First and 10: More Carols, more struggle
December, 17, 2013
By Pat McManamon | ESPN.com
Another long Cleveland Browns season heads down the finish line ...
- The Angry Browns Fan is back with version two of his Cleveland Browns Christmas Carols. Some of the lyrics are submitted by fans. You can imagine.
- The reasons for trading Trent Richardson were well and good -- and may in the long run be very smart. Certainly Richardson has done nothing since his trade to warrant criticism of the deal.
- But to say the Browns had a running game after Richardson’s departure would be misleading. The Browns have had a patchwork run game, at best. Willis McGahee is a tremendous locker room presence, and it’s a shame he doesn’t have more left because he brings a lot and gives all he’s got. He just doesn’t have that much to give. Chris Ogbonnaya and Fozzy Whittaker are what they are.
- It’s measure of the way things are that Edwin Baker opened eyes in his eight carries. This should not be happening in the 14th game of the season. A coaching staff simply can’t win with one hand tied behind its back, and that’s what’s happened this season. Trading Richardson may have been the right move, but there hasn’t been much done to make things better since.
- When seeing a position like that, the thought comes to mind of Joe Banner at the scouting combine saying the Browns might be short at a position this season, but the team would be well aware it was short. Presumably this is still true.
- Paul Kruger is a standup and accountable guy, and that is greatly appreciated. But he lined up most of the game against Chicago against Jordan Mills, a rookie fourth round-draft pick. Kruger had zero tackles, zero sacks, one quarterback hit and one pass defensed.
- The Bears have won 12 games in a row when scoring a defensive touchdown. The Browns have lost two in a row. How does this happen?
- Further proof the Browns defense took a step back on third down against Chicago: Jay Cutler was 11-for-12 for 152 yards two touchdowns on third down.
- The Browns now are the second franchise in NFL history to lose 10 games in 10-of-11 seasons. The last was the Tampa Bay Bucs, who lost at least 10 games 12 seasons in a row from 1983 through 1994.
- There was some interesting information from Chudzinski about his decision to defer after winning the opening coin toss, which allowed Chicago to take the wind in the fourth quarter. Chudzinski said he thought the wind only affected the kicking game, that Jason Campbell preferred to throw into the wind. But Chudzinski also said Campbell thought the ball was sailing going with the wind -- which would indicate it affected more than the kicking game. At the end of the third quarter, Chudzinski used a timeout to preserve time so the offense would have the ball going with the wind. At that point the wind mattered. Cutler’s rating was 75 going into the wind, 105.1 with it. Campbell’s difference was less dramatic (51.4 with, 73.2 against) until the Browns final drive when the Bears played soft to keep the clock running is discounted. Eliminate that drive -- which does still count -- and Campbell’s rating into the wind drops to 40.2.