Cleveland Browns Offensive Grade: F
The offense is completely broken and I really don’t know if it is fixable by the end of the season.
Everyone on the offense has some blame for the loss to the Ravens. Collectively, this unit could only put up 10 points in a game in which the defense picked off Jackson four times. Only three of the 10 points came off the four turnovers.
Let’s start with the play of Baker Mayfield. Yes, we all know how hurt he is and how those injuries affect his performances, but as I’ve said for a couple of weeks, that’s not an excuse.
Mayfield didn’t play a bad game per se, but it also wasn’t the greatest of showings. Sure, he threw for 247 yards and a touchdown to David Njoku, but he could and should have done more. While he didn’t throw an interception, he did fumble the ball back to Baltimore after Jackson was picked off. On that play, Kareem Hunt was wide open on a screen that could have been a touchdown, instead it was a turnover.
Speaking of Hunt, he and Nick Chubb, playing together for the first time in over a month, combined for 40 yards on 15 carries. This is a run-heavy offense and when that gets taken away, it causes further problems for them. Kevin Stefanski still abandons the run far too often, and I think he did that early in this game.
Of course, many of you will say that the defense stacked the box with eight or nine guys to stop the run, but just because the defense knows what’s coming, doesn’t mean they can stop it. As Aditi Kinkhabwala mentioned on Twitter, Joe Mixon thrived against an eight-man box against the Steelers and Chubb has shown in the past he can excel as well.
As for the receivers, Jarvis Landry led the way with six receptions for 111 yards on his birthday. Outside of that, there wasn’t a great receiving game. This unit is just not that good overall and a unit we all severely overvalued heading into this season.
Speaking of Landry, he was called upon to attempt a pass, but in the process got sacked and fumbled the ball away. I don’t know why Stefanski thought that was the right time to call that play, especially with Mayfield getting into a bit of a rhythm.
Some of the issues were drops and some of the issues were Mayfield’s inaccuracies. Either way, this room needs a complete overhaul in 2022. Cleveland got minimal to no separation from the receivers, which makes them even more one-dimensional.
Then there is the play calling of Stefanski. He said Monday he has no plans to give up play-calling duties, which is a smart move. Alex Van Pelt is not going to do anything different as he doesn’t have much experience calling plays. Stefanski must figure out a way to not stray from what is actually working. He needs to figure out how the two running backs can be let loose and control the tempo of the game.
Another thing, Stefanski needs to hold this team and himself accountable for all the mental mistakes that have seemingly loomed large in most of the games played this season.
This was a golden opportunity that the Browns failed to capitalize on and a game that could come back to haunt them as we inch closer and closer to the playoffs.