Dud: Special Teams
When the Cleveland Browns added Mike Priefer as their special teams’ coach ahead of the 2019 season, it seemed as though their long-standing struggles in this area were finally going to turn around. Priefer was wanted back in that same role with the Minnesota Vikings and other teams were also wanting to sign him. So naturally, the Browns were pumped to get this sought-after coach.
Unfortunately, there have continued to be some struggles in this unit and that was on full display on Thursday Night Football against the Cincinnati Bengals. The very first kickoff of the game was returned by Brandon Wilson for 42 yards which set up the Bengals’ first points of the game.
The very next kickoff was better as it went for a touchback but it was a bit of a nail-biter as it looked for a second as though it would head out of bounds. But then following the long touchdown from Baker Mayfield to Odell Beckham, Jr., the special teams unit again struggled as they allowed Wilson to gain another 45 yards, setting up their first touchdown of the game.
Cody Parkey finally did kick one out of bounds as well, which came after Cleveland went up 28-13 on a Nick Chubb touchdown.
The good news is, they made all their extra points and recovered an onside kick. Oh, and there were no awful fake punts, so not all was terrible in this facet.