Cleveland Browns Game 1: Winners and Losers


Who caught your eye? Did someone stand out? Who blew it? That’s what were interested in this morning. Winners and losers.

The Browns were one-point losers on Sunday. Why does it feel like so much more…

WINNER: The linebackers. Hey, I’ll be the first to stand up and applaud this group, mostly because I thought this was going to be a disaster. Think about this- Robertson, Maiava, Jackson and Maiava combined for 21 tackles, 3 interceptions, a sack and 3 tackles for a loss. Oh, and the Browns only touchdown. In addition, they played the screen game beautifully. Yes, I’m aware that had Fort caught the ball in the end zone, the Browns would have won. But they never would have been in a position to win without Fort and the LB play. Very impressed with what this group did. Cannot overstate this. Like. I would give a gameball to all 4 of them. Ok. Moving on.

LOSER: Brandon Weeden. I mean, how can you not? We knew he would make rookie mistakes this year, but man was that ugly. Did anyone have any doubt that last Browns possession was going to end badly? Yikes. Historic bad start.

LOSER: Greg Little. The incredible disappearing Little act continued from the preseason. Four times he was targeted, and zero receptions. Plus the ball he should have caught for a TD of darn close to it that he let get away from him for an interception. In all of the scenarios that have the Browns offense working this year, Little takes a step forward from last year. Not seeing it in practice, in the preseason games, or on Sunday.

Alright, I’ll leave the rest up to you. Who were your winners and losers from week 1?


  • 5KMD

    Winner: Phil Dawson again. What a rock. Everyone knows he would have made the game winner.

  • MrCleaveland

    LOSER: Shurmur. Call me crazy, but Weeden sure didn’t look “VERY prepared” or whatever excuse the coach used to sit him out of the final exhibition game. Also, Haslam sat in on Shurmur’s post-game news conference. Haslam looks a little grumpy to begin with, so that must have been a little unsettling.

    WINNER: Josh Cribbs. The man goes all-out all the time.

    LOSER: As Rick mentioned, Greg Little’s act is getting very old. I suspect he spends more time working on his touchdown gyrations than on catching footballs.

    WINNER: Phil Dawson once again. And how ’bout those kick-offs?

    BOTH/NEITHER: L.J. Fort. Man, if he could have just held on to that late INT, we had a chance to win. But not a guarantee, of course. Even if Fort did make the pick, Philly most likely would have gotten the ball back, given the way our offense was playing..

    Also, how many fans thought the same thing when Vick lined up with 91 yards to go. The Drive.

    Crappy teams find ways to lose.

  • Damage

    Cannot blame Fort. He’s a LB – they rarely are in position to catch the ball. Should he have caught it? Absolutely. But as Rick said, the Browns wouldn’t have been in a position to win without Fort…or DQ, Robinson and Haden (who shut DeSean Jackson completely down after the 1st quarter).

  • HH

    Looser: Heckert? imho none of his key draft picks looked remotely impressive

    Winner: Mr Automatic, Phil Dawson. Can we put him on the ring of honor yet, even though he’s an active player?

    Winner: D’Qwell Jackson. Nuff said

    Looser/Winner: Hayden looked like he was struggling in the first half, and his INT came from being in the right place at the right time and it bounced in his arms. In the end though his presence and impact was felt. Would expect him to look sharper though..

  • mgbode

    Haden? Ward? they didn’t look impressive? Robertson/Fort – he brought them in and they looked pretty impressive. Skrine was so/so, but he was a sure-tackler at least.

    and Benjamin looked fast.

    not ready to jump off a cliff today.

  • stin4u

    “his INT came from being in the right place at the right time”

    Hence, doing his job. You just contradicted your entire argument.

  • BuckeyeDawg

    Winner: Dick Jauron – great game plan. Vick was off balance and getting hit all day. The run defense wasn’t great, but overall they played a whale of a game against what should be one of the best offenses in the NFL. Gave up 17 points and forced 5 turnovers against a team like the Eagles, missing 3 key starters. That’s great coaching and a great effort from the guys on the field.

