April 20, 2014

Cleveland Browns Game 14: 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.

WinnersLosers_WFNY

LOSER: Fans. Let me be clear about this one: I’m not calling the fans losers. I’m saying that we lost. Again. The Browns finished the home slate with a 3-5 record this year. It could have been worse I suppose. The Browns could have won all four of their games on the road. The Browns made a big deal this year about improving the fan experience. In some ways they did, but at the end of the day I think fans will remember a dismal season more than wiener dog races and giant inflatable corn hole games.

WINNER: Tashaun Gipson. When Ray Horton called Gipson the defensive MVP a few weeks back, I admit that I laughed it off. I’m not laughing anymore.

Gipson had a pair of interceptions including a 44-yard return for a touchdown. He also had a pair of tackles for loss and several good plays in the passing game. His ability has given the Browns the freedom to use T.J. Ward as a Troy Polamalu-type player, blitzing and playing the run almost as an extra linebacker.

LOSER: Davone Bess and Greg Little. Both had big drops that could have extended drives. In Bess’ case, it probably meant the difference between a field goal and a possible touchdown.

To say that Bess has had a disappointing season is a huge understatement. I kind of wonder what the future holds for Davone with the Browns.

WINNER: Edwin Baker. Off the Texans practice squad and made an immediate impact with the Browns, carrying eight times for 38 yards and a touchdown. He added 46 yards receiving. The only problem may have been that the Browns wouldn’t give him the ball more.

LOSER: Rush defense. The Browns looked really good against the rush for about three quarters. Then the Bears found out they could get to the edge with Forte and it was over. Forte became the first running back to go over 100 yards against the Browns this season.

Now it’s your turn. Who were your winners and losers

  • MrCleaveland

    LOSER: 4th quarter defense, again. Horton, put that coffee down. Coffee is for closers only.

    LOSER: Giant cornhole game. That may have been the worst halftime show EVAH.

    LOSER: The milieu. Man, there were A LOT of Bears fans there.

    WINNER: Grabber TOE WARMERS(R). Outstanding invention.

  • Ezzie Goldish

    WINNER: 2014 Browns and Browns fans. I hate losing, and I hate the “let’s tank!” approach. But it has been nice to see that there’s a lot to build around from the 2013 Browns, from the coaching to the defense to some key offensive players (OK, Josh Gordon) to believe that with those (suddenly higher) 2014 draft picks we’ll have a good team next year.

    There was only one game this year where the Browns were truly not competitive, and that was up in Green Bay with Rodgers. In every other game this year the Browns have not just been competitive, but in more than half of them they led in the second half. As the offense gets better and eliminates free points and field position the defense will have more to work with and less exhaustion late and not show as much early.

    Outside of that, couldn’t think of many winners/losers from yesterday.

  • Lucas Vaas

    I must say that last year the games weren’t watchable… we have an entertaining product this year. we put up 31 points. how many times did that happen last year? looking forward to manziel and another 1st round stud next year.

  • maxfnmloans

    LOSER: All of us. Woo hoo we have more holes than draft picks. Add in attrition from free agent losses/injuries/retirements and it only gets worse. We have no RBs, no WRs other than Gordon, our LBs cant cover opposing RBs on pass patterns, Mitch Schwartz is routinely overmatched at RT, Alex Mack and TJ Ward are quite likely goners. And this doesn’t even bring up the fact that our best hope for QB is a guy who couldn’t complete a very rudimentary slide that 9 year olds learn in little league…but this time…THIS TIME it’s going to be different. These are the guys who will hit on every draft pick.

    F**k it Dude, let’s go bowling

  • bossman09

    If Gipson was so good, why is he never actually breaking up a reception. His INTs were both on deflections where he wasn’t on top of the receiver – in fact, if he was making a play of the ball, he wouldn’t have had the INTs. If Gipson was so good in pass defense, why did we get scorched for 3 TDs in the 4th QTR and why do we give up big drive EVERY 4th QTR when the opposition decides to pass the ball. It’s clear our big defensive hold is the secondary, but somehow our defensive MVP is a free safety? “it don’t make no sense”. (BTW, if Gipson was the one making the deflections that would be totally different) And I’m happy that he has so many tackles. If the other team wasn’t catching so many deep balls, then maybe he wouldn’t need to make so many. A good statistical study would be the # of tackles by a free safety and the quality of the defense.

