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  • Published: Sep 23rd, 2013
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Browns/Vikings live game notes.

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Good job by Rubin getting Peterson.

Robertson did a nice job tracking TE.

Peterson was one missed tackle away from a 70 yard TD.

Nobody even in the same area code of Jennings.  Where is the D?

Wright WIDE open too.  Anyone playing D?

Skrine had to jet back to get to the receiver.  Bad read by him.

9 yard run by Peterson.  GRAB GRAB GRAB

Gibson misses the tackle of Peterson.  1st & goal at the 2.


MN 7 CL 0

Rainey with a one yard run and Hoyer is 0-2.  Great start to the “New, new Browns.”


Good coverage by Skrine on Peterson.

Kruger gets by the block and gets the tackle of Peterson.

Haden missed the tackle but others fill in to force the 3 and out.

Bess has the first and gave it back trying to extend the run.

Ogbonnaya gets a third of a yard on his first two rushes.

Hoyer throws the ball into the ground.  Looked bad.

Great effort by Cameron to reach for the first down.   The O line did OK.

Hoyer finds a wide open Gordon.  Gordon got open on a stop and go that froze CB Jefferson.  Good throw by Hoyer.

MN 7 CL 7.


Sheard gets off the block and makes the tackle.  Rubin cut off the inside run.

Ponder had 2 guys open but didn’t get the ball anywhere close to either of them.

Winn gets the sack with a big assist by Mingo with pressure on the edge.  Browns get another 3 and out.

On the punt return Benjamin ran the wrong way and lost 9 yards but that does not work in the NFL.

Gordon avoids 4 tacklers and gets the first.  Great run but he almost dropped the ball on a scrape.

Hoyer runs the slowest QB keeper I have seen since Bernie Kosar.

Ogbonnaya gets the pass but Mitchell shuts it down quickly.

Bess is again the safety blanket for Hoyer.

Gordon with a great reverse run.  Mack got out on the run with a nice block.

Little catches the ball but loses a yard.

== end of the 1st quarter

Hoyer on a great pass to Cameron for the 19 yard TD.  Great catch by TE with keeping his feet in.

Hoyer has hit 7 straight passes.  Unlike Weeden he is not staring down his receivers.

CL 14 MN 7


Ponder is accurate despite Taylor’s pass rush.

Browns are playing a lot of zone to keep an eye on Peterson.

AP breakes three tackles and got 8 yards.

D line keeps its lanes and prevents Peterson from getting away.

Peterson burns Skrine again for 37 yards.  He looked like Moss.

Play action with Peterson makes completions easy.  The D reacted to the run fake and lost Jennings

Ward gets Peterson after the catch.  Nice tackle.

1st goal at the 7

Winn stops Peterson for a gain of 1

QB draw for the TD.  Nice run against a spread D.

MN 14 CL 14

McG gets 4 yards.  Longest run of the day.

Ogbonnaya gets the swing pass but is stuffed on a run.

Gordon a yard short on the crossing pattern.

Aubry takes a direct snap on the fake punt and runs the ball for 37 yards

McG held to a gain of just 2.  Maybe the lack of a running game was not TRich’s fault

Hoyer makes a business decision and throws it away rather than getting stuffed by the Vike D.

Third and 9 and the pass goes for just 4 yards.  Somebody see if Shurmur is calling the pass plays.

There is no excuse for running a pattern on 3rd down that is short of the LTG.  That is bad design.

CL 17 MN 14


KO short of the end line.  KR is 30 yards.

The Browns D is playing their lanes very well preventing a big run by Peterson.

Pass is tipped by Robertson and Ward picks it.

Sherills knocks the ball away from Gordon on the slant.  Nice defensive play.

Great throw by Hoyer on the crossing pattern to Gordon.

Bad no call on PI against Sherrils vs Cameron.  Hoyer put the ball in but the CB had his arm around the TE.

Rainey gets 6.

Throw to Bess is a little high and he can’t come up with it.

Fake FG by Lanning to Cameron for the TD.  This is the most wide open O we have ever seen by the Browns.  It was a player option.  When Lanning saw the TE without coverage, he threw the pass.

CL 24 MN 14


Taylor gets the sack of Ponder at the 12.  Taylor beat C Sullivan.

Jackson covers the TE keeping it to a short gain.

Ward and Gipson knock the ball down deep to Peterson.  Another 3 and out.

Benjamin muffed the punt and the Vikes recover it.

The NFL has to fix the 15 yard penalty on a coach challenging a call that cannot be challenged.  The ref declared the Benjamin gaff a muff which can’t be advanced.  The Vikes coach challenged and was penalized 15 yards for thowing the flag when

Jackson makes a tackle with

Haden gets Simpson after 8.

Haden gets Peterson after a 1 yard pass.

