Good run by Ogbonnaya
Browns O line has not improved since last week on pass protection.
Three and out for the Browns.
Taylor throws the C away and stuffs the run
Bengals are going to be throwing at Skrine all day
Gresham was WIDE open for the 1st. The zone is leaky.
2 Runs get another first
Browns are still using a lot of zone. That allows Green to be free of Haden
Kruger gets the arm of QB Dalton and the drive is over.
Brown need a TO on 3rd and 1 because they were not organized. This has happened way too often. The problem was again personnel getting into the game.
Good 11 yard run by Ogbonnaya. Grecco got to the second level on the run.
Bubble screen to Bess well executed with a nice block by Little
Hoyer looks off the safety with a fake bubble screen right then throws to Benjamin on the left. Great YAC and Benjamin runs to the Bengal 22 for 61 yards. Thomas and Grecco get good blocks on the play.
The Browns confuse the Bengals with a wild cat formation and the visitors call TO
Two vanilla runs put the Browns behind the sticks at 3-6
Bess with a great run after a slant and go to the 1 for 17 yards.
Bengals with great penetration force a loss to the 3. The running game is too predictable having to run to the left due to the issues on the right side.
Great catch by Cameron from Hoyer for the TD! Hoyer should copyright that fade play in the endzone.
95 YARD DRIVE for the score!
CL 7 CN 0
The Browns tried a type of on-side kick that failed. The kick hit LB Iloka and was recovered by him giving them GREAT field position at their 47.
Browns run D not as effective when the team can pass too.
Jackson takes a bad angle on the pass to Bernard and he runs for the first.
Inside pressure on Dalton forced him to run and Mingo got the sack
Mingo gets penetration vs. the run and the rest finish the job.
Hands to the face foul against Bryant let the Bengals off a 3-13 hook.
Gipson read the QB and located the long pass but dropped it. Green ran a fly but Haden had him in man.
Robertson with decent coverage on TE Eifert
Browns use the wander around D front but did not stop the pass for the 1st
Decent pressure on Dalton prevents the throw to the endzone
Browns get out of their lanes on the pass rush and Dalton runs for the 1st
There is an advantage for a short RB. The Browns lost him behind the o LINE
Great tackle by Haden on the bubble screen to Green forces a field goal
CL 7 CN 3
Little brings the KO out to the 26 on a nice return
Pocket collapses and Hoyer misses his first throw of the game.
Gordon catches his first behind CB Jones’ head for the first to the Bengal 37
Browns are late again and use their last TO with 9 min left in the half. This HAS to get fixed.
After a drop by Bess and a run backwards by Rainey they face a 3-14
Gordon catches for the 1st
37 yard field goal attempt NG off the left upright. There is no excuse for this. Banner and Lombardi are brain dead to allow an injured kicker to try to play.
Skrine nice play against the run
40 yard penalty on Skrine to the Browns 15
Haden knocks the ball away from green in the endzone but could have caught it
Mingo tips the pass but it is caught by Eifert.
Browns get penetration and stop the 4th down run by Bernard
Good run by McGahee is wasted with a bad play
The Browns were totally disorganized and snapped the ball on a run without blocking.
Pass again was short of the LTG and was incomplete anyway.
Kruger with good coverage on Bernard on a pass route
Skrine was on Green but Dalton missed him.
Three and out for the Bengals.
2:18 on the 8 with no timeouts left.
The only thing that has kept the Browns in the game is the inaccuracy of Dalton.
Browns have to make a 1st
Pass to Ogbonnaya for the first
The Browns play hurry up rather than running the playclock out. That could hurt them
Hoyer to Cameron with a nice 15 yard gain for the 1st
Hoyer runs for 8
Gordon was hurt on a long pass. The same thing that Skrine was called on the Bengals were not.
Cameron finally drops one
Cameron catches the 3rd down pass and gets out of bounds
49 YARD FG ATT NO GOOD.
Bengals go on a slow painful drive. Owens blitz causes a fumble by Dalton and Owens recovers.
Great screen pass to Rainey but Mack is called for a peal back block.
1-25 Holding on Schwartz on a no gain pass to Cameron.
Screen pass again to Rainey for 15 with a great block by Grecco.
3rd down pass in inc.
Rubin with good pass rush hurry on Dalton
Skrine breaks up the pass to Green on 3rd.
McGahee catches the blitz from the Bengals and allows the throw.
Cameron on a great catch at the sideline.
Browns wild cat with TE Grey gets 3
Ioka missed the interception on a pass to Cameron.
Gordon gets the slant for the 1st
Harrison stops McGahee for a 5 yard loss.
Grecco gives up a sack to Adkins
The Browns send out the injured Cundiff after he fell down with a practice Kick
51 yard FG Good with a nice breeze at his back.
CL 10 CN 3 but the score should be 16-0 if the Browns had a healthy kicker.
Eifert with a great play for 29
Mingo bats down the pass but Skrine is called for a personal foul
The Browns get the call on the spot of a 3rd down pass but the Bengals QB sneak for the 1st.
On 3rd and 4 Bryant got Dalton short of the LTG.
43 yard attempt is GOOD.
