Cleveland Browns: 3 takeaways on offense from the loss in Detroit
By Andrew Seibt
DeShone Kizer gave the Browns competent quarterback play
A big storyline for Browns fans to watch in the last eight games was going to be how DeShone Kizer would rebound from a shaky first half of the season. From being benched, to starting, to benched, to starting and then almost being replaced, it has not been an easy rookie season for DeShone Kizer.
With all that being said, he came out on Sunday and had the best game of his young career, completing 21 of 37 passes for 232 yards and one touchdown. Kizer had a passer rating of 73.3 and looked like a whole new quarterback when this game started.
Kizer came out of the gate with a beautiful 38-yard pass to Sammie Coates down the sideline setting up the Browns for a first-and-goal at the Detroit 9-yard line.
Kizer has struggled in the red zone as we know, so Hue Jackson called two run plays, and then a fade to David Njoku in the end zone on third down. Njoku failed to get his second foot down, but Kizer has struggled throwing the fade the entire season.
He was even picked off as the Browns tried to backdoor cover the spread with a fade route to Ricardo Louis in which Louis may or may not have given up on the route. Regardless, Kizer needs to either learn to throw a better fade route, or Hue Jackson needs to stop calling them near the goal line.
Kizer would have had an even better day had there not been holding penalties on back-to-back plays negating gains of 29 yards and 15 yards, respectively. Those are the kinds of little things that kill the momentum for a young team on the road.
And then we get to the end of the first half. The play that has thus far defined the Browns season and their myriad of mistakes and winless efforts.
With 15 seconds left in the first half with the Browns primed to cut into Detroit’s then seven-point lead, Kizer took it upon himself to audible into a quarterback sneak and got stuffed at the line. The Browns didn’t get another play off and failed to score before the half. I would have rather had him throw another interception, at least that is explainable.
The lack of comment from Hue and Kizer is upsetting, as Kizer should have admitted the mistake, said it wouldn’t happen again and moved on. Hue would have said the same thing, and there wouldn’t need to be 20 different questions about it during his press conferences. But who knows with this team anymore.
The point is that Kizer has shown his ability to play competent football against a bad Lions defense. The real question is whether or not he can continue to play well enough to keep the Browns in the game like he did on Sunday, and it starts this week against Jacksonville.