So maybe there is a point in a game when a play caller does need to abandon the rushing attack altogether. Not that this happens often, but when it does, it is paramount to incorporate the right receivers in the game to fuel the comeback effort. In Sunday’s game, the Browns failed to do this.
It has been clear that Cleveland’s top receiving threat currently is Terrelle Pryor. As he should have been, he was the team’s primary target against the Titans. But what was odd was his 13 targets compared to the nine times rookie Ricardo Louis was targeted. While it was clear that Louis was a significant part of the game plan for some reason, what goes unexplained is why his targets were even close to Pryor’s. As a result, Louis had three drops, two in very critical situations, and really cost the team.
But the root of the problem is not Louis himself, but the strange decision to make him such an important part of the offense.
Louis, for whatever reason, had far more than Gary Barnidge‘s five targets, in which he gained 59 yards. He also far surpassed veteran Andrew Hawkins, as well as rookies Rashard Higgins and Jordan Payton. Payton made a sensational catch, which was ruled out-of-bounds, but was not targeted once following this play. These decisions should be questioned, and explained in detail. Fans deserve to know.
For a team like the Browns, limited star power should be cherished and embraced. both Pryor and Barnidge should get more targets in coming weeks. There must be a certain amount of balance, but not to the point that it hinders the progress of the offense.