Week 4 instant reactions: Browns can’t stop the run when it matters

Browns, John Johnson III. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Browns, John Johnson III. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

The Cleveland Browns fell to 2-2 on the season as they lost to the Atlanta Falcons, thanks in large part to their inability to stop the run

On the road against the Atlanta Falcons, the Cleveland Browns found themselves in a dog fight. After falling behind 14-0, the Browns fought back and kept it close throughout.

But then in the fourth quarter, the Falcons realized they could have their way with the Cleveland defensive line. A 10-play drive, led by Caleb Huntley, featured nothing but runs and put the Falcons on top 17-13.

Cleveland answered back with Nick Chubb scoring on a 28-yard run but that would be the final score for the Browns. Younghoe Koo made two field goals in the fourth quarter and a last-minute attempt to come back ended when Jacoby Brissett was picked off by Dee Alford to end the game as the Falcons won 23-20.

How long is Joe Woods’ leash?

The Browns have continued to struggle with stopping big plays. While the Falcons won primarily due to their 202 yards on the ground, they also had a huge 42-yard gain on second-and-10 when Olamide Zaccheaus was left wide open in the middle of the field.

That was on the final drive and allowed the Falcons to pull off the win. Clearly, the communication issues are still there and Woods didn’t do nearly enough to make up for the absence of their defensive starters. Eventually, it could cost him — and some wonder why it hasn’t already.

Browns missed a golden opportunity

It’s no secret that things are about to get very tough for the Browns. They face the Chargers, Patriots, Ravens, Bengals, Dolphins, Bills, and Bucs over their next seven games. Coming out of that with a winning record is going to be tough, which is why it was imperative to win their first four games — which were all considered winnable.

Instead, they fell to 2-2 and it could have easily been 1-3 had it not been for a 58-yard field goal from Cade York in Week 1. Cleveland had a few extra days to prepare for this one and it wasn’t enough as they dropped a heartbreaker on the road. Now, we’re onto the Chargers.