CL 10 CN 6
The Browns can’t run the ball at all. On 2nd and 10 McGahee gets just 1 because there is no push by the O line. The Browns are still not getting to the second level of the D with the blocks.
END OF THE 3rd Quarter.
Adkins power rushes Grecco for a sack of 10 yards. Lanning with a great 52 yard punt with no return.
Dalton has not been able to get the big pass to Green YET.
He hits Gresham for the 1st
The Bengal center snaps the ball like Dalton was in the shotgun. The ball goes past Dalton and the Bengals are lucky to recover.
Robertson, Kruger and Rubin smell out the screen on 3rd and 13 and stop the play.
The D has played more than well enough to win. It is time for the O to put more points on the board.
McGahee pushes the pile to the 1st. Nice run with little help from the line.
Hoyer gets a ton of pressure but escapes to complete to Rainey near a 1st down at the 29.
Gordon battles Jones for the 1st.
Cameron is WIDE open and gets to the Bengals 24. Nice throw by Hoyer.
Browns have to take another TO due to the calls and personnel not getting in.
McGahee with a 9 yard run.
McGahee to the half yard line with a great run.
Ogbonnaya get the TD pass.
That was a great drive from the 9 to the endzone. 454 left
CL 17 CN 6
Gipson plasters Gresham and knocks the ball out.
Dalton is picked by Skrine on a deflection off the hands of 85.
TO again due to the O not being ready.
Browns try to throw but Hoyer is sacked at the 37.
Browns will punt. Good kick by Lanning to the Bengal 8 yard line.
Gipson knocks the ball away at the 20.
Green catches the pass at the 23.
Taylor hurries Dalton and the pass on 3rd is INC.
The long pass to Jones was caught but Skrine knocks it away.
– 1:39 left and THE BROWNS WIN!!!!!!!!!
QB Brian Hoyer was very solid but a little erratic. He did not throw a pick and had two TD throws. But he missed a number of open receivers that could have put the game away early. He finished 25 for 38 for 269 yards for 2 TDs with a rating of 103.9. Half of Brandon Weeden’s ratings added together would not equal 103. The O line was as usual OK on the left and very shaky on the right. Hoyer was sacked 3 times and hit many times. But he hung in and engineered five scoring drives. It was not his fault that the kicker missed two reasonable distance field goals.
The passing game was very solid. The Browns actually completed a number of screen passes something they had struggled with for years. Josh Gordon and Jordan Cameron are the deep threats and Davone Bess provided the key catches to move the chains. Cameron is becoming one of the better pass catching TEs in the league. For the most part Hoyer put the ball where the receivers could catch it. Even WR Greg Little and RB Chris Ogbonnaya provided a spark with the later catching a TD pass.
The running game was not good but did just enough to keep the Bengals D line from coming all out on every play. Most of the yardage was without much help from the O line. RB Willis McGahee had only 46 yards but most came at the end of the game when the team was trying to run out the clock. His runs were critical to that effort. He will get better with more time to work with the team.
The Browns D was outstanding. For the fourth time this year the D played well enough to win. For the second straight game it stopped one of the most dangerous offensive weapons without allowing a score. Last week it was RB Adrian Peterson. This week it was WR A.J. Green. The biggest effect of the overall defensive effort was holding the Bengals to 4 first down conversions on 14 attempts.
The D front 7 was very solid again this week. Although they only got two sacks on QB Andy Dalton, there was a lot of pressure. Dalton averaged only 4.8 yards per pass attempt. He was 23 completions out of 42 attempts. He ended up with a passer rating of 58.2. A lot of his incompletions were due to pressure from the front 7. The D front also limited the running game of the Bengals to 63 yards on 20 attempts.
The defensive backs played very well also. Buster Skrine was picked on a lot. But he came through with three passes defended and the pick on a deflection. The Browns played a lot of zone like they did last game. As a result, Skrine was covering Green often. Dalton tried to take advantage of the mismatch but was not able to. FS Tashaun Gipson played very well. He too had three passes defended.
Coaching and front office:
Head Coach Rob Chudzinski did just OK. There were still three blown time outs due to the team not getting the signals and/or personnel in on time. That is not acceptable. We have heard him say that was something that would be fixed but it still happens way too often. I have no problem with the attempted on-side kick. It would have been more effective if it was the traditional on-side effort kicking a bouncing ball just past the 10 yard limit.
I have a serious problem with team CEO Joe Banner and GM Mike Lombardi not getting a healthy kicker in for this week. It well could have cost the Browns the game. This is just one more case of the management not giving Coach Chud what he needs to win. The team should have signed a veteran guard and corner in free agency with a one or two year deal at the vet minimum. The team is playing its heart out without the parts necessary to make it truly competitive.
The bottom line:
Don’t look now but the Browns are tied for the lead in the AFC North behind only the Ravens but in front of the Bengals all of which are 2-2. With a struggling Ravens team and an inconsistent Bengals club, the Browns could have been in a position to do what the Indians have done—shock everyone by getting into the playoffs. But the failures of the front office have reduced the chances that could happen.
That’s what I think. Tell me what you think.
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 https://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 https://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/ and the live show Mondays at 6 PM Eastern time on The Bill Smith Radio Show.
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Browns/Bengals live game notes week 4 by Bill Smith