Cleveland Browns: 3 takeaways on offense from the Week 7 loss
By Andrew Seibt
Red zone turnovers killer again
The Browns came out in Week 7 and switched up their game plan to actually utilize the short-to -intermediate passing game. They still haven’t held a lead since the Jets game but early on Kizer looked like he benefited from a week off.
With the Browns running game being inefficient, the short passing game utilizing the running backs and tight ends is something that has been nonexistent until this game. With Kizer back in the starting role, the short passing game served as a good way to get the rookie in a rhythm and move the chains versus the quick three-and-outs we are used to.
Things were actually looking up in this game because there wasn’t that serious momentum swing of disaster that we’ve seen in recent weeks. The defense was looking good and the Browns were on the move toward the end of the first half looking to tie the game and then getting the ball to start the second half. And then, it happened…
Another inaccurate throw by Kizer, this one intended for Rashard Higgins, was intercepted at the Titans 7-yard line by Kevin Byard. Three plays into the second half, Kizer is picked off again by Byard, this time at the Cleveland 41-yard line, completely torching any momentum or confidence that Kizer may have had heading into the game.
When Kizer was named the starter, we all envisioned some sort of the rookie growing pains that come with starting a young quarterback. We knew there would be interceptions on bad throws or holding onto the ball too long and we saw that in the first few weeks of the season. What we’re not seeing is any improvement at all in terms of what he’s doing to help the Browns win football games.
If you turn the ball over, you can’t be a quarterback in the NFL. Yes he needs to develop, but there’s a fine line between developing a quarterback and costing your team a chance at a victory.
Whether it is Kessler, Hogan or Kizer moving forward (and I anticipate it will be Option D: All of the above), the quarterback simply needs to hang on to the ball.