April 20, 2014

Cleveland Browns Game 12: 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.

What’s this? Consecutive weeks in which we get to run this feature after a win? Interesting. A guy could get used to this…

WINNER: Josh Gordon. Before we get too crazy, we all agree that Oakland’s defensive backfield is pretty bad. That said, this was a really nice game for Gordon. Six catches for 116 and a very nice TD. Should have had a second as well, but a badly under thrown ball prevented it. Gordon has been solid and getting better. He is well worth the second round pick the Browns used on him in the supplemental draft, at least early on. Given an offseason to further develop should help make Gordon a real weapon next year. If he can stay out of trouble.

WINNER: Greg Little. We’ve mentioned Little’s blocking in this space before, but yesterday it was pretty visible. I’m not entirely sure the big block was legal, as it seemed maybe Little hit him in the back a bit, but it was aggressive. He also didn’t didn’t hurt the team at all with his hands. Four catches for 48 yards. Good game Greg.

WINNER: Sheldon Brown. Well, maybe this is just the day for popular whipping boys to get some credit. Brown was very good yesterday, and was targeted a lot. His interception was obviously a huge play in the game. He had other nice pass breakups as well. Helped support the running game. Just a solid effort.

LOSER: Josh Cribbs. Sometimes Josh, you need to take the knee. You really do.

Ok, it’s your turn. I left plenty of meat on the bone for you.

  • http://www.facebook.com/larry.king.92317121 Larry King

    Who is going to be the quarter back is all I want to know

  • http://www.facebook.com/anne.dunn.144 Anne Dunn

    I can see your point, but it’s always a crap shoot when he throws long, 3 caught, 2 intercepted. and more over everyone’s head.

  • mgbode

    well, how many are dropped? he showed good touch early in the season on those long passes but had Little and Gordon drop a few. and, to learn which ones he can throw and which ones will be picked, he’s got to actually throw them. this season is all about the learning curve for him.

    he obviously has a ways to go. but, i’m just glad to see him (or us?) actually show that the field is longer than the 15yds past the LOS.

  • http://www.facebook.com/anne.dunn.144 Anne Dunn

    Weeden still isn’t completing as many of those 20 yards and longer passes as McCoy did in the same number of games. He really struggles with the long ball regardless of what we’ve been told. And Weeden is so inaccurate on longer throws and the receivers have gotten so much better in catching anything close, that his incompletions are way off target. He’s only 25% on passes over 15 yards, essentially the worst in the league.

    What’s great about those long passes to Gordon is that they are designed so that Weeden can throw to an area and not have to worry about pin point accuracy.

    Gordon starts what looks like a short route across the middle, picks up a slower defender and sprints to the back right or left side of the field leaving the defender behind. Weeden throws the ball high with an arc to come down to Gordon and Gordon looks for the ball, adjusts, and runs right under it, like playing catch in the park.

  • mgbode

    sigh. so, you complain about Weeden’s long range accuracy but laud Colt’s? hey, I like Colt, but the long game isn’t his schtick. The long passes he completed often were just Cribbs outmuscling a DB to an underthrown rainbow.

    i am interested to see where you get your stats. as it is, in 12 games and 433 attempts, Weeden has had 41 passes for 20+yds and 5 for 40+yds according to nfl.com. Now, some of those are YAC, but the QB gets some credit for setting up the WR for that too.

    in 2011 in the same offense and 13 games and 463 attempts, Colt McCoy had 26 passes for 20+yds and 5 for 40+. By the way, he was worst in the NFL for passes over 20+yds per attempt (yes, worse than Curtis Painter, Skelton, Gabbert, etc. ugh). It would also be worst per attempt this season.

  • http://www.facebook.com/anne.dunn.144 Anne Dunn

    Pat Shurmur will never be a winner, just a whiner. The team is playing hard because of their own motivation. There is enormous frustration on this team for the way this season has been handled.

  • http://www.facebook.com/anne.dunn.144 Anne Dunn

    Weeden is the one who consistently ranks below Gabbert and Skelton at the bottom of the league, not McCoy.

    Now for accurate stats about long passes, go to ProFootballReference.com where they separate out the legitimate long passes from the short 2 yard pass that picks up 20 more yards after the catch. There is a diagram of the field for each game, divided into zones with all the attempts and completions.

    Shurmur and others have been playing games with the stats all year to give fans a totally false impression about Weeden and McCoy. He’s even been dishonest enough to claim that Weeden is right behind Luck in long passes, when Luck really can throw long with good accuracy.