    Loser: Anyone and everyone involved in the offense. Weeden was historically bad, Richarson was rusty, the O-line was OK at best pass blocking and terrible run blocking. WR’s played like what they were…an bunch of rookies going against arguably the best CB tandem in the NFL. Greg Little gets a special mention here…YAC yards don’t matter if you don’t catch the damn ball. That drop was a game changer. Not much positive at all from the offense. It can only get better, right?

    Winner: Special teams – Phil Dawson was automatic as expected, Josh Cribbs is still the best all-around special teams player in the league, and the coverage teams did fine.

    Loser: Pat Shurmur – no more deer in the headlights look like most of last season, but still some head scratching play calls and not going for 2, down 5. Nothing epically terrible here, but nothing that makes me feel any better about the guy, either.

    Loser: all of us – even with the terrible offensive showing, how much better do we feel about the season moving forward if they hang on yesterday? What a confidence booster that would have been for this young team and for the fans…but instead here we are, lamenting about how we found another way to lose. Good teams find a way to win yesterday…unfortunately, despite a supreme defensive effort, we aren’t a good team yet. I think we have 2/3 of a good team, but that other 1/3 is really bad, and it’s cancelling out some of the good things that are happening defensively and on special teams.

    See you Sunday!

  • BenRM

    Besides the aforementioned:

    Loser: Owen Marecic – He can’t catch. He is stood up by every one he tries to block. I don’t want to talk about Vickers, but at least try that Smelley kid.

    Winner: Billy Winn – all over the field. This guy is a freakin player.

  • facebook-167400242

    Nobody has mentioned the explosiveness of Travis Benjamin…hes going to be a stud (and Cribbs’ replacement), showed his potential in his first game and the second winner(s) are the refs; for all the negativity coming into the season, they did a good job yesterday (love the no favoritism)

  • Clown Baby

    Loser: Weeden. I’m guessing that for the first time I won’t have to defend myself too much for this one. He was scared and I believe that last pick was a subconscious decision to get off the field. This guy has quicksand issues and that is not good for any NFL QB, especially one that, according to his age, is in the second-half of his career.
    He had the game winner in the endzone when Philly was called for defensive holding. I’m not sure who the receiver was, but he was as wide open as it gets in the NFL and Weeden threw a Bauserman into the first row of the stands. My God, whoever the receiver was, was even laughing at him!
    These aren’t new issues by the way. Weeden never played well in the preseason (except for the game against GB where the second string DBs were playing soft and Weeden still couldn’t hit people in stride). He has a way to go and I think they need to sit him until the game slows down for him. I don’t want to give up on Weeden and Colt isn’t the answer but they need to get him out of there before he is lost for good.

    Winner: Defense, especially Joe Haden. I loved Haden in this because he was getting picked on in the first quarter and battled back to be a lockdown for the remainder of the game. I would like to see that out of our QB (I don’t want Weeden to be a lockdown CB, just exhibit some intestinal fortitude).

  • bglass02

    Loser: Weeden

    Winner: Giant American Flag… Seriously, after that who didn’t know we were going to be in for a 5.1 QB rating.

  • Harv 21

    Haden finally showed hands grabbing an INT that was tipped his direction. But he was burned repeatedly in the first half. On the TD pass he actually broke to the corner while the receiver he was covering deked him out of his shoes and broke to the middle for a wide open score (and no, it was not zone coverage).

  • troyhart


  • Clown Baby

    I don’t think you should hesitate to lament the release of Vickers. I know there are some people on here that mock the people that complain about the Browns cutting Vickers because he was a FB. Guess what everybody, in this offense our FB is depended on to run block, pass block and catch passes (apparently). Those are 3 pretty important functions, no? We have a stiff back there who stinks at all 3 of those things and who was selected to be The Man by this regime. Fail.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Great point one that I haven’t seen remotely mentioned. Jackson only saw the field on third downs and had a few swing passes thrown to him but that was it. Heck you didn’t even see Hardesty. It was pretty clear Richardson was rusty and a step slow on the bright side he was enable to hold up.

