NOTE: Check out the live News, Notes and Rumors show on Monday and Friday at 6 PM Eastern on The Bill Smith Radio Show or the archive of the shows on http://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/. On Monday Samantha Bunten of NBC Sports and I discuss the Browns game and the results of the weekend. On Friday Tony Williams Giants beat writer for Metro New York joins Samantha and me to preview the upcoming games.
I want to offer my personal thanks to the Redskins for scoring on the first drive of OT so that the Browns/Ratbird game could be shown sooner. I wish to offer my distain to the NFL for scheduling the game at 4:25 rather than 1PM.
The Browns get a call on a questionable interference flag.
Little catches a ball against double coverage and runs away from the tacklers to the 34.
Great read and throw by Campbell to Gordon to the Ratbird 6.
No push by the line on the run.
Good throwaway by Campbell. No one was open.
Throw to Ogbonnaya on the wrong side. He caught it but was stopped before he could get into the endzone.
Play call slow to come in. Browns use their 2nd time out of the half. This HAS to stop.
Bess catches the ball!!!!! TD for Cleveland. Campbell gets laid out by Dumerville.
80 yard drive on 8 plays CL 7 RB 0
Thomas with the catch to the 29.
Rise up the gut for 5.
Kruger and Ward get Rice for just 2 yards.
Flacco with all day to throw to Thompson to the 46.
Ward gets Rice for a loss of 2 on a sweep left
Owens cuts in front of Thompson and almost gets the pick.
3-12 Illegal sub on the Browns. This too has to stop.
3-7 Flacco runs out of pressure and throws to 17 for the first at the 28.
Rice from the pistol gets 4.
Browns blitz fails to get there but the throw is off target.
3-6 Blitz gets there and Groves gets the sack beating RT Ohr.
51 yard FGA GOOD.
CL 7 RB 3
McGahee hit at the LOS gets 2.
Blitz puts heat on Campbell he throws to the swing receiver for a yard loss.
3-8 Campbell runs and Ngata falls on his head. He is down and out of the game.
Browns are DOOMED by Weeden!
82 with a great block on the reverse to Gordon for 10.
Little flagged for a 15 yard penalty after a run to the 49 of RB
2-21 Screen pass sniffed out and a loss of 2
3-23 Weeden wets his pants on a blitz by 59 and he throws it away.
Penalty on Upshaw on the punt puts the ball back to RB 9.
Blitz by Mingo bothers Flacco and the throw hits Jackson in the back covering Dixon.
END OF THE QUARTER
Winn and Kruger stop the sweep right for a loss of 2
3-12 Kruger gets in Flacco’s face and the pass is wide. Great stand by the D.
Campbell is back!!!!
Campbell looks right then throws left to Little for 7.
McGahee is hit again at the line but gets 2.
Great vision by McGahee slants left for 3 and the first.
Miss communication between Whittaker and Campbell. Ball well behind the WR.
Little picks the ball out of the air against a hit to the 28
Little catches the ball on a shallow cross and runs it inside the 15. THEN he is flagged for taunting.
Campbell runs for 8 and gets out of bounds.
3-2 Bess catches the pass at the 15 and runs it into the endzone. TD!
CL 14 RB 3 10:08 53 yard drive in 9 plays.
Taylor gets Rice for a 2 yard loss
Pass to Jones and Skrine missed the tackle.
Browns blitz gets Flacco by Owens and Flacco goes DOWN. Great call and execution.
Edwards catches the punt and cuts it back against the grain for a return of 39.
Little gets 2 on the pass.
McGahee is stood up at the 40 and the Ratbirds rip the ball out of his hands.
Flair pass solved by Robertson for a loss of 1
Run for 2 by Rice wiped out on holding call
2-20 Coverage by Haden on Smith ball is wide and low.
3-20 Flacco forced out of the pocket by the rush and throws behind Smith. Ratbirds are now 1-6 in 3rd down conversions.
Run by McGahee gets 4 behind the right side of the line. Good blocking.
Pass to Whittaker gets 5.
On 3-1 the Browns pass is incomplete. Should have run for it.
Pierce gets 7 up the gut.
D Bryant gets pressure on Flacco and the screen pass is 3 yards behind the receiver.
3-3 Browns lose contain and Flacco runs for 9 and the first.
Ward and Owens trap Pierce for a loss of 1
Flacco throws into triple coverage and Haden picks it off. Gipson tips the ball and Haden gets it.
Flacco got greedy and made a bad decision.
1-10 at the 23 3:06 left Whittaker finds a hole and gets to the 34.
Again Whittaker hit behind the line gets just a yard.
2 Min warning
Smith gets Campbell and the QB throws it away. No blocking against the blitz
3-10 Smith gets the sack. Again the Ratbird blitz gets to Campbell for a loss of 13.
1-10 32 yard line 1:01 and 2 TOs Just a 4 man rush on a game gets Flacco for a 2 yard sack Kruger sets up A Bryant for the sack. TO RB
Bryant smells out the screen for just 3.