43 yard FG GOOD.  The Browns D did a great job holding the Vikes to 3 after the TO.

CL 24 MN 17

1:08 left and 1 TO for Hoyer.

Bess gets the 1st on a great out pattern.  Rainey with a nice block to protect Hoyer.

Hoyer throws a bad pick. He never saw the safety doubling.  MN has 3 TOs and 47 sec.


Kruger gets to Ponder.  Winn hurt.

Patterson is being covered by Jackson and gets the 1st.

Ponder runs for 12.

Gerhart to the 11 on a pass from Ponder.

Skrine knocks the ball away from Jennings preventing the TD.

Ponder fumbles the ball on a hit by Sheard and Roberson picks it up and runs out the half.

CL 24 MN 17 Half time.


Browns are forced to take a TO on 3rd and 8 because the play is not in.

Bess with a great scoop up for the 1st.

Bess again with a 1st down catch.

Bubble screen nets only a yard.

Little on a slant with a great throw by Hoyer.

Hoyer picked again.  He never saw OLB Greenway in the zone drop.  He was staring down the receiver and Greenway saw it.


Jackson hits Peterson and forced the fumble.  Sheard recovered.  Sheard hurt on the play.

McGahee with a nice run for 8.

Hoyer missed two passes in a row and the Browns punt.  Gordon was going long Hoyer throught he would break off the pattern.

38 yard punt puts the Vikes inside the 10.  Well done.


Nice pass breakup by Haden on Patterson.

Rudolph drops the ball.  Mingo on the coverage.

Sheard returns

Ward knocks Peterson out of bounds short of the LTG.  Browns with a 3 and out.

Great punt return by Benjamin to the 43 for 27 yards.  HE CAUGHT THE BALL!

Rainey runs for 6.  Running game beginning to open up.

Hoyer just a little too far out to let Gordon make the catch.

Hoyer’s pass is knocked down on 4th and 4.  The play and personnel were too late.


Peterson has 9 with Mingo getting bulled over.  Sheard’s return is doubtful.

Haden good coverage on 82.

Hughes sacks Ponder on a stunt with Taylor.

Mingo gets the sack on 3rd down.

McGahee is not following the play and spins around and gets blasted.

Penalty for 12 men in the huddle.

2nd and 21 pass is tipped and picked on the Brown’s 8.  The right side of the line collapses under the pressure for the pick.


Webb wide open but is missed by Ponder.

Taylor gets Peterson.

QB run again for the TD.

MN 24 CL 24 2:36 left

Hoyer sacked.

Screen pass is again blown up and Hoyer is called for grounding.

3rd and Los Angeles. Ogbonnaya get to the 28 but can’t make the LTG.


Peterson for 3 Bryant and Jackson on the hit.

Browns lose contain and Ponder runs for the 1st.  If they do that against Peterson it will be a TD.

END OF THE 3rd quarter.


Jennings pushed over the LTG by Kalil.

Ponder flings it down field but no one is home.

Kruger and Jackson both miss the sack and Jackson called for a face mask.

Peterson runs for 5 to the Browns 15.

Ward throws Rudolph out of bounds short of the LTG.  3rd and 2

Roberson plasters Ponder for a hurry.

30 yard FG Good MN37 CL 24

Bubble screen to Gordon almost picked again.

Hoyer Got Gordon for the first.

Hoyer goes for Gordon up the middle and it just about was picked again.

Hoyer gets past Schwartz and is sacked by Allen.

3rd 19 Hoyer throws behind Cameron and the Browns punt again.


Kruger forces a hurry.

Hughes slams Peterson again.

3rd and 10 Skrine grabs a leg of TE Rudolph and calls for help.  Ownes makes sure he did not get the 1st.

  • 7:11 left

Great throw into tight coverage to Bess for the 1st.

Hoyer gets nailed by a late blitz by Henderson for a 10 yard loss.

After illegal motion 3rd and 19 so Hoyer throws a 3 yard pass.


Gipson and Jackson stop the WR sweep by Peterson.

Two incompletions force the Vikes to punt.

  • 3:21 Browns on the 45

When pressure comes on Hoyer he tends to throw the ball away.  He does not have much sense of pocket.

Gordon catches a ball behind him for 11.


Long throw almost picked.

Throw to an Open Cameron to the 20

Gordon to the 7 with 1:19 left.  Clock running.

Fade to Little Incomplete. 1:00 left

Hoyer throws it away with no one open. 0:55

Cameron reaches up over his head and brings in the TD.

CL 31 MN 27 0:51 left.


Ward and Jackson knock down the hail Mary.  04 left

Bryant gets the sack and the BROWNS WIN—THE BROWNS WIN.