  • bossman09

    If Gipson was so good, why is he never actually breaking up a reception. His INTs were both on deflections where he wasn’t on top of the receiver – in fact, if he was making a play of the ball, he wouldn’t have had the INTs. If Gipson was so good in pass defense, why did we get scorched for 3 TDs in the 4th QTR and why do we give up big drive EVERY 4th QTR when the opposition decides to pass the ball. It’s clear our big defensive hold is the secondary, but somehow our defensive MVP is a free safety? “it don’t make no sense”. (BTW, if Gipson was the one making the deflections that would be totally different) And I’m happy that he has so many tackles. If the other team wasn’t catching so many deep balls, then maybe he wouldn’t need to make so many. A good statistical study would be the # of tackles by a free safety and the quality of the defense.

  • bossman09

    List the games that the browns have not had a lead in. It’s depressing.

  • bossman09

    List the games that the browns have not had a lead in. It’s depressing.

  • Bob

    Winner: Vikings….another QB needy team fell behind us in the draft order now. Remaining games (for QB needy teams around us, ignoring 2-12 Texans) are

    Good Guys: at Jets, at Shittsburgh
    Jags: TN, at Indy
    Vikings: at Cincitucky, at Detroit
    Oakland: at SD, Denver

    Not intending to/don’t want to rehash the tank vs. play out to win debate, but we’d all agree that having options is useful.

    Loser: Me, having to hear ‘let’s go bears’ over the announcers’ broadcast. Really don’t want to hear that week 17.

  • bossman09

    This team is one starting QB away from 7-9 without any other roster changes. Hoyer and “good Campbell” have shown that. Get a nickel back and a pass defending free safety along with a decent RB and we are 9-7. It’s not really as bad as it looks. We can probably be 8-8 with Hoyer and a project QB alone. Use the other picks for depth. Too bad there isn’t an Andrew Luck out there because you could trade the kitchen sink and be set for years. This year is especially painful because we have actually had good games against good teams. We beat the Ravens and they are 8-6. We beat the Patriots and they are good too. We also be Cincy and they are 9-5. Unlike previous seasons, we are not choking out 4 pathetic wins against bottom dwellers – we are beating decent teams and hanging with everyone. (P.S. – We have a great corner, a great LT, an up and coming TE, a great D-Line, and 2-3 good LBs – this team isn’t without Talent)

  • mgbode

    Winner: all fans who were at the game. here is a hearty hat-tip in your general direction for showing up, cheering, and sitting through those weather conditions for a 4 win team.

  • bossman09

    The good news is that Oakland is most likely to lose out the season and also the most likely to make a stupid trade. We could probably get their 3rd pick for a bag of peanuts.

  • Ezzie Goldish

    Denver, Indianapolis, and perhaps Detroit will be resting Week 17.

  • Bob

    Al Davis’ crazy influence on Oakland’s front office reaches from regions beyond?

  • Adam Copeland

    LOSERS: Norv Turner and Ray Horton. Norv’s inability/unwillingness to dial up run plays against the NFL’s worst rushing defense when the game was still in reach was inexplicable. Horton’s schemes don’t deliver the results that he’s promised, especially when it counts in the 4th quarter.

  • Ezzie Goldish

    After one: Browns led 6, trailed 5, tied in three.

    At the half: Led 8, trailed 5, been tied once.

    At the end of 3: Led 6, trailed 6, tied in two.

    At the end of the game: 4-10.

  • mgbode

    had to put the fans on their own post. okay, with the rest:

    winner: Edwin Baker* – okay, so, he gets passed up for opportunities when the Texans need RBs. he gets passed up for chances when other teams come grabbing off practice squads (including the Browns taking Fozzy off the Texans). And yet, he waits and works and waits. When he gets his chance, he did the most with it.

    *disclaimer – the Bears have one of the worst run defenses in the league and it was very likely lightning in the bottle for Baker. but, kudos to him for making the most of the precious opportunity that he got and hope for him that he can provide some nice plays these last 2 weeks for us to watch.

    winner: 1st half defense not on 3rd downs. This is a season award as well. Our defense is amazing. In the 1st half. As long as it’s not 3rd down (or in the red zone really).

    winner: OL pass blocking. Another season award. Hey, Julius. How does it feel to be owned by JoeT? Just another notch on his belt.

    loser: 3rd down defense. Really? I mean, we have been bad all year, but really? 9/14 and included a ton of their BIG plays.

    loser: shoulders and chins all drooped. game is tied into the 4th quarter and yet our team had shoulders and chins down after every bad play? we just didn’t play with the same enthusiasm as the Bears.

    loser: WRs Trex arms. Seemed like they didn’t trust Campbell as they were constantly pulling up short on routes. Jason wasn’t helping himself either as he was inaccurate yesterday, but the WRs didn’t seem to want to bail him out either.

    I could go on, but it’s a bit depressing. Apparently, we want that 2nd overall pick and now have a decent shot at it. Ugh.

  • BuckeyeDawg

    Winner: Opposing teams on 3rd down. My God we are so bad at 3rd down defense. It’s infuriating and demoralizing to watch.

