Note: On NNR today Samantha Bunten of NBC Sports & I held our noses as we discussed the Browns Texans game and other big games this weekend. The podcast is on http://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/.
When you get run over on both the O and D lines, you have very little chance of winning. The Browns played roadkill against the Texans. JJ Watt spent more time in the Browns backfield than most of the running backs. The D line was pushed around like loose dirt by a bulldozer.
The Browns seem to play down to the expected level of competition. The result is they have flushed away their good games by reverting to the “Same old Browns.” Along with that went first place in the AFC North.
Several things concern me about the loss. Most significant is the inability of the coaching staff to get the team ready to play. They have not started fast in any game this year. After the big win over the Steelers, they lost at Jacksonville. Then after a big win at the Bengals, they lost to the Texans. The Browns can’t stand or build on success.
While injuries have hurt both lines, that is part of the game. It is up to GM Ray Farmer to make additions to the club to help reduce the impact of those that were lost. We will see what transactions are made. Both lines need to play much better if the Browns have any hope of competing in the division.
The running back distribution of carries bothers me as well. It would have seemed logical to have Ben Tate get significant carries against his former team. But he got just 2 carries both directly at Watt.
The final and most long term issue is the starting QB going forward. While Brian Hoyer has played well at times, he has a very low competition percentage and 3rd down conversion rate. The team needs to find out what Johnny Manziel has in terms of ability to translate his athleticism to the NFL game.
The bottom line is the Browns are not playoff contenders. I am not sure they are even playoff pretenders because those teams win the games in which they are favored. But 6 wins are better than 4.
That is what I think. Tell us what you think by commenting here or tweeting me @NNRonDSN.
NOTE: News, Notes and Rumors podcast are BACK. Check out our thoughts on Fridays about the games coming up and Monday on the results of the weekend. On Thursday we talk Cavs or NFL. My co-host on Mondays and Fridays is Samantha Bunten of NBC Sports. Podcasts can be heard on http://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/. Thanks for your support.
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/.
He also edits http://fryingpanpolitics.org/.
To keep up with the News, Notes & Rumors podcasts, follow me on twitter @NNRonDSN.