run game reestablished somehow, someway,” Jackson said. “It has been off track the last two weeks and the teams that have played us have done a decent job. We are stumbling a little bit in that area. As I said after the game, that is an area that I have to get fixed, and I will. I’m confident in that.”
If the running game continues to trend downward, it is only a matter of time before Kessler goes down with another injury. Opposing defenses are already putting a beating on Cleveland quarterbacks, and if they don’t have to fear the run, it will truly become open season on Kessler and whoever ultimately becomes the next man up.