42 yard pass to the Browns 19 He was wide open and Gipson seemed to be lost. The question is with just a few seconds left how do you let a WR get that deep and be open? Someone needs to pay for that mistake.
Flacco to Smith knocked away by Haden.
0:15 left TD Brown on a pass from Flacco.
CL 14 RB 10 67 yards in 52 seconds 0:09 left
The Browns get a penalty for delay after the kickoff. This happens again!!! Stop it!!!!!
Hail Mary to the 3 in incomplete.
Jackson can’t catch up with Smith and he gets the 1st.
Bubble screen gets 2 thanks to Ward tackle
False start on Shipley 2-12 Blitz fails to get there but Flacco runs out and throws it away
3-12 Blitz again fails and Flacco gets out side for 15 and the first.
Mingo gets Rice at the line for no gain
Brown pulls away from Jackson for 8 yards.
Pierce for 3 yards and the first right up the gut.
Flacco throws wide of Smith
Smith gets the ball fir the first
1-10 32 yl The blitz fails again Flacco gets out of the pocket and competes the pass but WR was out of bounds and came back in to catch it.
1-15 Skrine covers Brown and the pass is long.
Ball just off the right hand of Dixon ball falls incomplete.
3-15 Ward sacks Flacco on a delayed blitz. Nice move by Ward.
8:43 left 3rd 1-10 at the 20 Little for 5 on an out pattern.
Pass incomplete Smith knocked the ball away from LiTTLE. 15 yards on Smith
McGahee again hit in the backfield for no gain.
Drop by Gordon after he pushed off to get open. Penalty accepted
2-20 Swing pass to Ogbonnaya for 6.
3-14 Gordon catchs the ball but is a yard short.
Doss dropped the punt and Martin scoops it up.
1-10 @ RB 11 Penalty on RBs for 5
1-5 at the 6 Again McGahee is hit behind the line but gets 2.
Campbell reads the blitz and steps to the right. Throw to a wide open Barn is good for the TD.
CL 21 RB 10
5:06 1-10 26 yl
Nice play by Ward for a loss of 3
3-10 Flacco rolls right against the blitz and finds Clark for the 1st
Kruger bats the ball down.
2-10 Rice for 3 Jackson gets him there.
3-7 Flacco again gets out of contain but the throw is short. Skrine gets Smith before he gets to the LTG.
McGahee hit behind the line (this is beginning to be the norm) but gets 3
Campbell to Cameron for 4.
3-4 Campbell decided to run way too late and Graham gets him at the 15.
End of the 3rd Quarter CL 21 RB 10.
Doss returns the punt to the Browns 32
Pass to Brown goes to the 18.
Haden in man gets Smith for just a gain of 4.
Pass to the 9
3-1 Leach gets 2 for the 1st at the 7.
The Blitz fails to get there but Skrine was playing off and Browns gets the TD.
2 pt attempt Flacco beats the blitz and gets the 2 to Brown vs Haden.
CL 21 RB 18 12:09 left
Campbell throws over the middle Inc. He looks much worse for wear after the injury.
The RBs double Gordon and the swing pass goes Inc.
Great throw by Campbell for 46 yards to Little. He hurt his shoulder.
McGahee hit in the backfield but gets nothing.
Blitz by the RBs is picked up but the ball is high and slightly behind Cameron. Inc.
3-10 Throw behind Gordon. Ogbonnaya picks up the blitz.
Punt from a fake FGA set goes into the endzone.
10:49 1-10 @ 20 Pass to Brown for 6 tackle by Skrine.
Mingo gets Rice for a 2 yard loss
Sack by A Bryant is negated by hold on Ward.
Owens breaks up the pass to
Pierce for 6. 9:35 left
3-4 Jones catches the pass but is short. The refs move the ball closer to the 39 short by 6 inches.
4-.5 yards at 38.5 Flacco is initially held short but the push gets him over.
5 yard pass to Jones
Rice run to the left for 2
3-3 Jackson misses on the initial blitz but 97 gets the sack.
25 yard punt gives the Browns the ball at the 29
– 6:44 left
Pass to little broken up by Graham. Little is hurt on the right arm/shoulder
McGahee gets 6.
Campbell waddles to the 48 and the 1st.
Whittaker gets the pass for 8.
McGahee gets 1. 4:30 left.
DT Winn comes in to block. TO because they were not ready to snap it. This is the 4th time they had to use a TO because they were not set up right.
3:58 left McGahee hit in the back field and fails to gain a inch.
TO again when the team is not ready.
Campbell is flushed out of the pocket and throws just before going over the sideline. Bess catches it for the 1st.
McGahee gets 3. TO RBs 2:13 left.
Great throw by Campbell to Ogbonnaya to the 17. 1st and 10 2:05 TO RBs.
McGahee loses 3 no one blocked the LB.
Campbell is hit a couple of times but flips it to Ogbonnaya for the 1st at the 9. HorseCollar tackle takes it to the 4.5.
1:51 left. McGahee no gain. RB final TO. 1:47.
McGahee for a yard.
McGahee caught for a loss of 1.
17 seconds left 22 yard FGA GOOD!
CL 24 RB 18. 0:14 left.
