Daily Dawg Tags: The offense needs to be grounded

CLEVELAND, OH - DECEMBER 17: DeShone Kizer #7 of the Cleveland Browns drops passes in the third quarter against the Baltimore Ravens at FirstEnergy Stadium on December 17, 2017 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH - DECEMBER 17: DeShone Kizer #7 of the Cleveland Browns drops passes in the third quarter against the Baltimore Ravens at FirstEnergy Stadium on December 17, 2017 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images) /

The Cleveland Browns pass the ball a lot with little success. Yet head coach Hue Jackson sees nothing wrong with dialing up even more pass plays each week.

The Cleveland Browns are a mess on offense.

The Browns can run the ball effectively – they are third in the NFL with an average of 4.6 yards per carry – which is not a surprise given the investment the previous front office made in the offense line.

The problem is that the Browns simply don’t run the ball enough as they are 25th in rushing attempts.

Instead of employing the one thing that actually works on the offensive side of the ball, head coach Hue Jackson has fully embraced the idea that the NFL is, as the late Sammy Baugh once said, “a passing man’s game.”

That has led the Browns to average 36.3 pass attempts per game – the eighth most in the league.

The Browns do this despite having a rookie quarterback in DeShone Kizer who is last in completion percentage, 34th in yards per attempt, 29th in touchdown passes, 35th in quarterback rating and No. 1 in interceptions.

It is not all Kizer’s fault, however, as the pro-Jackson crowd has spent the entire season telling anyone who will listen that the Browns “have no playmakers” on offense. (Just ignore the rushing numbers and Duke Johnson, because that kind of hurts the narrative.)

Josh Gordon was supposed to be one of those playmakers, but despite a “see now evil, hear no evil, speak no evil” approach toward anything related to Gordon, his impact on the offense has been minimal since his return.

It is not for lack of opportunities as Gordon has been targeted 28 times in the three games since he returned to the team. That has turned into just 12 receptions for 201 yards and a touchdown as, outside of the opening drive against the Green Bay Packers, Gordon has been “just a guy” when it comes to the offense.

Sunday brings a new opportunity, but with the Chicago Bears having a Top 10 defense against both the pass and the run, and Jackson still calling the plays, Kizer should probably start icing his arm now.

Cleveland Browns news:

Don’t plan on Isaiah Crowell returning in 2018 

Cleveland Browns running back Isaiah Crowell hasn’t been utilized properly this season, making it hard to imagine he wants to return to the team in 2018.

Watching the local quarterback on Christmas Eve

Cleveland Browns fans may not want to watch an 0-14 team during the holidays, but there is a local player to watch in this Sunday’s game.

Josh Gordon has no plans to ask for a trade after the season (cleveland.com)

"Receiver Josh Gordon has experienced the thrill of victory only 10 times in his 35 games with the Browns since 2012, but he says he has no plans to ask out after the season. “You can ask for a trade whenever you want to really, but that’s not really on my mind, man,” he said Thursday. “I’m just glad to be back.”"

Don’t judge DeShone Kizer just yet (MMQB)

"The immediate legacy of Carson Wentz and Jared Goff—before the Pro Bowls and All-Pro nods and playoff wins are tallied up years down the line—is fairly obvious at this point: Don’t judge rookie quarterbacks by Year One. There are exceptions to the rule, of course, and we’ll get to them. But what the second-year quarterbacks for the Eagles and Rams have done for the next generation of young passers and the coaches and executives responsible for selecting and coaching them is something so significant I don’t think we truly understand it yet."

NFL news:

Sportscaster Dick Enberg found dead at his La Jolla home at 82 (Los Angeles Times)

"Dick Enberg, who got into the broadcast business accidentally and stayed in it to supplement his teacher’s salary, died Thursday morning at his La Jolla home, his wife, Barbara, told the San Diego Union-Tribune. He was 82."

NFL advises officials: no more index cards (ESPN)

"The NFL has instructed its officials to no longer employ paper as a tool during the process of measuring a first down, days after referee Gene Steratore stirred controversy by using an index card during the Dallas Cowboys’ 20-17 victory over the Oakland Raiders."

Saturday’s cold will be new experience for Vikings QB Case Keenum (Pioneer Press)

"Case Keenum has been spectacular for the Vikings this season. Since replacing injured quarterback Sam Bradford in Week 2, he has led Minnesota to a division title while completing 68 percent of his passes for 3,219 yards with 20 touchdowns against seven interceptions. Now, let’s see how he does in the cold."