Where is this offense now?

Where is this offense now?

  • Looking at the ProFootballFocus defensive rankings of the Browns' opponents so far:

    Patriots (ranked #1 defensively)

    Broncos (3)

    Rams (4)

    49ers (5)

    Titans (9)

    Bills (11)

    Jets (13)

    Ravens (15)

    Seahawks (19)

    Against the two average defenses (Baltimore and Seattle), the Browns scored 40 and 28 points. Against the above average defenses (Jets and Bills), they scored 23 and 19. Against the top 10 defenses they scored 3, 13, 13, and 13. Very consistent right down the line.

    The Steelers rank 2nd so on paper it's looking like the Browns score about 10 points on Thursday. The question is whether the addition of Hunt and the return of Higgins will jump the offense to another level. As Baker said after the game yesterday,

    "Everybody is going to say we have [Beckham and Landry], but we are counting on like Hodge, Callaway, Higgins, Ratley, whoever is in there to step up and be a guy in there that we can consistently trust....We are counting on somebody else to step up and make a play for us...Just need a consistent third guy."

    Step up and make a play...like when Higgins beat his man for the winning TD? It looks like we may finally have that third guy now which we have been missing all year due to the Callaway suspension and the Higgins injury. Maybe a fourth guy, too.

    The impact of Kareem Hunt on the offense was huge. Rushing, catching, and blocking, he contributed on three levels while taking some of the load off Nick Chubb and increasing the versatility of the offense.

    The Browns were very close to scoring 30 points against the 11th ranked defense yesterday. All they needed to do was score touchdowns on their 1st-and-goal opportunities from the 1- and 2-yard lines. If they can figure out what are the best plays to run giving the strengths and weaknesses of their personnel in those situations, they will score a lot more. They were 1-for-5 in the red zone against Denver.

    What has been killing the offense are penalties, turnovers, and the inability to score from the red zone. The penalties have been significantly reduced along with the turnovers. One more big hurdle to being a good offense.

    Thursday we'll find out just how far this offense has come. Baker has thrown only one pick in the last three games and that was on a shovel pass against the Pats where a lineman missed his block. To be honest, he had an easy pick dropped yesterday, but the days of 11 picks in six games seem to be in the past. Or are they?

    What this offense really needs is for OBJ to get going. He's showing some signs. In the first five games he caught 53% of his targets for 67 yards per game. The last four games it's up to 58% and 74 yards, still not good. He was interfered with twice in the end zone yesterday but he doesn't get a stat for that. He beat his man deep on the first play of the game yesterday but Baker overthrew him. We're seeing some incremental improvment but it's time for him to take the next step and get his numbers to where they should be. Baker needs to do his part and put the ball on target.

    PFF ranks the Steelers #1 in pass rushing with a grade of 90.8. They're first by a large margin. The 49ers are second at 84.3 and the Browns scored 3 points against them in their worst offensive game of the year with Nick Bosa destroying them in the rain on the west coast. Can the Browns, who rank 20th in pass blocking, give Baker a chance to find targets against the Steelers? It doesn't look like it to me, but with Higgins and Hunt back the Browns will at least have more options.

  • Discussion
  • Browns left two touchdowns on the field. They have an unstoppable force in chubb and hunt freeing up beckham for one on ones down the field. Eventually he’ll cash those in.

  • PFF ranks the Steelers #1 in pass rushing with a grade of 90.8. They're first by a large margin. The 49ers are second at 84.3 and the Browns scored 3 points against them in their worst offensive game of the year with Nick Bosa destroying them in the rain on the west coast. Can the Browns, who rank 20th in pass blocking, give Baker a chance to find targets against the Steelers? It doesn't look like it to me, but with Higgins and Hunt back the Browns will at least have more options.

    The Browns cannot afford to fall behind by more than 2 scores and take them out of their balanced pass/run attack.

    Keep penalties in check and continue protecting the ball and I think the Browns will be alright.

    Plenty of PA and Nick and Hunt both in backfield to spread the Pitt D and create space and mis-matches are in order.

    On D, apply pressure and mix up coverages to confuse the QB. Hope that Vernon is back.

  • yogi8 said... (original post) PFF ranks the Steelers #1 in pass rushing with a grade of 90.8. They're first by a large margin. The 49ers are second at 84.3 and the Browns sco...

    This is why God created the screen pass. After awhile he added the bubble screen for fun.

    Seriously I don't know. Run right at their ends? TE's fake block and then leak out? With Bush playing sideline to sideline, the choices get slim.

  • Gameface64 said... (original post) This is why God created the screen pass. After awhile he added the bubble screen for fun.Seriously I don't know. Run right at their ends? T...

    I'm not sure we'll be using a lot of TE's. Our TE's are not very good, especially once you get past Njoku and Seals-Jones, both of whom are out. Harris has made a few plays but I'm sure Freddie would rather have Hunt or Callaway or Higgins on the field than a second TE. I'd put Harris wherever Watt is and double him on pass plays if possible.

    The Rams tried some screen passes and the Steelers were all over it. The Rams offense scored 3 points yesterday. They averaged 4.4 yards per play, threw three interceptions, and were sacked four times. Cooper Krupp, coming off a 220-yard game, was held without a single catch. The Rams are an average offensive team and the Steelers' defense totally shut them down.

    Gurley had 12 carries for 73 yards, so maybe Chubb and Hunt can get something on the ground. I would not attempt to throw much against this team, not with our offensive line.

