Upon Further Review: Browns Week 6

October, 14, 2013
10/14/13
12:30
PM ET
An examination of four hot issues from the Cleveland Browns' 31-17 loss to the Detroit Lions:

[+] EnlargeBrandon Weeden
Ron Schwane/USA TODAY SportsQuarterback Brandon Weeden played well at times on Sunday but wasn't able to lead Cleveland to its fourth straight victory.
Quick change: Things change in a hurry in the NFL. One week ago, the Browns were fresh off a win over Buffalo, Brandon Weeden had completed some big passes in relief of Brian Hoyer and a home game separated them from four wins in a row. But instead of heading into a tough three-game stretch with a 4-2 record, the Browns looked bad in losing and now wonder where they’ll be after playing Green Bay, Kansas City and Baltimore before the bye. That’s life in the league among most of the teams not named Denver or Jacksonville. One loss, or win, changes much in a hurry.

Quarterback quandary: When Rob Chudzinski was asked last week why he believed the Browns could get Weeden ready to play, he said, “Because we have no choice.” Weeden had a good first half, but did little besides throw a pass for the follies reel that cost the Browns their last and best chance to stay in the game. The options that remain for the Browns are few -- neither Hoyer nor Brian Sipe is walking through that door. The Browns still have no choice, but nobody could blame them if they have a little less faith.

On film: NFL teams study what others do carefully, and the Browns now have a defensive weakness on film. The Lions took advantage of inside linebacker Craig Robertson in the pass game, and didn’t even try to hide it afterward. There were times Robertson was a step slow, but there were also times he was there and the Lions simply made the play, while he did not. Robertson is a dedicated player, a hard worker and after the game stood up to what happened. But the Browns may need an alternate plan on defense if they want to play more man coverage.

Shared duties: Tashaun Gipson admitted what everyone knew: The defense isn’t helped when the offense has 5 yards and no first downs in the third quarter. Not because the defense gets tired (why wouldn’t the other team’s offense get just as tired?), but because the lack of offensive production puts more pressure on the defense to be perfect. The Browns' second-half offensive struggles were exacerbated by the fact that the Browns' defense could not get off the field -- the Lions were 6-for-7 on third downs. Symmetry wins. The Browns had it in some games, but not against Detroit.

Pat McManamon

ESPN Cleveland Browns reporter

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