    When you use the short passes that go for long yards to say Weeden is good at throwing the long ball that is flat out dishonest — those short-pass-big-plays have nothing to do with stretching the field. That’s what a lot of people call “dink and dunk”.

    Everyone seems to have a short memory about the passing game. When you recall the last few games McCoy played in, your clearest memory should be of the right side of the line collapsing so fast there was no time for anything but an off balance, badly rushed throw with nothing but the worst running game in the league to deflect the rush. No QB plays well in that situation.

    In a much worse situation last year, McCoy’s passing yards per game ranked 20th, the same as Weeden’s. McCoy’s 2011 team ranked 12th in 3rd down conversion, but Weeden has led the 2012 team to the bottom of the league at 30th.

    When you look at splits for passer rating and completion percentage, Weeden’s play on third down, in the red zone, in the 4th quarter, or when we are tied or losing by one score — Weeden’s play sinks like a rock. McCoy’s gets better.

    Go to a site that doesn’t confuse short and long passes and check the real numbers for long passes. In his first 11 games McCoy completed 18 while Weeden completed only 15.

    BTW, Weeden has not only ranked below Gabbert all year but also below all the other QBs in the league, and only rose to 30th out of 32 this past week with stat padding from 1 to 5 yard high-accuracy passes that went for long yards after the catch because Oakland couldn’t cover our receivers.

    McCoy’s rookie yards per attempt and yards per catch are much longer than Weeden’s. Weeden is a pig in Shurmur’s phony poke wearing lipstick. False stats and the protection of one of the top 5 offensive lines in football can’t get him above the bottom of the league in completing passes that travel 20 or more yards in the air.

    if McCoy were the QB this year, with the improved talent, the Browns would have a winning season and beat teams at the top of their game like New England in a 14 and 2 season or New Orleans when they were reining Super Bowl Champions instead of teams with a collective losing record of .428 like we’ve beaten this year.

  • mgbode

    Colt in Shurmur’s system vs. Weeden in Shurmur’s system is a fair comparison. Please do not confuse a completely different system into trying to shoehorn your point.

    and I hate bashing Colt, but you do need to look at how much of Colt’s stats were lifted in games that were blowouts like the Titans game last season. 300+yds vs. prevent defense is not impressive.

    Also, this is the 2nd time you have claimed that PFR gives stats that others can not find. please tell me where it has such stats (completions and attempts based on distance) on it’s site because on Weeden’s page it does not separate anywhere that I see (main page, splits, gamelogs, etc.)

  • http://www.facebook.com/anne.dunn.144 Anne Dunn

    Go to the game logs for the QB and you’ll see the date for each game highlighted as a link. Click on that and you get to all the info about the game.

    At the bottom of that page, you’ll find the a passing targets diagram divided into long right, long middle, long left, short right, short middle, and short left zones on the field. The long passes are anything 16 yards and up.

    All the attempt in each zone are listed by target receiver, then the number caught and the yards. There are unseparated yards per catch here, too, but they make their distinction between passes that go more than or less than 15 yards in the air.

    A lot of the comparisons we hear use the 20 yard and above figure, so I pull those out.

    When a receiver catches more than one pass in a zone, the play by play for the game follows with the pass plays using descriptions like “short right” or “long middle” plus the distance and defender on pass plays, so it’s easy to check those.

  • mgbode

    ok, thanks. that is useful. wish they would do that on the player page for each season too.

    Weeden vs. Oakland
    Deep passes: 3/7 86yds 1TD 2INT
    Other passes: 22/29 278yds 0TD 0INT

    20% of his throws went deep. That is a good thing and forces the defense to cover that portion of the field. My perception was that the last few games we were not doing that, so let’s check.

    Deep passes for Weeden per game (INTs not directly listed and I’m not going to parse the play-log for them – both INTs vs. Oakland were on deep passes):
    Oak 3/7 86yds 1TD
    Pitt 1/4 17yds
    Dal 4/6 79yds 1TD
    Bal 3/10 68yds
    SD 1/3 22yds
    Indy 1/9 33yds 1TD
    Cinci 2/2 99yds 1TD
    NYG 2/4 82yds 2TDs
    Bal 3/11 87yds
    Buf 2/7 40yds 1TD
    Cinci 3/7 61yds 1 TD
    Philly 0/7 0yds

    8 of his 13TD passes have been on long passes. Interesting. Not necessarily good (YAC or red zone TD passes are good too) or bad (long passes work too).

    Also, my perception of us not going deep as often is off. looks like we have been but I perhaps got spoiled by the NYG/Cinci/Indy games where we were scoring TDs deep with regularity (and dropping others).