4 Browns who deserve the blame for blowout loss in playoffs

From the inconsistent play out of Jerome Ford to a struggling Greg Newsome, find out who underperformed in the Cleveland Browns Round 1 loss

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3. Greg Newsome, CB

A first-round pick out of Northwestern in 2021, Greg Newsome entered his first career playoff game off a strong campaign. He was ranked 39th at the position according to Pro Football Focus, finishing with 49 tackles and 14 pass defenses. He even recorded the first two interceptions of his career — the first coming against the Baltimore Ravens, helping them knock off the eventual No. 1 seed in the AFC.

In a secondary that includes Denzel Ward and Martin Emerson on the outside, Newsome has spent a lot of time in the slot. He still proved he can play outside as well but then against the Texans, he struggled no matter where he was lined up.

Newsome was beaten early in the game on a third-and-six by Nico Collins. The Houston wideout got past him for a 38-yard gain. Newsome was able to recover on that drive as he broke up a pass to Robert Woods in the end zone, forcing a field goal, but the struggles continued for him after that drive.

Newsome was on the wrong end of a touchdown from Dalton Schultz, who ran right past him. C.J. Stroud hit Schultz in stride, who ran it in or a 37-yard touchdown with Newsome running behind him.

Cleveland has a decision to make on Newsome this offseason. 2024 will be his fourth season in the league and they'll have to make a choice on his fifth-year option. They took the option on Jedrick Wills last year but with Ward and Emerson under contract, there's a belief the Browns might pass on Newsome's.