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I apologize for being a day late with the live game notes. At my age I find it takes a whole day to get over the depression of watching another Browns loss.
The brown on brown uniforms in this weather makes the team look like a bunch of frozen fudge bars.
Missed tackle by Skrine gives PT a first
Skrine gets Bell after a 2 yard gain.
Bell gets 18 because Ward missed the tackle at the line.
Sheard missed the sack and Roethlisberger gets the ball to 83
D Bryant gets Bell for 4.
Ward gets Bell for a loss of a yard
Winn and Owens get Bell for no gain.
FGA 47 Nice curve ball kick is good.
PT 3 CL coming to bat.
Inc to Ogbonnaya. He made a career decision not to catch it because he would have gotten blasted for no yards.
Bess with a nice catch and gets 5 after the catch
Gordon catches the crossing pattern and gets the ball to the PT 36
Pass to Cameron high and outside.
Barn false start -5
Ogbonnaya for 5 up the gut.
3-9 Pass to Bess for 5 yards when they needed 9
FGA 49 Cundiff connects
CL 3 PT 3
Good kickoff coverage gets PT at the 15
PT works on LB Carter in coverage. Pass to Bell gets 9
Roethlisberger throwing short against the possible blitz. Pass to Miller for 3.
Roethlisberger throw wide of Brown
Jackson gets Bell just short on the LTG
Roethlisberger tries to force the Browns offside but it doesn’t work. Well done D.
1-10 @ CL 19 Capt. Checkdown is back. Pass to Gordon for 2
Whittaker for 2
3-6 Campbell with a deep crossing route to Cameron to CL 39 yard line.
McGahee for 4 up the gut
McGahee gets a couple. The O line not getting much push on the run.
3-3 Campbell catches PT in a blitz Ogbonnaya gets the pass and takes it to the PT 43
Ogbonnaya squeezes between tacklers for just 1. No push again.
END OF THE 1ST QUARTER
Swing pass to Whittaker for 4
Heyward gets Campbell over 77 for the sack. He can’t take a sack in that situation. Bad blocking combined with a little indecision took the Browns out of FG position.
Lanning gets the ball inside the 8 and a penalty takes it further back.
1-10 PT 3 Bell for 5. Can’t let them out of the hole/
Bell for 3 Jackson gets him.
3-2 Jackson jumps and knocks the pass down and almost picked it for a TD.
1-10 CL 47 Great vision + a good burst and nice block by Barn gets Ogbonnaya 11
1-10- pt 43 Pass to Cameron good for 4
Illegal snap on Mack 2nd 11
Screen is smelled out by PT and Campbell throws it away.
3-11 Campbell throws a 1 yard pass to Cameron and Pal read it and almost picked it.
1-10 PT 10 Pass for 4 Carter with the tackle.
Kruger read the screen and stopped it before the 1st was made.
3-2 Skrine lost Brown and he gets 12 and the 1st
1-10 PT 30 Great catch by Brown for 9 Haden with the tackle.
Jones gets 2 and the first against a tackle by Ward.
1-10 PT 41 Browns need to stop this drive to prevent the field being flipped on them.
Illegal Formation -5
1-15 Brown lost Haden and gets 15
1-10 CL 47 Pass is juggled by Brown but no pressure on Roethlisberger at all
2-10 5:27 left Ward gets Dryer after the 1 yard pass.
3-9 Total blitz gets pressure on Roethlisberger and the pass is thrown away. 1st time the Browns got pressure.
1-10 CL 13 Bubble to Gordon for 10. He avoided two tackles to get the 1st.
1-10 23 Whittaker for 3. 3:51 left
Campbell got hit on the ankle on the roll out. He is down and the injury seems to be the ribs. THE BROWNS ARE DOOMED!
Weeden is booed as he comes on the field. I wonder why? LOL
3-7 Throw to Cameron is dropped. That was not on Weeden. The pass was a little hot but accurate.
14 yard return.
1-10 PT 48 3:17 left Bubble screen for 11 to Sanders
1-10 CL 41 TD by Brown on Haden. Haden was 5 yards behind Brown. No pressure on Roethlisberger at all.
PT 10 CL 3 2:33 left
1-10 CL 20 2:28 left Campbell to Gordon for 16
1-10 36 Heavy pressure on Campbell long pass is over Gordon’s head.
2-10 1:56 Gordon gets the pass and the 1st Out of bounds.
1-10 1:51 Ogbonnaya gets 5 but Pal ripped the ball out of his hands. Ref gives the ball to PT.
1-10 PT 46 Horrible tackling on a 12 yard run
1-10 CL 42 2 Throws get the ball down to the CL 27
1-10 CL 27 0:37 left – Miller takes advantage of Sheard’s pass coverage and gets the pass into the 13
1-10 CL 0:20 CL TO Carder down.
