Cleveland Browns: Takeaways on offense from the Week 4 loss
By Andrew Seibt
No short-to-intermediate passing game
So the Browns can’t run the ball. Sure, it would help to take pressure off your quarterback but teams like the Lions and Patriots don’t have lethal running games either. They do however utilize their backs in short passing routes to get similar yardage to what a run would be. The Browns cannot even complete this simple facet of an offense.
What I see on Sundays is the offense getting no gain on first down and following it up with either a penalty or another variation of incompletion or negative play which sets them up in a third-and-long situation.
When you pair that with receivers who can’t make plays, you end up with three and outs. Let’s look at the Browns’ first two drives on Sunday after Hue Jackson preached about to so-called “fast start” this team needed to get off to this week.
Drive 1: three plays, two yards. 1:58 off the clock
Drive 2 (after being gifted field position after an Ogbah strip sack): four plays, zero yards, 1:16, missed FG
This team can’t even move the football when given prime field position by the defense. They even missed the field goal to boot! That drive was rather indicative about how Sunday was going to go, and I could have spared myself a good three hours had I turned it off at that point.
Back to this passing game, there just seems to be no way for this team to try to move the ball anywhere between five and 15 yards down the field. DeValve and Njoku were nowhere to be seen, and Duke Johnson was the only guy Kizer could complete a pass to. Shocker. Even then, he only caught nine balls for 47 yards which were more check down routes than anything.
If this team is going to move the football at all moving forward without running the football, they are going to need to find a way to get these receivers open in space for catch-and-run opportunities versus the constant go-routes we see on Sundays. Which starts to beg the question…