August 1, 2014

On the Bright Side, The Browns Defense

The Browns definitely missed Joe Haden yesterday.  Dimitri Patterson gave Raiders receivers a bit too much room and they made some catches in front of him.  That being said, the horror story that could have been written about the day the Browns were without Joe Haden wasn’t written because Patterson proved to be an adequate backup.  You don’t expect a guy to come in and replace a first round talent like Joe Haden.  You assume there will be a dropoff.  The quality of the backup is measured by how much of a dropoff it appears to be.  In this case, Dimitri Patterson did a fine job, I thought.  That’s the way I felt about the whole defense yesterday.

They got gashed badly on the Raiders’ first drive.  McFadden set the tone on the first play as he went for 24 yards.  The Raiders moved methodically after that.  Well, it helps to be methodical when you burn two timeouts on your opening drive, I guess.  The Raiders finally capped the 88-yarder off with a McFadden running score and a seven point lead.  That was really the only meaningful drive the Browns defense gave up all day.  The Raiders scored on a kickoff return and a fake field goal following a fumble.  Other than the one long drive to open the game, the Browns gave up a Janikowski field goal, but there is no shame in that. [Read more...]

Week 6: The Browns Will Win If…

The Browns are back, after their bye week, and are sitting at .500. They’ve hopefully gotten the putrid taste of giving up big play after big play to the Titans out of their mouths, but face an equally tough challenge this Sunday as they head out to The Black Hole to face the resurgent Raiders. I remember a plucky young football team who was sitting on the precipice of something good when their owner named Al unexpectedly passed away. That team put a sweet patch on their uniforms, and made a surprise run to the playoffs. Hard to believe it was almost 10 years ago; these Raiders appear poised to do something similar.

brownsraiders

This is going to sound more callous than I intend, but the Browns draw a short straw this week in heading to Oakland for the first Raiders’ home game after Al Davis’s passing. I expect an emotional team and crowd, and it’s going to mean the Browns are going to have to be that much better to beat Oakland in their house this Sunday. Oakland sits at 3-2, and is getting it done with the running game. They are currently second in the NFL with 161.8 yards per game on the ground, whereas the Browns are 25th in the league at stopping the run (124.5 yards allowed per game). Their passing attack is a little less stellar, sitting at 22nd in the league with 219.8 yards per game; the Browns counter with a solid pass defense which is fourth in the league (195.5 yards allowed per game). Defensively, the Raiders struggle a bit more, allowing almost 425 yards a game: 124.5 on the ground (25th) and 299.6 through the air (29th). The Browns’ offense has to come to play on Sunday to exploit those numbers. Without further ado…

The Browns Will Win If…