Cleveland Browns: 3 defensive takeaways from Week 3 loss
Jacoby Brissett torched the Browns with his legs
Through the first two weeks of the NFL season, the Browns defense looked competent, full of force and like they miles ahead of expectations. They played well against division rivals in the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Baltimore Ravens, despite losses to both. This defense has been the talk of the Browns since training camp and have yet to let us down. But the Indianapolis Colts ended that without All-Pro quarterback Andrew Luck.
Jacoby Brissett caught the attention of New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick but was traded for 2015 first-rounder Phillip Dorsett several weeks ago. The trade proved to have a dramatic impact against the Browns as Brissett completed 17 of his 24 passes for 259 yards and a touchdown. Despite only having 14 rushing yards, he was lethal using them totaling two touchdowns and numerous escapes from defenders.
Cleveland seemingly got to the quarterback much quicker than the previous two weeks, but failed to convert sacks as often as they should have. Brissett earned a rushing touchdown on a broken play in which he avoided one defender, spun out of another and escaped a crowded pocket for the score. It hurt to watch but felt like your typical Browns play where shaking your head was all one could do.
Even throwing the ball, the Colts quarterback torched Cleveland’s secondary, particularly using T.Y. Hilton as his primary weapon. Donte Moncrief got in the mix with a beautiful 34-yard catch over Jason McCourty as well. Four total Colts receivers had over 10-yard gains on one completion and again, the middle of the field remains the Browns’ largest concern.
Brissett is a fine quarterback that has the ability to make something out of nothing. He has a clear understanding for the quarterback position and has talents many would love to have.
However, he made the Browns defense look worse than they are – worse than both Ben Roethlisberger and Joe Flacco made them look. In perhaps the most winnable game of the 2017 NFL season for the Browns, they got punched in the mouth by Jacoby Brissett.