Once again, the Browns had absolutely no balance on offense, and had no game plan with a chance at success on defense. Led by Hue Jackson and Ray Horton, all of this added up to an embarrassing 25-point loss.
On offense, the Browns dropped Kessler back for a throw on 28 of their 40 plays, an all too predictable strategy. Coming in, it was clear that the goal was to set up the rushing attack with a successful passing attack. What ended up happening though was an offense which was so off schedule because of their lack of passing on early downs that they never gave themselves an opportunity to run the ball. This is why they should have done everything they could to establish a running game, as they will never have a chance if they don’t run the ball.
Defensively, the Browns had no answer for Elliot. This isn’t too troubling, as the rookie out of Ohio State is giving every one of his opposing defenses fits. But the Browns had no game plan in place to even slow down the star back. Horton did not bring nearly enough pressure, took no risks, and acted like everything in the game was going grand. The lack of adjustments was evident, and it gave the impression that the defensive coaching staff was quitting.
At one point after the Cowboys scored their final touchdown of the uncontested contest, Jackson called his defense over to the sideline, visibly upset at their lack of effort. What he didn’t do, however, was follow through with his frustration or make any changes to the unit. It is a coach’s job to make sure his players give maximum effort. Jackson may have been upset, but there is no indication that Cleveland’s coaching staff will hold their players accountable in any way.
This isn’t to say that the coaching staff can not be the answer in the long-term. In reality, it isn’t totally fair to judge them due to the lack of talent on the Browns roster. But how can one not notice the lack of active coaching from Jackson and Horton?
Even if the Browns were ready to win as far as talent is concerned, their coaches aren’t putting forth the game plan which will allow the team to get over the hump.