Last week was the second week in a row where the Browns started the second half in the lead or tied. This week against the Patriots, the Browns must find a way to win the second half. Last week, the turnovers in the second half–the fumbles by Malcolm and Duke Johnson and the interception by Kessler–likely cost us the game. It should be noted that the second fumble was almost certainly recovered by the Browns, but (as usual) we didn’t get the call from the refs.
Other than the turnovers, what else is worth noting from the game against Washington?
- Hue and Pep quickly (and in my opinion, smartly) abandoned the idea of Pryor taking snaps at QB like he did in Miami when it became clear on the first drive that Washington was ready for this.
- Kessler played a great first half. He was not intimidated by the 14 point deficit his defense created, and he showed poise under pressure. He also did a nice job with ball placement–positioning the ball away from defenders and exactly where his receivers needed it to be. In the second half he looked less accurate and was more likely to check down to a nearby receiver almost immediately after the snap. It was be interesting to see how he fares against New England.
- Isaiah Crowell again had a monster game. It is so fun watching the Browns run the ball this season.
- Cody Parkey completely redeemed himself, making both PAT and field goal attempts. If this kid can get back to his 2014 Pro-Bowl form, he will be an excellent mid-season find for the Browns and a big improvement over Murray.
- The run defense did not look as aggressive as it did in the first three games of the season. Matt Jones is a big guy who is difficult to stop when he gets moving downhill, but the Browns face an equally imposing figure in LaGarrette Blount this week and must do a better job.
- Jamar Taylor is incredibly frustrating. He had his second interception in as many games, but he still struggled in both run defense and coverage for most of the game.
- Ogbah once again looked great. Although he didn’t get the sack I was hoping for, he showed the energy and ability to move sideline-to-sideline to put pressure on Cousins and makes stops in the run game.
- Gabe Wright also had a nice game, so I was a little surprised to see him released this week, but with Nassib active against New England, the team probably couldn’t afford to keep another defensive lineman on the roster. It will be interesting to see how Nassib fares this week wearing a club to protect his still broken hand.
- This was the first game this season where I really saw Christian Kirksey struggle, and it was in his efforts to cover the much larger TE Jordan Reed. It should be mentioned that he did not get enough help from his supporting cast. Which leads to my next point…
- I haven’t discussed it much, but Jordan Poyer is not good enough to be starting at free safety for this team. The position will almost certainly be a priority in the offseason. In the meantime, I am worried about our ability to stop Gronk and Marcellus Bennett this week.