  • I hear you, but you've got to do something to slow down their rush. Both Hunt and Chubb are great options in the screen pass, and the TE's would at least be unexpected. With Minkah Fitzpatrick playing so well, it's hard to imagine WR's roaming free. Before the year began, we all would have said OBJ singled up with Haden was candy from a baby, no longer thinking that.

  • Gameface64 said... (original post) I hear you, but you've got to do something to slow down their rush. Both Hunt and Chubb are great options in the screen pass, and the TE&#x...

    I think Haden is beatable in single coverage, but whether Baker will have enough time to find him is the question.

    I would throw off play action on first down and run draws or screens on 3rd-and-long. IOW, play backwards. And how about a reverse where Chubb gets a pitch sweeping right, tosses to Landry coming the other way, and Landry stops and throws deep?

  • Would Minkah bite on that last idea?

  • I guess some would believe the Browns offense will not be effective against the Pittsburgh defense.

    The Cleveland Browns play AFC North teams, it is best to throw out the statistics.

    The majority of games are close games with Pittsburgh and Baltimore.

    The Browns tied Pittsburgh last year first game and lost 33-18 in the 8th game. It appears the 8th game helped to remove a head coach and offensive coordinator.

    The Browns beat Baltimore last year in overtime also, 12-9 and lost at Baltimore 26-24 the last game of the season

    It is not hard to forget the Browns signature win this year with their win in Baltimore 40-25, which could have been worst, a mercy score to make it more competitive.

    What will they do Thursday night will be open to watch the game.

    The match ups, who has the better players. It would appear the Browns offensive playmakers might have the advantage. The special teams might be a match, but the Browns might have the better kickers. (Rookies - interesting). How the Browns defense does against the Pittsburgh offense might be the deciding point of the game.

  • Kitchens said after the bills win we are going to keep running it at the goal line. Pittsburgh cant stop the run so its pretty simple what our game plan is .. run run run punt if necessary. Browns are going to try and put 300 yards rushing on the steelers.

    Browns have 2 top 5 backs in the nfl and the steelers are scared. We’re gonna just keep smacking them.

  • To follow up on my original post, Jake Burns had this on the Browns offense:

    "The Browns have faced a difficult gauntlet of defenses in 2019. It's actually rather ridiculous how unfortunate their schedule has been against the league's best defenses. They have only face two defenses outside the Top-10 all year in Seattle and Baltimore and even those two defenses have talented key players like Bobby Wagner and Earl Thomas. The challenge will once again be tough with the Top-5 Steelers defense coming into FirstEnergy Stadium."

    Right, and two of the next three games are against the excellent Steelers defense. The ridiculousness continues, but what doesn't kill you makes you stronger.

    It's going to be interesting with Baker finally having his full complement of Landry, OBJ, Higgins, and Callaway at receiver and both Chubb and Hunt at RB for the first time this season. Jake pointed out that the Browns moved the ball well against Buffalo's strong defense, at least until they got inside the 5-yard line.

    By the way, Nick Chubb averaged 8.6 yards per carry if you take away the four goal-line carries where he had no chance.

    Ellis L. Williams of cleveland.com and Jake both published film studies of the goal line failure against the Bills and both came to the same conclusion - the Bills had more players on the LOS than the Browns could block. On each of Chubb's runs he was tackled by one or two UNBLOCKED defenders.

    Duh. In those situations there are nine blockers and 11 defenders so there are ALWAYS going to be two unblocked defenders. I've always wondered why coaches pack everything inside the hash marks and try to power it in. The numbers are against you and the Browns don't have a root hog offensive line that can blast DL's off the line.

    If you're going to run it you might as well go with the Wildcat and snap it directly to the running back so you have 10 blockers. I also like spreading it out and running a pick play, a lob to a tight end, or a QB draw.

  • oasis05 said... (original post) Kitchens said after the bills win we are going to keep running it at the goal line. Pittsburgh cant stop the run so its pretty simple what our game ...

    The Steelers rank 7th in the NFL in run defense at 3.9 ypc. They're one of the best in the league at defending the run. They're allowing 105 rushing yards per game and I think it's only 80 yards over the last three games. Nobody is going to rush for 200 on these guys and 300 is crazy unless Chubb and Hunt each bust an 80-yarder.

  • PROSECUTOR said... (original post) To follow up on my original post, Jake Burns had this on the Browns offense:"The Browns have faced a difficult gauntlet of defenses in 2019...

    Saw a really nice goal line play this week, think it was the 49ers. They split a WR out to the far left. The slot receiver, lined up closer to the QB, ran a slant to the middle of the end zone. The WR split out left started forward a few steps over the goal line, and at the top of his stem gave a little fake to his left, made a right turn and ran down the goal line back toward the QB. With the area cleared out by the inside slant, the QB had a clear line of sight and deivery. No traffic, DB behind WR, no bodies in the way. Easy pitch and catch TD.

  • I will disagree. Chubb and hunt had 150 rushing yards and 50 receiving yards there first game with hunt playing half the game. I see 30 rushes and 10 receptions for them this game.. steelers will be bringing the house and mayfield will have to dump it off and freddie will have to keep em honest with a run heavy game plan. They should eclipse 200 yards.

  • PROSECUTOR said... (original post) To follow up on my original post, Jake Burns had this on the Browns offense:"The Browns have faced a difficult gauntlet of defenses in 2019...

    Have the Browns really been truly unlucky, even with Freddie's foibles?

    I also think the expectations at the start of the season placed a burden on the players mentally so they weren't able to play loose and free. Now that the season has trended downward maybe our players will play better.

    Also, the NFL schedules are made in advance (teams) but the ORDER in which they are made for teams like the Browns seems a bit cruel.