Friday, September 28, 2012
Upon further review: Browns
By Jamison Hensley
Revisiting the Cleveland Browns' 23-16 loss at the Baltimore Ravens:
The Browns didn't add any impact free-agent wide receivers this year because they didn't want to overpay anyone. That cost them a victory in Baltimore on Thursday night.
Cleveland's young wide receivers dropped a handful of passes and many came right around the end zone. It looks like the next Browns' wide receivers meeting will be held in Pat Shurmur's doghouse.
Jordan Norwood dropped a third-down pass in the third quarter that forced the Browns to settle for a Phil Dawson field goal, which cut the deficit to 16-10. A leaping Greg Little later had a pass go through his hands around the goal line in the fourth quarter when the Browns trailed by 10. Then, down by seven points on the final drive, Norwood had a deflected pass bounce off his shoulder while in the end zone.
"I just have to come down with it," Little told The Plain Dealer. "If you want to be a great player, then you have to make plays that people will remember and put your team in position to come back and win the game."
The Browns' depth at wide receiver is being tested. They entered the game without leading receiver Mohamed Massaquoi (hamstring) and lost Josh Cribbs (head) in the first quarter.
It's hard to really judge rookie quarterback Brandon Weeden because of the lack of a strong supporting cast. He didn't help his cause by throwing an interception that was returned for a touchdown, but he can't rally a team back when his receivers are dropping passes and his line is allowing too much pressure.
STAT THAT STICKS: 8 -- Number of blitzes that Weeden faced in the second half, according to ESPN Stats & Information. Weeden only completed three passes when the Ravens sent an extra rusher and was picked off for a touchdown. In the first half, Weeden was 5-of-7 passing against the blitz.
OVERHEARD: "The Cleveland Browns are a good football team. Their coaching staff, those young players are doing a great job and that's going to be a team to contend with for many years to come." -- Ravens coach John Harbaugh on the Browns.
WHAT'S NEXT: The winless Browns (0-4) play at the defending Super Bowl champion New York Giants, who have won just two of their last six home games.