2-10 C; 14 Haden knocks the pass to Brown at the endzone away
3-10 0:16 Bell drops the pass at the 5 after a Gipson hit.
FGA 32 Good.
PT 13 CL 3 0:07 left
1-10 CL 20 Whittaker for 5 on the toss sweep
Campbell throws the ball away due to the pressure
3-5 They needed 5 but the pass is for 4 to Little. Will Allen gets the tackle. How many times have we seen the pass short of the LTG?
Great punt by Lanning for 49 yards under a lot of pressure. Punt almost got the block.
1-10 PT 23 Long throw to Brown knocked away from Haden.
2-10 Ware gets the ball on a shallow cross and gets the 1st
1-10 34 Bell for 6 up the gut. Eubanks on the tackle with Rubin.
Quick out to Sanders for 7 and the 1st
1-10 CL 49 Quick out again for 6
Bell for 3 to the CL 45
3-1 Dwyer brought down at the line by Kruger and Rubin. No gain.
4-1 Dwyer again is called short and PT challenges.
1-10 CL 44 Campbell is BACK! Gordon for 9 on the catch under the linebackers.
McGahee for a yard and the 1st.
1-10 PT 42 Allen gets Bess down after 3 on the flair pass
2-7 Campbell has nowhere to throw the ball and tosses it out of bounds. Lots of pressure.
Campbell is blitzed. He fumbles when he was hit by Gay and Allen recovers running the ball to the CL 4 Ogbonnaya with the tackle to prevent the TD. Campbell is down again. He walks off with help on both sides. He was slugged in the jaw but that was not called.
Quick throw to Sanders for the TD. He beat Skrine for the TD.
PT 20 CL 3 That is the game. Thanks for coming. Drive home safely and Goodnight.
Campbell is done for the day. He got hit in the chin then hit his head on the ground.
Weeden at QB OMG
Whittaker for 3
Weeden’s pass is tipped and inc.
3-7 Bess catches the ball a yard short of the LTG. He was untouched but is hit in the head prior to rolling for the 1st. No awareness at all even by the most veteran WR on the team.
4-inches Weeden sneaks to the 36 for the first’
1-10 6:02 Good throw to Cameron for the 1st.
1-10 48 Gordon gets the ball just before it hits the ground for 8
2-2 Whittaker gets 1
3-1 McGahee spins to get the 1st. Good double team on the NT to get the 1st.
1-10 Pass way over Cameron’s head.
2-10 Throw to Little gets the 1st
1-10 PT 29
2-8 Pal gets away from another foul tripping Cameron but it is not called.
3-9 Another foul by Taylor on Bess is not called. I WANT THE REPLACEMENT REFS. At least they did not give the best team all the calls.
FGA No good the wind blows the ball sideways into the Dog Pound.
Cotchery is WIDE open and the Wind defends the pass.
Blitz by the Browns forces the quick throw but Skrine hits Bell and he drops the ball.
3-10 PT 47 Mingo hits Roethlisberger and forces the incompletion.
1-10 CL 18 Perfect throw to Little is dropped.
2-10 Ogbonnaya with the catch for 4
End of the 3rd quarter.
3-6 Pass WAY over the head of Bess.
1-10 PT 43 Bell runs left for 3
2-7 Bell for 3 more.
3-4 Bell gets the 1st at the CL 46
1-10 12:59 left Bell for 2 Rubin on the tackle.
2-8 Bell for 1 Jackson on the tackle
3-7 Sanders gets away from Owens for 10 and the first.
1-10 CL 33 Bell for 4
2-6 bell for 5
3-1 Bell for the 1st.
1-10 CK 22 Dwyer for 1
Reverse to Brown is caught for an 8 yard loss by Ward
3-18 Pass dropped by Dwyer.
4-18 7:02 left punt to the Browns 1
Other than a garbage time TD by the Browns nothing of importance happened in the last 7 minutes of the game.
One of the questions I asked on the NNR Preview Show Thursday was would we see the passive Capt. Checkdown Campbell that played against the Bengals or the Mr. Aggressive that beat the Ravens. What we saw was Capt. Checkdown. He looked timid and afraid of the Steeler pass rush. Part of that could be the injured ribs but I suspect he really didn’t want to be there at all. When he got knocked down the first time he came back into the game. But the second time he stayed down. Playing behind that O line should earn him some respect and extra hazard pay.
The 1st drive produced a FG but then the offense did nothing. Maybe the coaches should script the entire first half. Perhaps because of Campbell’s propensity to check down the script would not have helped.