    Winner: Low expectations. Which leads to….

    Loser: Me, for believing that this year would be different. Are the Browns a better team in 2013 than 2012? My eyes say yes. Some individual performances say there is more talent. The record doesn’t show it, though…and as it was famously said, “you are what your record says you are”.

    I guess I will be interested about this offseason and the potential for improvement, but if I learned anything from this season, it’s to not buy the hype. I really thought this team was a .500 team and a dark horse for a wild card spot. In reality, they are a 4-5 win team until they prove it on the field. I’m not going to let myself get sucked in again next summer. My prediction for 2014? 5-11. Prove me wrong. I guess I’ve finally been beaten down by years of sucking. This season really hurt my propensity to be optimistic. The division is as weak as it’s been in years, the schedule wasn’t that difficult, and we still only win 4-5 games. It was all set up for us to turn the comer this year, and here we are again.

  • boomhauertjs

    Winner: Me, for not watching the first half, only turning the game on during my son’s nap, which quickly became my nap too. Waking up and seeing the Browns down 2 scores and turning off the TV.

  • @TheDeePagel

    I agree on Gipson overall….but he did blow the easiest pick of the day on the Jeffrey TD.

  • maxfnmloans

    If my Aunt had a pair, she’d be my Uncle.

    I never said the team was bereft of talent. All I’m saying is I’m not drinking the Kool-Aid, especially after coughing up another lead in the 4th quarter. This team has a long way to go, and there is going to be attrition on the roster we have not even considered yet. The FO has its work cut out for them in the off-season just to tread water, let alone get better.

    You are right though, had the front office actually tried their best going into this season, who knows where we might be, especially given how weak the AFC is this year. They didn’t and we are 4-10, but we’re supposed to believe that this coming off-season they’ll get it all right. Is that because they’re actually going to try?

  • Natedawg86

    THEY ARE WHO WE THOUGHT THEY WERE

  • Natedawg86

    Don’t count out Houston
    Washington is really a WC because St Louis will own their pick, altough they (StL) need to start making the picks, not trading them.

  • Natedawg86

    Denver will still put up a tough game. Since they will be resting week 18, they may be playing a little more in 17.

  • nobody

    Wasn’t he and Haden out half the fourth quarter due to injury? That could’ve been a big reason they scored at will late.

  • Harv 21

    ugh, love Weiners and Loosers but this is more out of a sense of obligation than need to vent. So, apathetically …

    Winners
    - TJ Ward. I’ve been more critical of him than anyone, especially his inability in deeper pass coverage to read a QB and deliver a hit as the ball arrives. But some compensatory skills have evolved – he’s reading things and getting there in a hurry. Not an all-pro but now a very solid starter. Unless the FO thinks his good health is a fluke, they let him walk this off-season at their peril.

    - Jason Campbell: a very solid back-up QB. Don’t expect more and you’ll be happy with him. He makes some throws, misses some, and doesn’t immaturely call out Bess for drops, Little for drops and bad routes or the defense for blowing every 4th quarter lead.

    - Chud: a young rookie HC getting extracting a performance commensurate with the roster talent. He hasn’t choked, looks in charge, keeps them playing reasonably hard after most of this season’s gut punches. Reasonable to assume he’ll be better next year.

    LOSERS

    - Greg Little. The fine performance in the Ravens game makes me hate him all the more now. I can’t take it. Carlton Mitchell could do this without the bad draft memories.

    - Davone Bess: some upgrade over Jordan Norwood. If Weeden’s pal Cooper is still on the roster, why not take another looksie? Because some guys just lose their edge after they get a bit o’decent money. See Gee, Alonzo.

    - “Defensive mastermind” Ray Horton: some upgrade over Dick Jauron. You get your d-line upgrades but your defense also goes all upside down turtle when Joe Haden leaves the field.

    BONUS: COMEDY GOLD:

    - the size differential when Skrine had to move over and cover Marshall. If Marshall had patted Buster’s helmet as he ran downfield it would have looked exactly like a multigenerational touch football game at a family picnic.

  • chy924

    Calling Gipson a winner is pretty crazy to me. He made some decent plays, got credit for two picks that his teammates created, and then made one of the most egregious misplays on a poorly thrown ball I have ever seen, effectively turning a near-sure pick and a definite knock-down into a touch down pass by somehow having absolutely not idea where the ball was despite having all the time in the world to track it. He wasn’t a complete disaster, but the stat sheet heavily over-rewards what was a very up-and-down performance.

  • ChadF

    I didn’t get to watch the game live, but I watched it today. Three heartbreakers in a row. You can blame the defense all you want, and it hurt when Haden came out of the game, but there are instances and situations in each one of these games that should not have happened. This is a team on the cusp of being a playoff contender. I can see the pieces that need to be put in place, but if those pieces are ignored this is going to be the same old team finding ways to lose each game.

