Tag Archives: Browns

Ravens Give Browns Headaches in 24-10 Stomping

DeShone Kizer threw three interceptions as the Baltimore Ravens (2-0) gave the rookie headaches all afternoon long en route to a 24-10 victory over the Cleveland Browns (0-2) at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore on Sunday.

Kizer, who missed more than a quarter while dealing with a migraine, was unable to gain much traction against a Baltimore defense that has no forced 10 turnovers in just eight quarters this season.

With the Browns trailing 14-0 midway through the second quarter after Joe Flacco found Javorious Allen for a nine-yard Ravens touchdown, Kizer exited the game, giving way to back up quarterback Kevin Hogan. Hogan gave the Browns life, leading the sputtering offense on a six-play and 83-yard drive that ended with a 23-yard touchdown pass from Hogan to rookie tight end David Njoku that pulled the Browns within one score at 14-7.

That was the peak of the Browns offensive day as Hogan took a step backward on his next two drives, the first ending on a three and out, and the next ending on an ugly Hogan pass that was intercepted by Ravens linebacker Tyus Bowser. The Bowser interception set Baltimore up with a chance to capitalize on the Browns mistake, and that they did, when Flacco found Jeremy Maclin in the endzone to end the first half with the home team ahead 21-7.

Kizer returned with just over eight minutes remaining in the third quarter with the Browns trailing 21-10 but threw two of his three picks after returning. His second pick came at a crucial moment of the game when the Browns clinging to hope. Deep in Ravens territory, Kizer looked to hit Rashard Higgins in the endzone but was late and Baltimore corner Ladarius Webb snared the pass to put the Browns chances on life support.

His final interception came with just over six minutes left in the game and essentially was the nail in the coffin in a two-possession game on the road.

Kizer finished 15 of 31 for 182 yards and three picks and a QB Rating of 27.3. Hogan was 5 of 11 for 118 yards with one touchdown and one pick and a QB rating of 77.1. Neither was helped by the run game which was nowhere to be found once again as the team only ran 14 times. Not exactly the type of game plan to help a rookie QB in his first road start against a tough division foe.

Flacco threw for 217 yards, two touchdowns, and had one interception. Allen added 66 yards on the ground on 14 carries, while former Browns tight end Ben Watson served as Flacco’s biggest target on the afternoon as he snagged eight balls for 91 yards.

The Browns receiving core got a boost from Higgins, who was just elevated from the practice squad on Saturday, as he pulled in seven catches for 95-yards. Set DeValve, who had a 49-yard catch that spurred the Hogan touchdown drive, finished with 61 yards receiving.

Cleveland will look to get the elusive w next week when they travel to Indianapolis to face the winless Colts.

Thomas Reaches 10,000 Snaps

On the fourth offensive play of the day for the Browns, standout left tackle Joe Thomas reached 10,000 consecutive snaps for his career. The ironman from Wisconsin has battled countless nagging injuries, 22 quarterbacks, and countless enemies, but always manages to be on the field for a franchise that has been rebuilding for his entire career.

Congrats Joe. Here is to 10,000 more…and maybe some victories to help ease the pain.

Collins Leaves with Concussion, Coleman with Hand Injury

Browns linebacker Jamie Collins, who had one of his worst games in an orange and brown uniform, left the game with an injury in the third quarter. Following the game, it was determined that the former pro bowler is dealing with a concussion.

Receiver Corey Coleman, who has seemed to build a connection with Kizer, left the game with a hand injury. The former first rounder out of Baylor, broke his hand last season and the fear is that he has done it again.

