Cleveland Browns: Week 12 takeaways from the offense

(Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /
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Cleveland Browns
(Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images) /

Red Zone Struggles

News Flash: Team scoring the least amount of points per game struggles in the red zone. Crazy right? The Browns mustered only one touchdown in this game despite four red zone chances.

Let’s start on the first red zone trip shall we?

1st-and-goal from the 9-yard line ended with the a third-down screen to Duke Johnson from the 15-yard line. Offensive pass interference on David Njoku dropped the Browns back ten yards and squandered a quality touchdown opportunity.

The second red zone drive of the game was even more frustrating.

Kizer threw a beautiful ball to Corey Coleman, and Duke Johnson had a 13-yard run to get the Browns to the Bengals’ 20-yard line. From there, Bryce Treggs lost the Browns 15 yards on a personal foul call as the Browns once again shot themselves in the foot as they got into the scoring zone. And to make it worse, Zane Gonzalez missed the field goal.

With 20 seconds left in the first half, the Browns were only able to get off one more play, prompting a comment from Hue Jackson explaining that the Browns offense is not built for more than one shot at the end zone. Some take that as a shot to the front office, but my perception of that is that we’ve seen this team squander so many opportunities with turnovers and penalties in the past, that I think Hue just wanted to take the three points and head into the half. I can’t really blame him either.

In the third quarter, the Browns got to the Bengals’ 19-yard line on the back of Isaiah Crowell who had gains of 27 and 11 on back-to-back carries. However, an offensive holding penalty stopped them from going any further. More penalties.

The Browns finally pushed the ball over the goal line with 6:57 left in the fourth quarter. Kizer led a 15-play, 89-yard drive which was highlighted by a 38-yard catch from Kenny Britt, and one for 22 from Rashard Higgins that brought the Browns inside the 10-yard line. Kizer punched it in from three yards out on a quarterback draw.

Next: Trying to be positive at 0-11 in the DPD Podcast

Maybe Josh Gordon will bring the spark the Browns so desperately need so that they won’t even need to convert from the red zone. Maybe they’ll find a way to repeat the same magic they had last year on the road against a red-hot Chargers team. Maybe I’ll win the lottery.