Upon Further Review: Browns

October, 8, 2012
10/08/12
5:20
PM ET
Revisiting the Cleveland Browns' 41-27 loss at the New York Giants:

It doesn't take an offensive coordinator to see the Browns are vulnerable to runs up the middle. Defensive tackle Phil Taylor is out with a torn pectoral muscle. Middle linebacker D'Qwell Jackson left late in the first half Sunday with a head injury.

The disturbing part of the Giants' 243 yards rushing is that most of the damage wasn't up the gut of the defense. New York was most effective rushing outside the tackles. The Giants gained 97 yards on eight rushes outside the tackles after gaining 63 yards on 16 outside rushes through their first four games, according to ESPN Stats & Information.

The Browns have been historically bad at stopping the run since returning to the NFL in 1999. In those 13 years, the Browns' run defense has never ranked higher than 23rd. Their run defense has ranked in the bottom five of the league for six of the previous eight seasons.

Sunday's performance was the worst since the Ravens ran over Cleveland for 290 yards in December 2011.

"It just seemed like gaps were opening up and [Ahmad] Bradshaw was finding creases," safety T.J. Ward told The Plain Dealer. "I don't know how."

Ward, who played with a cast on his right hand to protect a broken thumb, acknowledged that he didn't make an effort to tackle on one play.

"One time I didn't even try, it was so late in the game I just went for the strip," Ward said.

STAT THAT STICKS: 4 -- Straight games with a rushing touchdown for Trent Richardson. He became first rookie in Browns history to accomplish this feat.

OVERHEARD: "I don't like being 0-5. We all had a part in it, but I feel like I had a big part in it. I've got to change something. I've got to do something to give this team a chance to win." Quarterback Brandon Weeden on the loss in which he went 22-of-35 for 291 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions.

WHAT'S NEXT: The Browns play host to the Cincinnati Bengals (3-2). In their current four-game losing streak to the Bengals, the Browns have lost by a combined 22 points.

Jamison Hensley

ESPN Ravens reporter

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