A lot of Browns fans were “Hoyerfied” about the QB change during a tough week.  However, it was unfounded.  Hoyer brought the team from behind to win the game with a final drive.  That is something that has not happened in a number of close losses with Weeden at the helm.   Hoyer did throw three picks but did a number of things that improved the overall O.  He was fooled by the defense on two of the picks.  That is not unexpected for a QB that has started just one game prior to this.  He was mobile in the pocket which helped reduce the pressure of a leaky O line.  He also was much more decisive and threw the ball quicker than Weeden does.  Part of that is his ability to make pre-snap reads.   Hoyer has great touch and throws the fade very well.  He was very accurate putting the ball in the best place for the WR to make the play.  While he made some mistakes, he fought through them and made the plays to win.


The development of TE Jordan Cameron has given the team some hope.  He has come a long way and this coaching staff is owed some of the credit for that.  He caught three TDs yesterday.  The addition of Gordon was critical.  He looked like he had been with the team since day 1.  Bess is a major upgrade from Little as a starter.  Bess catches the ball in traffic and gets the key first downs to continue drives.  He runs great patterns and always gets past the sticks to get the first if he gets the ball.


While some will say that the O line played much better, unfortunately that is not true.  The fact is Hoyer did a much better job of getting rid of the ball.  Weeden waits to see a receiver break open.  With the guys on this roster (without Gordon) that did not happen often.  Weeden got sacked before the WR ever got open.  Hoyer throws with anticipation.  He throws to the spot where the WR will be.


The play calling was nothing short of spectacular.  The fake punt and run for the first was good.  The fake field goal and pass for the TD by P/Holder Lanning was outstanding.  OC Norv Turner was also more aggressive by throwing on early downs.  That was good because the running game is appearing on a milk carton.  The best run was the fake punt.  While it is possible to beat the Vikes without a running game, it will cost the Browns against good Ds like the Bengals.


The biggest part of the D’s contribution to the win was the ability to hold RB Peterson to 88 yards on 25 attempts.  The 3-4 has been very good against the run.  That continued this week.  The front 7 did give up two runs by Ponder for TDs which was due to the spread formation of the Vikes.  The inside backers need to be aware of that tendency.  The D did get 6 sacks one interception and forced two fumbles.  Overall a good day for the D.

The passing game of the Vikes is suspect.  But the backfield did a very solid job in covering the receivers.  Because the front 7 was able to keep the running game under control, the backs were free to cover.  The team played a lot more zone than usual in order to keep an eye on Peterson.  The zone allowed the Vikes to convert 8 of 17 third downs.  That is not acceptable.  In particular Buster Skrine played his best game of the year.  He was better but not yet a starting quality CB.

The Bottom line:

Is Hoyer the long term answer at QB?  Probably not but he showed enough to warrant another start.  If he plays as well against the Bengals, he should continue to start whether Weeden is healthy or not.  The Browns will still be looking for a college QB in the 2014 NFL draft.

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.  

He also edits .  

To keep up with the News, Notes & Rumors podcasts, follow me on twitter @NNRonDSN.


What to look for in the Sunday Divisional round games.

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Cowboys @ Vikings


Prior to this season the Boys folded in December. When JJ issued his threat to blow up the team and the coaching staff this season unless the Boys got into the playoffs and did well, the team got the message. This team has played a lot better than they did in previous seasons but I am not on the Boy bandwagon yet.

The O has been solid but the last two games were played against an Eagle D that seemed to give up after being in a position to win the NFC East. In the upset win over the Saints, QB Romo had a QB rating of 104. In the two games against the Eagles he had ratings of 86.1 and 106. That is a great improvement over last year when he finished the year with ratings of 44.9, 66.2 and 55.8 in the 3 losses. The improved Romo is the key to difference in this years team. The Boys will need as much passing as he can generate because they will not be able to get much on the ground against the Vikes.

RB Jones ran for 148 yards but that is misleading. Take out the two long runs and he had a 4 yard average. That is VERY average. Starter Barber is probable but is coming off a knee and won’t be close to 100%.

The other key to the turnaround is the play of the O line. The line had been living on an undeserved rep. In the latter part of the season they started to play up to that rep. They will have to against an outstanding D line of the Vikes.

The Cowboy D has also had the habit of playing up or down to the competition. The key will be pressure on QB Favre. If they can pressure him, they will have a chance. The pass D ranked 20th giving up over 200 yards per game. Balanced offenses give them problems. The Vikes can be very balanced when they chose to be.


The Vikes tend to throw too much on O. That habit tends to get them in trouble. QB Favre can light up the scoreboard but can also throw enough picks to kill the team’s playoff hopes. The Vikes ended the season just 2-3 in December including an embarrassing loss to the Panthers. Favre had a passer rating of 73.7 in that loss. The team ranked 8th in passing.

