Running Backs: F
Of everything that went wrong on Thursday, it was most clear that it was not a very efficient evening for Duke Johnson or Isaiah Crowell. The running game was used only to keep a stout Baltimore front seven honest, and never had a chance to be Cleveland’s primary method of moving down the field.
Of course, there is nothing wrong with running a pass first offense. However, Thursday’s game displayed not only a team who favored airing the ball out, but a team that was completely one-dimensional. The lack of a formidable rushing attack allowed Baltimore to pin their ears back, and Cleveland’s quarterbacks became sitting ducks.
In the end, the Browns designed running plays just 12 times. They totaled 30 yards on the ground, 23 from Crowell, six from Johnson, and one from Hogan.
In the passing game, Crowell and Johnson were much more active, gaining 55 yards combined on six receptions. This simply isn’t going to cut it though. When two of a team’s primary offensive threats are held under 100 yards combined when counting both their rushing and receiving yards, one wonders where the offense came from. In Cleveland’s case, it does make a little bit of sense, as there was no offense to speak of.