1st and 80 yards to go for the TD. Hook and Ladder for 14 0:007 left
Flacco to Rice tackled at the 50. GAME OVER
CL 24 RB 18
QB Campbell had a very strong game. For the 2nd week in a row he did not have a turnover. With a running game that struggled to get a yard at a time, he managed the game and made big plays when they were available. He reads the field like the veteran he is. He made the right decisions on almost every pass. Despite a lot of penetration, Campbell stood in and made good throws.
He was hit and suffered bruised ribs. When he went down there was absolute silence. When Weeden came in the crowd and Browns fans everywhere buried their faces in their hands. Campbell could have stayed on the sideline. He had been shown a total lack of respect by the coaching staff and team management when they promoted QB Hoyer to start when Weeden was hurt. He was disrespected again when Weeden replaced the injured Hoyer. But he came back in despite the pain and led the Browns to a win over the hated Ravens.
One area in which Campbell has to improve is using the TEs more. Both had a single catch each for just 4 yards. Cameron is a weapon. The O will be a much bigger threat if he can become a bigger part of the game plan. The most important contribution the O made was to hold the ball. Campbell moved the ball and allowed the D to rest. Make no mistake, Campbell was the difference in this game. Had Weeden been under center the Browns would have lost by 2 TDs.
The receivers did very well. Gordon was doubled regularly and that left Little with single coverage. He responded by making 7 catches including the critical 47 yard catch in the 4th quarter that flipped the field on the Ravens. Bess had a very good game as well. He made some critical catches including a pair of TDs. The receivers were not open often but did a good job catching against pressure.
The O line struggled all day. The running game was missing entirely. Although no one would mistake McGahee for Jim Brown, he seldom got to the line of scrimmage without being hit. The line has to do better blocking the front line and sliding to get hits on the backers. The pass protection was also poor. Campbell had to move away from pressure on nearly every play. He was very effective throwing on the run. That ability was critical in the win. The Ravens blitzed often. The backs did their best but Ogbonnaya is not big enough to block a DE or OLB. The O line did a better job picking up the end-tackle game. But both guards missed blitzes by the inside linebackers way too often. Despite the heavy blitz percentage, the Browns gave up only 3 sacks. That again has much more to do with Campbell getting rid of the ball or avoiding pressure than good blocking by the line.
McGahee averaged a yard and a half per attempt. That is not going to win many games. The biggest runs came from Campbell when he was flushed from the pocket. The team needs to draft a RB in 2014.
Another area the team needs to improve upon is 3rd down conversions. The team converted only 4 of 15 third down opportunities. To be a contender rather than a pretender they need to do much better on the money down.
The D did enough to win. The Ravens O is not nearly what it was last year. QB Flacco has yet to justify his big contract. He is not stepping up in the pocket and setting his feet before he throws. As a result his accuracy is inconsistent. He was 24 of 41 with two TDs and an interception.
The Browns blitzed a lot but seldom got to Flacco. However, Flacco was seeing pressure even when it was not really there. It clearly affected his passing particularly in the first half. But on the blitz the D has to prevent the QB from breaking outside to throw or run. The D did a below average job of keeping containment. A more mobile QB would have burned the D for lots of yards. The D did get to Flacco for 5 sacks.
The backers struggled to cover TEs and RBs coming out of the backfield. However the defense backfield played very well. With one exception, they kept the Ravens from big gains. The backfield was credited with 6 passes defended. The one big play they gave up was the 46 yard pass to Smith which clearly was a mistake in zone coverage.
The D also struggled to get off the field on 3rd down. Despite having issues on 3rd down in the last two losses, the Ravens converted 7 of 16 and were 1 for 1 on fourth down. But in the end the D did hold the Ravens to just 18 points.
The special teams’ star of the game was punter Lanning. He averaged 50.5 yards per punt. The rest of the group was OK but nothing special.
The staff did a good job with the game plan. However, if they have any thought of competing for a playoff position they need to get the play call process tightened up. Three times they needed a time out to get positioned or the play in. That will cause the team to lose a close game. Time outs are too valuable to be wasted by failing to get the play in on time.
The Bottom line:
This was a great win against the most hated team in the Browns’ history. Some might think I am pointing out flaws to be negative. That is not the case. However, I need to let my readers know the details of the win and what the team did well and not so well. If the team can keep Campbell healthy and continues to play this well, it can challenge for a playoff spot.
That’s what I think. Tell me what you think.
You can listen to the podcasts at http://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/ and hear NNR Live Mondays and Fridays at 6PM Eastern time on . The Monday show is a review of the previous week and the Browns game. The Friday show previews the upcoming games.
Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He edits http://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on and a non-fiction work at http://www.merriam-press.com/. Follow him on twitter @NNRonDSN to get the schedule of Special News, Notes and Rumors broadcasts. You can hear the previous shows on http://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/ and the live show Mondays at 6 PM Eastern time on The Bill Smith Radio Show.
He also edits http://fryingpanpolitics.org/.
To keep up with the News, Notes & Rumors podcasts, follow me on twitter @NNRonDSN.