Die-Hard Cleveland Browns Fan Analysis: Week 4 ’18-’19

I’ve been a Browns fan my entire life, so let’s see how this season goes…

Summary:

Baker’s first start didn’t exactly go how everyone wanted it to. At halftime the Browns were up 17-14 over the Oakland Raiders. Baker had thrown a touchdown for the Browns but also threw a pick six. Nick Chubb had broken a 63 yard run for a TD and this new kicker has really proven his worth. When the 3rd quarter started Baker and co. marched a 5 minute drive from one end of the field to the other to add another 3 point field goal extending their lead to 20-14. Then David Carr threw a pick and the Browns put up another quick TD. The Browns were up 28-14 halfway through the 3rd quarter, that’s a pretty good look. The Raiders followed this up by scoring 20 points over the next 11 minutes, a few Browns turnovers and solid plays by the Raiders turned a 28-14 lead into the Browns trailing 28-34. With 10:42 left in the 4th Baker stepped up to act like a real NFL quarterback. The Browns then tore down the field to notch another touchdown, then forced a quick Raiders 3 and out. Then Nick Chubb broke another massive run for his 2nd touchdown of the day. With 5 minutes left in the 4th quarter, the Browns were up 42-34. This obviously was looking really good for Cleveland, but what looked even better was the Raiders killing 3 minutes off the clock and coming up empty on their next drive. 42-34 with under 2 minutes to play and the Browns had possession, surely this game is all wrapped up with a nice bow, right? Wrong. A quick 3 and out for the Browns that forced the Raiders to use up all their timeouts led to Derek Carr and the Raiders taking over with great field position, no timeouts, and 1:28 left to play. A few penalties and a few excellent passing plays later, the Raiders were successfully performing a two-point conversion. 42-42 and as the clock ran down, Baker attempted to lead his team down the field to take back the lead. Just as the Browns started to approach Raider territory, Baker Mayfield tossed a long ball downfield and right into the other team’s hands. Then started the overtime period, the Raiders started with the ball and looked like they were going to score and win. But as the Browns know, not all kickers can knock a 50 yard game winner so the Browns got to try their hand. Things didn’t exactly go well for OT Baker and what appeared to be an inevitable 2nd tie for the Browns turned into a an epic campaign for Derek Carr and Jon Gruden’s winless Raiders as they 70 yards in almost 4 minutes. Then Matt McCrane got to redeem himself as the Raiders got a 42-45 OT victory. Devastating.

 

 

The Bad:

 

 

Rookie mistakes:

 

Baker Mayfield was playing in his 2nd NFL game and 1st NFL start, mistakes were bound to be made.

Baker ended the game with 2 interceptions and 2 fumbles, thats 4 turnovers. On those 4 turnovers the Raiders were able to score 21 points. Now the interception above can’t completely be blamed on Mayfield himself, but the team as a whole needs to make less rookie mistakes. Jarvis Landry who is supposed to be this team’s best wide receiver was targeted 10 times and only caught 4 passes for 34 yards. That isn’t exactly a spectacular showing against a team that hasn’t played very well this season.

 

 

The Good:

 

 

Rushing:

 

Like I said back in Die-Hard Cleveland Browns Fan Analysis: Week 1 ’18-’19 this Cleveland team is proving to have a very promising rushing core. Nick Chubb, the Browns rookie 2nd string HB, had 3 rushes for 105 yards and 2 touchdowns. That’s such a good showing it doesn’t even make sense to think about.

Pair this solid rookie with a solid veteran in Carlos Hyde and you get a pretty good rushing offense.

Then add in Duke Johnson Jr (the 3rd string HB) and scrambling QB Baker Mayfield and you get 208 rushing yards on 31 attempts for 3 rushing touchdowns.

Thats pretty good.

 

The defense:

 

Another thing I’ve been preaching the last few weeks other than the rushing unit, is that the Browns have a relatively awesome defensive lineup. 3 sacks, 9 tackles for a loss, 2 interceptions, and only allowing the Raiders to go 5/16 on 3rd down, thats a pretty decent stat line. On the season the Browns have 12 sacks, 7 picks, and 6 fumble recoveries.

 

Baker Mayfield:

 

He is still a rookie and he is still gonna play like one, but he’s a lot better than most of the rookie QBs we’ve plugged our lineup with in recent years. He can throw the ball precisely and accurately, he can make smart decisions in a hurry, and he can be a good team leader. Baker just needs time and experience, as long as he doesn’t get hurt or get on drugs (or get betrayed by the Browns front office) then Mayfield can be the QB this team needs and hopefully has for years to come.

 

 

The Opponent:

 

This week:

The Oakland Raiders were 0-3 when the Brownies rolled into town, now they are 1-3 and the Browns have to try to bounce back next week. David Carr passed for 437 yards and 4 touchdowns. The Oakland receiving unit played exceptionally well, turning average plays into big yardage and making the Browns pay. Not to mention Marshawn Lynch unleashed a bit of Beast Mode…

Maybe now that they’ve finally gotten that first win, the Raiders can start playing like the team they showed they can be.

 

Next week:

The Baltimore Ravens come into Cleveland looking to improve on their 3-1 record. On Sunday Night Football they took care of the Steelers and Joe Flacco played like an elite QB. This season the Ravens have smacked the Bills, lost to the Bengals, and handled the Broncos and Steelers with ease. The Browns haven’t exactly matched that success in their 1-2-1 campaign. The Ravens rank 10th in total offensive yards, 8th in passing, and 23rd in rushing. The Browns have allowed the 25th most offensive yards, 24th in passing, and 24th in rushing. Thats a bad matchup for Cleveland, hopefully the promising secondary the Browns are currently sporting can withstand Joe Flacco’s game. All 4 Browns games have finished with a score difference of 4 points or less, silly mistakes have kept this team from being 4-0. The Browns have the 2nd best rushing offense and the Ravens have the 5th best rushing defense. Carlos Hyde and Nick Chubb have to step up their game against this Baltimore dense and as long as the team holds it together late into the game, Cleveland can pick up a win a division rival. Which in the AFC North right now, Cleveland over Baltimore could really have an impact.

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Thanks for reading guys and go Browns

Last week’s edition: Die-Hard Cleveland Browns Fan Analysis: Week 3 ’18-’19

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