Grading the first quarter of the Cleveland Browns 2022 season

Browns, Nick Chubb. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
Browns, Nick Chubb. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Cleveland Browns are .500 through the first four games of the 2022 season. With the first quarter of the schedule completed, we assign a grade to each side of the ball.

Four up and four down. The Browns find themselves sitting at 2-2 at the quarter mark of the 2022 season. Unbelievably, that .500 record is actually good enough to have the Browns tied for first place in the AFC North.

What have we learned about the Browns through the first four games? What units are performing above expectations and which units have been a disappointment? We break it all down and assign grades to all three phases.

Grading the first quarter of the season for the Browns

Browns, Cade York /

First quarter grade: Special Teams

The Cleveland Browns have been under the watchful eye of general manager Andrew Berry for three offseasons. In his first offseason, Berry retooled the offense. In his second, it was the defensive side of the ball that got the attention. This past offseason, Berry addressed the special teams unit.

The first order of business was getting their kicking game in gear. With the draft selection of Cade York, the Browns secured an immensely talented kicker that has enough leg as well as the confidence to go along with it.

Through four games, York has been perfect on his field goal attempts going eight for eight. The most crucial of which was a 58-yard game-winner in his professional debut. However, York has missed two of his 11 extra-point attempts, so there’s definitely room for improvement for the rookie.

Another player brought in by Berry was punter Corey Bojorquez. So far through four games, Bojorquez has been an excellent addition to this special teams unit. Even though Bojorquez has a tremendous leg, it has been his ability to directional punt and pin opponents inside of the 10-yard line that is really making the biggest impact.

On the season, Bojorquez has 15 punts and only two of which have been touchbacks with eight punts being downed inside of the 20-yard line. It needs to be mentioned that Bojorquez has done an excellent job holding for York’s kicks, which was a legitimate concern when the Browns brought him in.

The plan for the return game was thrown in the trash the moment that new free agent addition, Jakeem Grant was lost for the season with a torn ACL. Cleveland has been juggling returners through the first four games with little to nothing to show for it. Unfortunately for special teams coordinator Mike Priefer, Eric Metcalf is not walking through that door. This is going to be a patchwork scenario at returner for the rest of 2022.

However, even if Metcalf was the returner, it would be an uphill battle due to the lackluster play of the kick return units. The onside/hands team has been abysmal as well. It doesn’t get much better when you flip it around and look at the kick coverage units either. Priefer needs to tighten his units up and preach discipline and situational awareness.

Even with the new additions at kicker and punter, this special teams unit is marred by mistakes and poor execution. Let’s hope the next quarter goes much better.

Special Teams first quarter grade: D+