Cleveland Browns: Week 12 takeaways from the offense
By Andrew Seibt
The Cleveland Browns had a solid game on offense in Week 12, but as usual it wasn’t enough to win. Here is what stood out from the loss.
The Cleveland Browns went into Paul Brown Stadium on Sunday and lost for the 12th straight time dating back to last season. The Browns once again lost by a double-digit margin in a game where I really never felt the Browns had a chance of winning.
This team is just not built to win football games. Asking young, late-round draft picks to contribute to the level that a veteran would is expecting too much. Rookies surrounded by veterans who understand the NFL and can take some of the early pressure off the young guys is essential. I think not having those older guys to lean on is draining on some of these young players.
About 3 months ago, I wrote an article on my optimism about “The Process” and how it would translate to winning this season. Consider that old take exposed. The Process was an unnecessary banishing of veteran players that stripped this team of any player who knew what winning felt like.
It also deprived this team of much-needed depth. Not only are the Browns fielding the youngest team in the league, but any time a guy like Joe Thomas, Jamie Collins, or Jamie Meder goes down, the Browns are left with little depth. Letting go of guys like John Greco, Demario Davis and Joe Haden rid the team of the depth and are now contributing to the losing indirectly.
The Bengals, led by the Red Rocket Andy Dalton, were actually outgained by the Browns in all categories, which is stunning considering the final score. Although, the Bengals ran all over the Browns once-vaunted run defense led by Joe Mixon who set a career high with 114 rushing yards.
It will be tough to stop the run for this Browns defense the rest of the season. Despite the loss, there were a few positive things that I pulled from this game, and also one glaring issue on the offensive side of the ball.