    JAX – Blame WeDones end of the first half breakdown for that game. The D never should have been put in that position at the end of that game.

    NE – Blame not recovering the onside kick. Yeah, the penalties on Poyer and McFadden were wrong, but calls went both ways all day. We recover that kick we win the game.

    CHI – I’d have to put this one on the receivers including Josh. LIttle actually had some nice plays, but he’s no better than third or fourth receiver. We need at least two guys ahead of him on the depth chart, besides Gordon. Bess is such a disappointment. I’ve never seen a guy given so many chances. He just cemented himself as the worst receiver, statistically in the league, after that one (before yesterday’s game – siders.com/stats/wr). Josh also had some “oopsy” drops and misses, but that’s not to say that Campbell also made some pretty terrible throws.

    Those are 3 games that this team had no business losing with the talent that is on that field. I blame the MIA, BAL1, DET and JAX games on WeDone. The GB, KC, CIN2 and PIT games are the only legitimate games that we got beat, and the KC game could have had a different outcome if it wasn’t for Bess.

    LOSER – The Fans – The real reason we’re the losers is because we had to watch this team trot out WeDone at QB for half the season. I really don’t think there is a worse QB in the league this year when it comes to affecting the team and how the players play. Everyone sees how different the line plays when Campbell and Hoyer were behind center. I hope that Banner, Lombardi and Chud are happy with the draft position we’ll have by letting WeDone become the Goat, not G.O.A.T.

    LOSER – The D – This D is a top Defense in the league. Yes, they have a lot of holes and they need to upgrade, but a lot of lapses this year happened with them being on the field way too much and the turnovers created by the Offense… errr… WeDone. I’m happy that Ward did bring up that the Offense sucks, but it’s obvious that the Browns management and coaching do not want them to air their dirty laundry in the media. This team has done a great job of sticking together and keeping things int he locker room, but what Ward said needed to be said, for the fact that we, the fans, needed to know that they DO Care.

    This team needs to bring back Ward, because he should be in the Pro Bowl this year. He is one of the best SS’s in the league without a doubt. I just fear that if he leaves that this D will take a huge step back. This secondary does need a total reshaping. Skrine is not your CB2. He never will be. There are a lot of Secondary FA’s this year, and although I love the potential for what this team can do in the draft, you need to have some veterans with experience sprinkled in there so that McFadden and Poyer aren’t guys you have to count on not to eff up.

    Sorry for the rant…

  • BenRM

    Josh was hardly targeted this game and he was getting open. That’s not his fault.

  • WFNY_DP

    “This D is a top Defense in the league. Yes, they have a lot of holes and they need to upgrade…”

    These kind of cancel each other out, no?

  • ChadF

    I don’t think so. When I say top Defense I’m saying top 10. Besides Seattle, I’m not sure there is a defense in the league that wouldn’t welcome improvements.

    The front seven is solid, my issue is with the secondary. They need a solid free safety, a CB2 and another corner with experience so that they can prevent what has happened the last 3 games.

    Also, probably a corner to replace Robertson. So I guess three holes that I can see to make this D a lot better… and a new QB1…

  • ChadF

    10 targets and 3 receptions, one of which was the TD. Campbell had some bad throws, but there were a couple that Josh could have made that would have turned into big gains.

  • Wow

    Winner: Me. I stopped watching in the 3rd quarter.

    Losers: Fans, we deserve better.

  • Big Z

    Loser – Davone Bess, the new Owen Marecic. Hey Chud, see if he can drop those passes from the bench!

  • Bob

    true, but StL has their QB, which is why I left them out

  • Natedawg86

    yeah really makes them a wild card team to trade. Who knows.

  • mgbode

    they may decide to stick with Bradford moving forward, but he is merely an Alex Smith (a guy who will not lose games for you, but he’s not winning games for you either).

  • Bob

    word is though that StL O-line hasn’t been very good recently and Bradford’s play when he’s protected is respectable (although I haven’t really been paying attention last few years to StL, so can’t say directly.) Figures to give him some reasonable protection first than cut Bradford loose if he still doesn’t get the job done.

  • Bob

    doubt it, don’t want a peyton, et. al. ACL tear in a meaningless game, even with the long rest

  • mgbode

    17th in pass blocking according to footballoutsiders
    5th in run blocking.
    not a bad OL.

    http://www.footballoutsiders.com/stats/ol

  • Ezzie Goldish

    Ouch. I checked Advanced NFL Stats… in all but four games, the Browns had a 50% or better chance of winning at some point in the 4th quarter. Against MIA it was late in the third Q; against PIT/CIN the second; and against GB they never had better than 50%.