  • Harv 21

    Winner: Dick Jauron, hands down. Think about it: the only way to make this game close is to pray you can control the run and get immediate pressure on Vick. But you have rookies in their very first game on the line and two undrafted(!) at LB. One of your starting corners then leaves in the first half with a stinger. DQ played his butt off but that mix of exotic blitzes mixed with fake blitzes where he challenged a rusty and not-too-bright Vick to make hot reads worked beautifully for as long as it could. Jauron out-coached Reid, who could have stopped that nonsense with more running and sprint draws. Looked like Reid was determined to get Vick untracked with the margin of error he thought the Browns provided, and he was this close to getting burned.
    Winner: Heckert, in this way: he needed to somehow find starting LBs from the scrapheap with JMJ and Fujita out. Fort looks like a legit backup NFL linebacker, and maybe Robertson is as well. Huge area of need, but this was some nice, emergency spackling.
    Loser: Montario. This game screamed for him to spell Richardson and grind some yards. Clearly, with Shurmur’s job on the line he is not trust to hold the rock in a close game.
    Loser: O-Line. The playcalling with the quick passes was designed to help them control Philly’s d-line. But they had to carve out some holes to run, to keep Weeden out of deep drop third and longs. Nada, really.
    Winner: TJ Ward. He suddenly looks like he knows in advance where the play is going and can get there quick enough to lower the boom. Maybe the light has gone on and he will be the impact defensive player people think he can be.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Agreed with all of Rick’s but in addition:
    Loser: Shurmur – This won’t be the last time he’s mentioned
    Loser: TE position – where were they?
    Winner: Jauron with an assist from Michael Vick

  • AkronPoppy

    Loser: Whoever saw the jumpball interception between 5’10” Benjamin and 6’2″ DRC, and thought that it was a fluke, maybe we should try it again.

  • The_Real_Shamrock
  • Thomas

    I second that. After the Browns had the ball on the 30 with a min. left I was thinking “only 30-35 yards and they have a shot…” Then Weeden stepped on the field… :(

  • HH

    exactly what i was trying to say, thanks!

  • HH

    no he was just kind of standing behind and off to the side, and it bounced from the receivers hand into his. its not like he was even covering the intended receiver. He was also burned a bit early on.

  • mgbode

    Haden was beat a few times, no doubt. but, overall he seemed stride in stride with the WR. wish we could get more consistency out of him, yes.

  • Browns or Clowns

    Loser: Pat Shurmur. His knowledge for football is atrocious. Wasted time outs with stupid challenges and he did not even know what can or can not be challenged. Play calling = Crap

    Winner: Dick Jauron: I see him becoming the interim.

  • BenRM

    I didn’t want to start complaining about Vickers b/c what’s done is done. But, what they CAN do is get Marecic off the field. I truly thought he was going to be cut in the off season.

  • BenRM

    True that. I was surprised Weeden went at him a second time on one-on-one coverage.

    For that matter, though. Why is Benjamin lining up against DRC? We have 6 foot recievers.

  • Dean Huffman

    the standings say 0-1. that means they are all losers imho.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Usually the DBs matchup not vice versa.

  • BenRM

    My mistake, then. Thnx

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Once Smelley was demoted we were all stuck with more Marecic. Just another head scratcher when it comes to this coaching staff.

  • BJ

    The QB reads the coverage and decides where to throw. The coach/off. coordinator designs plays to get favorable matchups between WR and DBs. That’s where the real mistakes are.

  • AJ21

    Winner: Defense that played their hearts out and even scored when Offense couldn’t.

    Loser: Defense and Browns fans when the Offense went 3 and out all day and couldn’t covert more than 2 3rd downs to sustain a drive or score a TD and give the D a chance to get off the field for a break and a victory. they deserved.

  • eldaveablo

    I was so confused by using Gordon on slants all day and Benjamin fades – while being guarded by a 6’2″ CB.

  • woofersus

    Cutting Smelley was one of the bigger head scratchers for me. I can’t think of any time when Marecic has impressed me.

  • B-bo

    Heckert needed to be tighter?

  • Observer6

    Shurmer, Holmgren and Heckert————by, by.

  • Steve

    Here’s a good question….Why in the world did we not kick the tires on Mike Tolbert this offseason?

  • Steve

    The playcalling is truly atrocious. A peewee coach would know not to throw to a receiver who is 4 inches shorter than his defensive coverage.

  • Steve

    Still. If that’s the matchup you have to know that isn’t favorable.

  • Steve

    Shoulda been alot more screen passes and dumpoffs period, whether it was to Jackson or Richardson.