Browns lose to the Vikings, 33-16, in London
By Thomas Moore
The Cleveland Browns fell to 0-8 on the season following Sunday’s loss to the Minnesota Vikings in London.
The Cleveland Browns gave it a go for about a half on Sunday, but ultimately came up short against the Minnesota Vikings, losing 33-16 in a game played at Twickenham Stadium in London.
The loss drops the Browns to 0-8 on the season and 1-23 under head coach Hue Jackson as the club heads into its much-needed bye week.
Which means we all get to have two weeks of speculation about what comes next.
The game was a tale of two halves for the Browns.
Cleveland actually took a lead in the first quarter as the Vikings first possession of the game ended with an interception by Browns linebacker Joe Schobert off a tipped pass by defensive end Carl Nassib. Two plays later, running back Isaiah Crowell zipped through a hole on the right side of the line for a 26-yard touchdown run, his first of the season.
The Browns would fall behind, 9-6, in the second quarter but quarterback DeShone Kizer drove the team 82 yards in eight plays for a touchdown, scoring himself on a quarterback keeper from the Minnesota one-yard line with 40 seconds remaining before halftime.
That was the last bright spot for the Browns, however, as the defense allowed the Vikings to pick up a field goal just before the half to cut Cleveland’s lead to 13-12.
It was all downhill from there for the Browns as Cleveland was only able to put up three points in the second half.
The fun started on the opening drive of the second half when Crowell fumbled after a six-yard carry and the Vikings recovered and converted the turnover into a field goal.
From there, the offense for the Browns looked like this:
- Missed field goal
- Made field goal
- Three plays, six yards and a punt
- Three plays, two yards and a punt
- Three plays, zero yards and a punt
- Eight plays, 16 yards and a turnover on downs
- Three plays, 37 yards and the end of the game.
Meanwhile the defense slowly crumbled as it felt the weight of an ineffective offense and missing starters Myles Garrett, Jabrill Peppers and Jason McCourty, along with defensive linemen Larry Ogunjobi and Trevon Coley.
The Vikings put up 21 points in the second half and took control of the game on consecutive touchdown drives that covered eight plays and 75 yards and nine plays and 84 yards, respectively.
More from Dawg Pound Daily
- How the Browns could maximize Nick Chubb in 2023
- Can Deshaun Watson get to Patrick Mahomes level for Cleveland Browns?
- 3 Cleveland Browns who should see an expanded role in 2023 and 1 who should not
- Is Marcus Davenport on the Browns radar in 2023?
- 5 Free agents from Super Bowl LVII Cleveland Browns should target
In what can be chalked up as a small victory, Kizer made it through the entire game without being benched and without turning the ball over.
That doesn’t mean that Kizer was good, however, as he finished the game just 18-of-34 for 179 yards, three sacks and a quarterback rating of 68.1. Seventy-five of those passing yards came on two plays – a 38-yard catch-and-run by Crowell and a 37-yard completion to Ricardo Louis.
So 16 of Kizer’s completions accounted for just 104 passing yards as he didn’t look to throw deep very often, and the few times he did he continued to miss his receivers. It could be the game plan called for a more conservative approach, or Kizer’s fear of turning the ball over and being benched again held him back, but it wasn’t the kind of performance that should make anyone believe the Browns shouldn’t be scouting college quarterbacks.
As usual, the Browns did not run the ball much as Crowell and Duke Johnson combined for just 17 carries despite rushing for 97 yards and averaging 5.7 yards per carry on those runs.
Defensively, the Browns held Minnesota to just 2.6 yards per carry, and Schobert (11 tackles and an interception,) Carl Nassib, Emmanuel Ogbah and Brien Boddy-Calhoun continued to make plays. The missing pieces, along with a sputtering offense, were just too much for the defense to overcome, however.
The Browns now have two weeks off to regroup, get healthy and start to figure out what, if anything, they can over the season’s final eight games to build on the few good parts of the foundation that are in place.
Next: Browns: 3 things to watch against the Vikings
Even though their next game will not be until Nov. 12 against the Detroit Lions, don’t expect the next 14 days to be quiet ones.