Even in defeat, there are still a few positives for the Cleveland Browns
It seems as though it’s pretty safe to say that it has been said enough times now — the Cleveland Browns performance in Sunday’s loss to the Raiders was nothing short of frustrating and disappointing. From Baker Mayfield having next to no help on offense due to drop after drop and the running game being limited in credit to the Raiders defense, they weren’t great. That said, the Browns only had six drives in this entire game, and that is a major problem.
The defense just could not get off the field. As frustrating as it was watching the Raiders control the entire game by running it down our throats and completing the passes they needed to here and there, I believe the more frustrating factor is the execution by Joe Woods’ crew. Coming into this game, we knew they would run the ball. It was a bad weather game, with a mix of wind/rain/snow, and coming from Las Vegas, they are just not used to those conditions. It ended up not meaning much, as they still dominated the Browns all game long.
So, looking through all the smoke and heading into the bye, what are 3 positive takeaways from this game the Browns and these individuals can build on?
No. 3: Olivier Vernon finally showed up
When the Browns made what seemed to be a blockbuster trade in getting both Odell Beckham Jr and Olivier Vernon from the Giants, it seemed as if there was no way the Browns lost that trade. While I do still believe that we won the trade, it isn’t very one-sided.
Last season was Vernon’s first season with Cleveland, only appearing in 10 games due to injury, and had 3.5 sacks to show for his shortened season. This year so far, he has missed a few games but has been absent even when playing up until Sunday. Vernon recorded two sacks against Vegas, finally stepping up and getting his first sacks of the season and helping Garrett on the edge.
Vernon has been a name that has been thrown around in trade talks ahead of this week’s deadline, rightfully so. That said, the Browns may second guess moving him after he not only showed up finally, but star rusher Myles Garrett is now dealing with multiple injuries, something to monitor very closely.