DL: Smith and Smith
Review quality: After being able to watch the game last week with laptop in hand, this synopsis will be much worse. For that, I blame the fine people at BW-3 for making great wings, and filling up my water and diet coke every 45 seconds.
“Praise should be given based on decisions, not on results”. My statistics Professor last year said this and provided the following example. He was in Vegas, playing blackjack, and had determined that he had a 54% chance of winning based on the cards being dealt. Thus, he increased his bet and lost. The cards were dealt again, and now his chances were 56%. Again, he doubled his previous bet, with an increase and lost. The cards were dealt a third time, now with a 58% chance of winning, doubled his previous bet and an increase and lost for a 3rd straight time. The morale of the story, despite him losing 3 consecutive times, he was ok with the result, because he made the right decision, despite the result being bad. On a side note, he’s banned from casinos in Nevada and New Jersey.
Crennel should be chided for his bad decision to go on 4th down, not once, but twice when down 11 with under 5 minutes to play from the Redskins 3 yard line. There is absolutely no reason not to take the field goal in either situation. To reiterate, the fact that the Browns missed on the first 4th down, and got the 2nd 4th down shouldn’t matter, his decision to go in either occasion was wrong.
I’m certain I’ll get a lot of “Anderson must be benched” comments, but I honestly didn’t think this was a terrible game on his part. Yes, he was an abhorrent 14/37, but if you count Edwards 5 drops, he’s just over 50%. Granted, the target number should be 60%, but Edwards has to catch the ball. Obviously, I’m not an Anderson supporter, (he telegraphs his passes and seems to make his decision before he looks at the coverage), but this wasn’t as terrible a game as the stats look. Also, if Edwards reads the blitz at the end of the game better and cuts his slant short, it probably goes for a TD.
Really not much new or interesting to say here. Lewis is good, he runs over people, and the combination of Wright, Harrison, Vickers do a great job both catching passes and blocking. Lewis is averaging 3.7 per carry on the season. However, the Browns have faced murder’s row of rushing defenses this year (Baltimore #1, Pittsburgh #2, Giants #5, Washington #7, and Dallas #13). I’ll be the 1st to admit, it’s a weird statistic (if you’re winning, teams are less likely to run against you), but it’s at least directionally correct.
Easily Braylon’s worst game. Five dropped balls and two bad routes on the last drive are the primary reason why the offense stalled. Again, Stallworth impressed me with his ability to block. Winslow looked off his game (reported with a Staph infection), but offensively, this loss falls on Braylon’s head.
Again, the unit looked good in run blocking, but Tucker was out (hopefully he’ll be back next week). The big problem here, which I’ve discussed earlier, is that Fraley gets manhandled in short yardage situations. On the 2 goal line runs by Lewis, he whiffed entirely once, and was pushed back 2 yards on the other play. That doesn’t help.
Leonard and Thomas are really bad. When they’re in the game together, it’s really, really bad. The secondary impact is Rodgers needing to play more, which reduces his effectiveness. Also, their bad play makes it almost impossible for the LBs to play well. I lost count of how many times the play side DE wasn’t in the picture when the tackle was being made. The last level impact on this is that the Browns need to blitz more often to generate pressure, thus forcing them to play man on the WRs. Definitely want to call out Rodgers play again. If you watch the fumble recovery again, Brodney Pool is going after the ball along with Rodgers. Meaning Rodgers was still chasing Portis down, 20 from the line of scrimmage.
Again, hard to judge when the DL are getting in your way. Wimbley is getting blocked pretty easily on pass rushes, and I’m finally subscribing to the fact that he needs an inside move.
Holy crap, Cousins is horrible. I’ll update with the actual numbers if Football Outsider’s posts them, but I think 3 of Moss’s 4 catches came against Cousins, for 2 first downs and a TD. Further, I know that at least 1 of Randle El’s came against Cousins. Meaning that 50% of the WR catches came against our nickel back. That’s bad. The bright side, is that McDonald and Wright have both shown that their above average CBs. McDonald is good in coverage, and is great tackler, and the same can be said about Wright. I also think his play forcing the fumble on Portis was incredible.
A quick look at players not under contract in 2009
McGinnest (will retire)
Andra Davis (will be let go – replaced by Beau Bell)
Peak (likely not playing due to injury)
Sean Jones (either him or Pool must be resigned, great if we can keep both)
Brodney Pool (either him or Jones must be resigned, great if we can keep both) – his contract is voidable in 2009
Also, Braylon (due 4.5 in ’09, FA in ’10) and Kellen (due $4.5 in ’09, and 4.75 in ’10) will be looking for new contracts.
My guess is we sign one of the safeties, Braylon, and hopefully don’t need to touch Winslow’s deal. With a #1, #2, and #4, the team likely addresses the new vacancy at S, OLB (in either order), and goes after either a RB or RT in round 4. Look for free agent signings at nickel, back-up safety and OLB. A lot of contracts come in ’10, and obviously the Brady/Anderson situation could net us an early #2 and #3. Figure one of those picks goes to get a QB, the other fills one of the aforementioned holes