Browns-Ravens Pregame Thoughts

  • The Browns held the Steelers and all world running back Le’Veon Bell to just 35 yards rushing last week. The Ravens only threw the ball three times in the second half against Cincinnati last week in a 20-0 victory over the offensively challenged Bengals. QB Joe Flacco only completed one pass of more than 10 yards. Something will have to give. Are the Browns as good against the run as they showed? If so, they could make it a long day for the Ravens offense.
  • Flacco threw just 17 times last week but is notorious for destroying the Browns. Last season he threw for nearly 600 yards and five touchdowns in two games.
  • DeShone Kizer looked very solid last week against a really good Pittsburgh front seven. He will have to be even better today against the Ravens defense which has excellent linebackers. Terrell Suggs seems to be an ageless wonder and CJ Mosley is really coming into his own as an NFL player. Along with youngsters Kamalei Correa and Patrick Onwuasor they are deep and instinctive. The Ravens linebackers all read play action extremely well and also get their hands up quick when rushing which can force even the veteran quarterbacks of the league to throw nearly a handful of interceptions (looking at you Andy Dalton).
  • The Ravens secondary is also very good. It’s a veteran mix that will prove to be a challenge for the Browns young wide outs. Safeties Tony Jefferson and Eric Weddle are extremely talented ball hawks who can also tackle.
  • Cleveland will have seven wide outs dressed for Sunday’s game after bringing Rashard Higgins up from the practice squad. The Ravens will have only a few corners healthy for the game with Jaylen Hill and Sheldon Price both ruled out. That leaves talented corners Brandon Carr, Jimmy Smith, Marlon Humphrey, and nickel back Ladarius Webb as the only healthy corners. Maybe by adding Higgins the Browns are hoping to beat the talented secondary by using fresh men on a consistent basis against an undermanned unit.
  • While they may try to use their depth to win in the passing game, it’ll be the running game they determines whether or not the Browns win this game. Isaiah Crowell carries 17 times last week for just 33 yards and looked hesitant at the line of scrimmage. The Browns and especially Kizer will need him to be more decisive. If the line opens holes for him, he needs to stick his foot in the ground and go. They can’t win this game without a solid contribution from Crowell.
  • The play above accounted for a loss of yards. That is a huge hole to run through by NFL standards.
  • Kenny Britt’s drop on second and 19 last week may have cost the Browns the game. Yes, there were other factors that contributed to the loss, I get that. On the play before Britt’s drop, Browns center JC Tretter was destroyed by Steelers defensive linemen Javon Hargrave who pushed Tretter back like he was on roller skates for a sack of Kizer and a nine yard loss. On the next play, the rookie QB moved forward in the pocket, went through his progressions, and found a wide open Britt near the first down marker only to see his vet wide out drop it. Drops are a part of the game but that play needs to be made. All the momentum was trending in the Browns direction and that hurt.
  • The Browns are a much improved team all around. They proved that last week. In order to beat this Ravens team they will have to shut down the run game and keep veteran wide outs Mike Wallace and Jeremy Marlin from making big plays. Look for Greg Williams to use a similar strategy to what he used last week against the Steelers where he sent his safeties back 20-25 yards from the line of scrimmage to keep the corners from getting beat deep. The game plan all but nullified deep threat Martavis Bryant last week.
  • While I think the Browns have an excellent chance at winning this game, there is just as good a chance that they get blown out. The Baltimore defense is really talented. The linebackers look like they can give a rookie QB nightmares whether they are hitting him or knocking his passes around to cause turnovers. Kizer will have to take what the defense gives him which means Duke Johnson could be the key to a win with Kizer completing dump-off passes to the Swiss Army knife out of Miami. If Duke can break one or two, flip the field, it would go a long way to helping his QB and team.
  • With all things considered I think the Browns will play well, but fall short in a 16-13 loss in Baltimore.
  • Fantasy guys to have in this game: Duke in PPR leagues. Corey Coleman and Kizer have a connection and he will likely lead the Browns in targets. He could be a high WR3. You could also run out Maclin or Wallace in deep leagues as WR3 or flex. Javorious Allen is the Ravens version of Duke and also gets carries out of the backfield, he could be a deep flex guy. The real wildcard here is Flacco, who always kills the Browns. He’s a risk due to his back, but could be high reward if you roll with him.
  • Pictures in this article courtesy of the NFL, CBS, and NFL Gamepass app.

Predicting the Browns 53 Man Roster

Following a 4-0 preseason, the Browns will be faced with some tough decisions as they cut the roster from 90 players to 53 by 4 p.m. on Saturday afternoon.

Here are my predictions for each spot:

QB (3)

DeShone Kizer, Cody Kessler, Kevin Hogan

RB (3)

Isaiah Crowell, Duke Johnson, Matthew Dayes

FB (1)

Dan Vitale

WR (6)

Corey Coleman, Kenny Britt, Rashard Higgins, Ricardo Louis, Jordan Leslie, Rannel Hall. Could also see Hall or Leslie being let go in favor of a waiver wire pickup.

TE (3)

David Njoku, Seth DeValve, Randall Telfair

OLine (8)

Joe Thomas, Joel Bitonio, JC Tretter, Kevin Zeitler, Shon Coleman, John Greco, Austin Reiter, Rod Johnson

DE (5)

Myles Garrett, Emmanuel Ogbah, Tyrone Holmes, Carl Nassib, Nate Orchard

DT (5)

Danny Shelton, Jamie Meder, Larry Ogunjobi, Trevon Coley, Caleb Brantley

LB (6)

Christian Kirksey, Jamie Collins, Joe Schobert, Dominique Alexander, probably two waiver guys.