One thing is totally clear to anyone that watched Campbell get slapped around by the Steelers. The refs have to get consistent on roughing QB. Campbell was hit in the head and driven head first into the ground. No penalty was called. I will have more to say about this tomorrow on the written version of NNR right here on http://fryingpansports.com.
Weeden is Weeden. When he came in for the injured Campbell the fans said in unison “We are doomed.” On the positive side, Weeden was throwing the ball further down field. It was about time because the score was 20-3. But in Weeden fashion he threw some right on target and then some directly to the other color uniform. His first throw was perfect but Cameron dropped it. Weeden still has no touch on the ball. The pass is a 99 MPH fast ball no matter if the receiver is 50 yards or 5 feet away. A failure of both this and the previous coaching staffs is the inability to get Weeden to include some touch on his throws.
When his throws are 30 feet over the head or 10 yards short of the receiver, his bad mechanics are almost always at fault. Here again I wonder why the coaching staffs have not fixed that. The pick 6 Weeden threw was the result of him staring down TE Cameron. All 9 of the Browns fans that were left at the end cheered him for the TD pass. After the pick 6 the crowd cleared out like the stadium was on fire.
The receivers were non factors with the exception of Gordon. The league has seen the impact that TE Cameron can have and are trying to take him out of the offense. But someone has to step up and take pressure off of those two.
The O line is getting worse. It allowed 5 sacks and contributed to 4 turnovers. The more important issue was that it allowed the QB to be hurt twice. Steelers even got pressure rushing 3. That allowed them to put 8 into coverage. The O line is not any better blocking for the run. McGahee gets 1 yard consistently–even when you need 5 yards. Ogbonnaya has lost fumbles in each of the last 2 games. According to Coach Chud RB Rainey was cut for Special teams considerations to get Fozzy Whittaker on the team with his 18 yard kick return average. Rainey is not a stud but has been productive in Tampa.
The biggest disappointment was the total lack of a pass rush. Part of the issue was the ability of the Steelers to get good yardage on 1st and 2nd down. That prevented the 3rd and long obvious passing situations that the Browns needed to get a good pass rush. Even on a blitz the Browns could not get any pressure on Roethlisberger. In the last 2 season he was the most sacked QB in the league. It was not an outstanding effort by his O line although his protection has improved with Kelvin Beachum at LT. The Browns did not show any of the aggressive play that helped defeat the Ravens.
Coming into the game the Browns ranked 32nd in red zone defense. They also were 1st in yards allowed per play but that is a false statistic. The NFL is a red zone game. If you can score TDs and stop your opponent from scoring them in the red zone, you win. If not, you lose. The tackling was awful. Even when a defender was in position to prevent a 1st down, too often a blown tackle allowed the chains to move. RB Bell gave D piggy back rides all day. On one play he carried 5 Browns for 3 yards and the first down.
The linebacker position has been a soft spot all year. Even when the group was healthy they could not rush the QB effectively or cover backs and TEs running routes.
Skrine is still an issue on pass coverage. And Gipson is useless in deep center field. On the 43 yard TD to Brown it looked like Haden expected Gipson to cover deep. Gipson tries but does not have the instincts to be the last line of defense. He also does not wrap on a tackle. He just hits with his shoulder to try to knock the receiver down. Even Haden got beaten overall by Brown & Co.
Special Teams: When your fans give you a standing ovation for getting a punt off, the special teams are not playing well. The second FG attempt end up in the dog pound well to the left of the goal post. The kick-off coverage was just OK and the on-side kick attempt was pathetic.
Coaching: Tony Grosse (ESPN Cleveland) gave them an F. I was thinking more of a Q. Where was the game plan?
Front Office: My grade for this unit is a Z=. The 2013 Draft class has produced almost nothing. They knew that bringing Weeden back into the game would infuriate the fan base. Despite having lost 2 QBs to injury when Hoyer went down, they made no effort to bring in another backup QB. The RB situation is horrible and the O line is worse. The big dollar defensive FAs have not produced much.
According to the Plain Dealer the Browns will sign QB Calib Hanie. He is 28 years old and has not thrown pass since 2011. He has started 4 of the 10 games in which he has played but has a 51% completion percentage and a 41.6 passer rate with 3 TD and 10 interceptions. With those stats he should fit right in.
I have 2 questions about the front office. First, will this well below expectations season make 2014 FAs like Haden leave rather than resign? Second, despite the plethora of draft picks, why should the Browns fans have any faith in the front office to make good choices?
The Bottom line: It was nice to have the Browns in significant games late in November. However, the team looked ill prepared to compete for a playoff position. Given the number of holes on the roster, that should not have been a surprise. However, these games were hard to watch.
Unless the team has an incredible draft, it will not get any better any time soon.
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/.
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