Biggest questions Cleveland Browns need to answer vs. Bengals
The Cleveland Browns dropped another very winnable game this season, this time to the lowly Steelers. The Browns face the Bengals twice in the coming weeks to finish out the season. Cincinnati just won their first game of the year and I would imagine would want to keep that going. This could be trouble for Cleveland.
Obviously the Cleveland Browns put it all out there against the Pittsburgh Steelers this week right? Didn’t quit, left everything out on the field, all the personalities the media warned us about kept on yapping and went about their usual business, right?
No. It saddens me to say that if this was any team that I described, it would have been the Steelers. Maybe I’m too hard on the Browns and head coach Freddie Kitchens.
Maybe I demand too much as a fan who has never known what it is to win the AFC North. Just maybe I expected too much from what has been described as the most talented Browns team ever.
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No. This team has been lackluster all year and it should have been the opposite. What questions do we need to ask ourselves about this team going into this game?
Will Freddie Kitchens ever figure out this head coaching gig?
Personally, I don’t think he will. Not as a head coach anyway. As an offensive coordinator, he had it working well for this team last season. With Freddie doing the head coaching duties and maintaining the play-calling, he hasn’t been able to do either task with any type of consistency or success.
Change my mind. If you think Freddie Kitchens has been any kind of successful this season, please change my mind.
Baker Mayfield’s health
Right before halftime during the Steelers game on 12-1-19, Baker Mayfield bounced his hand off of a facemask while following through on a pass that rocketed 70 yards downfield.
Some argue that the Browns should have just gone to halftime and not made an effort to score before the half. I disagree on the premise of the Steelers had just scored a touchdown and the momentum swung in their favor. Coming out of half the Steelers were to get the ball again, why not try to change that momentum swing?
Yes, making the choice to try to put some points on the board eventually ended up with Baker bouncing his hand off of a facemask, which is the literal last thing this team needs. So far all we know is that Baker came back out after halftime and finished the game with his hand wrapped and a glove over that wrapping.
X-rays since the game were negative, and it was said his hand is a “little numb.” I wouldn’t worry too much about Baker, but I would worry about this offense as a whole.
Offensive Line overall ability.
I heard the announcers state that the Browns offense runs play-action more than anybody else in the league. Uh, yeah. It makes sense to me.
Why wouldn’t you run play action so much when you have Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt in your backfield? Baker operates well out of play-action, the offense typically plays well when the play-action is working, I would think that the play caller would try to establish the run to open up play-action ASAP during games.
However, when your offensive line is bad it makes all of this very difficult. Baker held the ball a little long as points, however, the offensive tackles did not do their jobs with any sort of success. I don’t expect right tackle Chris Hubbard to be on this team next year. e has proven time and time again that he cannot stop a quality defensive end in this league whatsoever.
The Browns need to draft offensive tackles this year. At least two, and hopefully early in the draft.