Monday, October 1, 2012

Boomer's Game Recap: Browns rally falls short, drop to 0-4

Phil Dawson nailed 3! 50+ yard FG's, in 23-16 loss vs. Ravens.
 Recap: Weeden's INT costly in Browns 23-16 loss, to Ravens
Box Score: Ravens 23, Browns 16 Final

Another game. Another mistake. Another loss. The Browns first quarter of the 2012 season ended last Thursday night, with a 23-16 loss in Baltimore to the Ravens on TNF. Man, typical Browns game, a play or two here or there and results could have been different, for a squad desperate to find that 1st W of the season. Falling behind 9-0, the Browns cut the Ravens lead to two, 9-7 at halftime. The Browns had plenty of chances in this one, but were doomed again by another costly mistake. With a half-minute left in the 3rd quarter, down six, Browns QB Brandon Weeden ill-avised pass to the sideline was picked off by a Ravens DB and ran in for a touchdown. The Browns, however, did show some grit outscoring the Ravens 6-0 in the 4th quarter and had their chances to tie it up in the final seconds of the contest. Browns fans again were entertained by Phil Dawson, who kicked not one...not two...but THREE 50+ yard FG's. Settling for FG's instead of finishing drives cost the Browns in this one, a game, that not many would have invsioned coming down to the final play of regulation. The Browns have been in all four of their games this season in the 4th quarter, but have be unable to make that "winning" play down the stretch to come away with the victory.

The Offense:

The lack of "winning" plays sums up this unit. Dropped passes, interceptions, lack of a running game, etc. This offense has shown signs that it could be a some what decent (ex: 89-yard touchdown drive, moving the ball end of the game) unit, but it is still way too inconsistent. Weeden again goes for 300+ yards in the air, but was doomed by that pick-six and receivers dropping critical passes. At times, Weeden has shown signs of being the QB that the Browns used a 1st round pick on, but some decision-making issues still loom. You'd like to hope as the season moves along, so does Weeden's progress as a QB, because I'm tired of seeing another new QB every season. T. Rich again went for 100+ yards of total offense in this game along with a rushing score. However, he hasn't had those big plays in the running game that we as fans were looking forward to after drafting him in 3rd overall. Still, he gives the Browns, that playermaker they haven't had in recent years. In the end, settling for THREE 50+ yard FG's is just unacceptable and hard to watch as a fan.

The Defense:

So-So game. I was worried how they would fair vs. Joe Flacco & Co., after seeing them put 30-points up on the Patroits. Like the offense, this unit is inconsistent at times, and in the NFL, that can't happen against a Super Bowl-caliber oppoenent. The Browns were able to force a INT (that Flacco should have never thrown) and for the most part where able to slow-down Ravens RB Ray Rice. However, they allowed for Ravens back-up RB, Bernard Pierce gash 'em for some big gains. The defensive backfield again without Joe Haden looked down right terrible. The lack of depth from this unit has been an issue since Haden was suspended for a four-game stretch. The Browns defense surrendered 438 total yards of offense, with 356 of those coming in the passing game from Joe Flacco. This defense wouldn't (I'm sure doesn't) strike fear into an opposing offense, and until they do, I'm afraid they will continue to struggle.

Next Week:
With a few extra days of rest/prepartion from playing on TNF, the Browns (0-4) this week face their second NFC foe of the season, in the Giants (2-2) at MetLife Stadium this upcoming weekend. The Giants are coming off a 19-17 loss to the hands of the Eagles on SNF. The last time these two teams played each other, the Browns beat the defending-Super Bowl champs, 35 to 14 on MNF in Cleveland (2008).