CB (5)

Jason McCourty, Jamar Taylor, Briean Boddy-Calhoun, Marcus Burley, Trey Caldwell

S (5)

Jabrill Peppers, Derrick Kindred, Ibraheim Campbell, Kai Nacua, Calvin Pryor III

Special Teams (3)

K Zane Gonzalez

P Britton Colquitt

LS Charlie Hughlett

Practice Squad players from current roster: Channing Stribling, Najee Murray, Kenneth Olugbode, BJ Bello, Karter Schult

Haden Says Goodbye to Browns, Hello to Steelers

Berea— Earlier on Wednesday, the Cleveland Browns terminated the contract of seven-year veteran and two-time pro bowler Joe Haden. The move saved the Browns $7 million, leaving them to pay just $4 million of the $11.1 million he was owed for the 2017 season. Of course they would only owe that money if Haden signs a deal for less with another team.

Enter the Pittsburgh Steelers who signed Haden to a three-year, $27 million contract just after 4 p.m. eastern time on Wednesday. The deal is basically a one-year deal worth $7 million that allows the former first round pick to play with a winning team for roughly the same he would’ve been paid to play for the rebuilding Browns.

Haden, who three years ago may have been the best cornerback in the league, has dealt with a number of injuries that have slowed him down. The injuries to his groin and legs have restricted his change of direction ability and forced him to change the way he plays. If he can get his mind and body right, a big if, he can be a huge addition for the Browns AFC North rival.

In a statement, Browns Executive Vice President of Football Operations, Sashi Brown said,

We want to thank Joe for all he has done for this organization both on and off the field. He has been a great teammate and true asset to the Cleveland community.

These are very difficult decisions, we have the utmost respect for Joe, and in my eyes, he will always be a Cleveland Brown.

Haden added a statement on his Instagram account, stating,

I’d first like to take the time to thank Browns fans all around the world from the bottom of my heart for making Cleveland a happy home for the past seven years. I want to thank my coaches, the organization, and especially my teammates who have become family.

My god doesn’t make mistakes and I know the future is bright.

Good luck Joe. It’s been a pleasure.

For more of my thoughts, check out the video below where I discuss Haden, Cam Erving whom the Browns dealt to Kansas City for fifth-round pick, Chicago, and Cody Kessler.

 

Browns Sign Njoku

The Cleveland Browns announced that they have  signed first-round pick TE David Njoku to his four-year rookie contract on Thursday. 

The Browns have now signed nine of their 10 2017 draft picks, including DL Myles Garrett (first round), QB DeShone Kizer (second round), DL Larry Ogunjobi (third round), DB Howard Wilson (fourth round), OL Rod Johnson (fifth round), DL Caleb Brantley (sixth round), K Zane Gonzalez (seventh round) and RB Matthew Dayes (seventh round). Only first round selection Jabril Peppers remains unsigned. 

Njoku, the 29th selection overall in the 2017 NFL draft, played 26 career games at Miami (Fl) and finished his career with 1060 yards on 64 catches. He is expected to challenge for immediate playing time on the Browns offense. 

Browns, Kirksey, Agree to Extension

The Cleveland Browns and linebacker Christian Kirksey agreed to a four-year, $38 million contract extension. The deal includes $20 million in guaranteed money. 

The move also continues the Browns strong offseason of bringing in new talent and  ensuring they keep the little talent that they already had on their roster. 

Kirksey, a former standout at Iowa, has been one of the few bright spots on th Browns defense over the past few seasons. While the Browns were just 1-15 in 2016, Kirksey had one of his best seasons as a pro recording 148 tackles and adding 2.5 sacks. 

Locking up Kirksey on a defense that has seen a tidal wave of talent come to the shores of Lake Erie should set the Browns defense up to compete in the coming years.  

Browns Hire Former Colts GM Grigson

The Cleveland Browns have hired Ryan Grigson as a Senior Personnel Executive. He will report to Vice President of Player Personnel Andrew Berry, who once worked under him in Indianapolis while Grigson was the Colts general manager. 

On the teams website, Executive Vice President of Football Operations gave Grigson a glowing review,”Ryan brings valuable experience to our personnel group,” said Brown. “He was raised as a road-scout and has been evaluating talent in this league for almost 20 years. We place a premium on that experience and on his passion for football. Ryan has much to offer to any personnel department and we are pleased that he chose to join our staff.”

Grigson was the Colts GM from 2012-16 and was named NFL Executive of the Year in his first season when he drafted Andrew Luck and changed the teams fortunes after they lost Peyton Manning. In the seasons after, he struggled to build a roster around the teams franchise quarterback and eventually was shown the door. 
While he was a terrible GM, in my opinion, he will not be the decision maker in Cleveland, just another experienced voice. It’ll be a role that will best suit his skill set in talent evaluation, something he showed a decent ability to do while working with the Philadelphia Eagles.