The running game is solid with the leagues best back Peterson. But he has 1 100 yard game in the last half of the season. The O line had not been opening holes for the running game and Peterson has gotten beaten up. Peterson has to get over 100 yards for the Vikes to win. That is going to require the O line to play at a higher level. G Hutchinson is probable for the game. He would help the O line a great deal.

The Viking D is solid as well. It ranks 2nd against the run but 19th against the pass. The key to the Vikes winning the game is shutting down the Boys running game and forcing Romo into mistakes. Given enough pressure, he will make errors.

This is a very hard game to call but I think the Vikes have just enough to beat the Boys. The Cowboys will not be able to run and will not be able to keep up with Favre and the Vikes.

Jets @ Chargers


The Jets beat a Bengals team that was inexperienced in the playoffs. That is not the case with the Chargers. The game will depend on how hot Jet QB Sanchez can get. The Jets took advantage of an easy schedule and even then needed gifts from both the Bengals and the Colts to get into the playoffs. The O has the top ranked running game. That is a good thing because in the last 3 weeks of the season, Sanchez had passer ratings of 49.7, 78, and 60.2 and threw just 1 TD with 9 picks. That is not going to scare experienced playoff teams. RB Thomas is their top guy but he had only 3 100 yard games in the last half of the season. He is 31 and they hope it is not an indication that he is showing his age.

The Jets are going to have to be able to throw better than that to win.

The Jet D ranked 1st in scoring D, passing D and yards. They are 8th against the run. They have been playing very well under Coach Ryan. However, they have not beaten an O like they will against the Chargers.


QB Rivers has had an outstanding season. He has a passer rating of 104. The running game is ranked 31st which caused Rivers to throw a lot. The passing game is ranked 5th. He has a solid group of receivers WRs Jackson and Floyd and TE Gates. The running game has Tomlinson but he is a shadow of what he was a few years ago. Neither he nor RB Sproles has gotten the running going. The Chargers used the franchise tag on Sproles. That was a mistake because he will never be able to be a starting RB. The O line came together after recovering from early season injuries. It still can not run block.

The Charger D is middle of the road in terms of yards but ranks 11th in scoring D. NT Scott is their 3rd guy in that spot but has come on nicely. The loss of All Pro NT Williams has reduced the ability to stop the run and the team ranks 20th in that department. They are 11th against the pass and have a pair of pro bowl LB in Merriman and Phillips. They have not played up to their rep this season. The D backfield is led by CB Cromartie. The D can play at a very high level but is inconsistent.

Given all that, the Chargers should be able to score on the Jets through the air. I am not sure that QB Sanchez can keep up with Rivers. The Chargers win.

Your fantasy football doesn’t have to be over. Run a pro football franchise all year long for free at . Tell them Coach Smith sent you.


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 is a senior writer for and edits https://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on and edits .

Technorati Tags: NFL,NFL Football,nfl playoffs,divisional round,Cowboys,Vikings,Favre,Peterson,Jets,Bengals,Chargers,Colts,Thomas,Thomlinson,Sproles,Rivers,Sanchez

Former Chiefs executive Carl Peterson is named chairman of USA Football.

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t .

Peterson brings years of NFL front office experience to an organization that is struggling to find its role in football. Under the able leadership of ex Bill QB and Congressman Jack Kemp, USA Football has expanded the youth football program, developed official training, and obtained funding from both the NFL owners and NFLPA to fund the program.

The challenge to Peterson is to define how the program moves on from here. The obvious choice is high school football.

Even before the nation’s economy went into the dumper, many school systems especially those in the inner cities were struggling to fund and operate football programs. Sports is a way to introduce values to young children that include working together, personal responsibility for their actions, working for a group goal, and the necessity of preparation for obtaining success. Public education has failed our children in so many ways that it can ill afford the loss of sports.

A second area of possible contribution is semi-pro football. The elimination of the NFL Europe has removed a major training ground for coaches, refs and players. Semi-pro football is a way that players can get better and get noticed. In my coaching career at the semi-pro level, I had the opportunity to send players to the NFL. Semi-pro ball gives players that come out of college without the chance to go to an NFL training camp a second chance.

There is a much larger group of players that did not have a chance to go to college or the academic background to succeed there. These players should have a path to an athletic career that bypasses college. That path is semi-pro ball.

The two biggest problems that any high school or semi-pro team faces are insurance to cover injury for those involved and the equipment necessary to play. Both problems could be solved by USA Football. A national contract for insurance for each level could reduce the cost of coverage for a given team to the point that it would become affordable to the poorest of each type. USA Football could help underwrite the policy giving a much larger pool to help reduce the cost.

A national program for equipment could help reduce the cost of outfitting high school and semi-pro teams as well. Again, USA Football could underwrite a national equipment program that would greatly reduce the cost per player.

In both cases, USA Football could take a giant step toward providing opportunities for young men to profit from playing America’s game.

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 is a senior writer for and edits https://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on and edits .


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