Special Teams: F
Unfortunately, this is not a very hard grade to give. The special teams unit earned every bit of their failing grade, and did nothing to avoid it.
Every kick and punt return on both sides was a new opportunity for a Cleveland debacle. Ricardo Louis took four kick returns for 61 yards, averaging just over 15 yards. He even took two out of the end zone and was stopped short of the 20 both times. Even worse, the Browns committed a penalty on each of these returns pinning them inside the 10-yard-line.
Haden didn’t have any better of a day fielding punts. This is because he didn’t field any punts. In fact, he let two go over his head, one which was downed at the 1-yard-line, leading to an interception and eventually a Cincinnati touchdown. Looking completely lost and lacking confidence in the return game, Haden contributed to a special teams failure for the ages.
Alex Erickson was able to return three punts for 47 yards, drastically changing field position. Considering the fact that the Browns had zero punt return yards in an almost equal amount of opportunities, the Bengals used special teams to their advantage.
Would a better game from the special teams have given the Browns the victory? Probably not. But it is very hard to measure just how much this unit harmed the team, as horrible field position plagued them all afternoon.