There are many reasons that the Browns lost yesterday, first and foremost being that they played a very talented and deep Dallas team that is a Superbowl contender. The offense struggled to find a rhythm, with Braylon Edwards and Derek Anderson not on the same page a number of times. Donte Stallworth has been injury prone throughout his career, with the exception of last season. The Browns can’t have him out if they expect to win right now. Our depth at WR is non-existent. That being said, the most disappointing part of yesterday’s game has to be the defense.
Shaun Rogers and Corey Williams were supposed to be the players that made all the difference on this team. As we have been told time and time again, the front three are supposed to take up blockers in Crennel’s 3-4 defense, leaving the LB’s free to make plays. We’ve waited (for years) for “the right personnel” to make this defense work. This was supposed to be that group. We gave away a lot of draft picks for this to be that group. After yesterday’s game I say that one of two things is true- either our LB’s are not good, or this defense is not going to work.
Watch the defensive line again if you have the game recorded. Rogers gets the double team nearly every play. On running plays (like Felix Jones’ TD up the gut) he was blocked by the center and the play-side guard. The three down lineman were no match for the five guys blocking them, three of which have been pro-bowlers by the way. The point is, that in this defense the line did essentially what it was supposed to do. Granted, Williams was brought in here to beat his man a few times a game and provide pressure, which didn’t happen. But where in the world are the linebackers? One of the OLB should always be going for the QB on a pass play. The supposed advantage for the defense is that the offense doesn’t know which one is coming. Well, I’d say it was Kamerion Wimbley 75% of the time? And he certainly didn’t sniff the QB, especially when the Browns only rushed 4.
The inside backers (Jackson and Davis) are responsible for stepping up and meeting the running back at the line of scrimmage. They are supposed to shed blockers if necessary and get the job done. Go back to Felix Jones’ TD run. Not only did the Cowboys guard help double team Rogers on that play, but he peeled off and blocked Jackson as well. That’s right- one guard, two blocks and a touchdown. There were certainly times when the Browns stuffed the run. In fact, the Cowboys weren’t able to run outside the tackles. But right up the middle they ripped the Browns. Double team on Rogers, and no linebacker in sight.
It wasn’t until the Browns started bringing 5 and 6 rushers that they got any pass rush at all. Maybe that is what they will have to do all season, but I’m beginning to think that the Browns would be better off in a 4-3. Williams and Rogers were stand-outs in that scheme. I know, the time to switch would have been camp. I don’t expect the Browns to make the move now. We really don’t have the depth to do it on the d-line anyway. But with the contracts that the Browns signed Rogers and Williams to, they have to find a way to make this work.
It’s one game. We do have to remember that we were ready to bury the Browns after the first game last year too. I’m very disappointed in this one however.