Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Going into the bye stinking. . .

I was all set to write a post complaining about our playcalling, and particularly an over-reliance on running, and particularly running up the middle. Then I decided to do a little analysis, and the preliminary results surprised me: we were actually relatively effective running up the middle.

Since those results are not what I expected, I need to go back and look closer at my numbers, but expect some hard-core number crunching later this week.
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In short: Carolina gave us the chance to win the game, and we just couldn't take advantage.
My first instict is to praise the defense in keeping it close enough to possibly win, and blame the offense for not pulling it off. But it wasn't really our defense that kept it close, it was some really bad play by Carolina, and particularly drops by Steve Smith. Don't get me wrong, the defense did some good things in their own right, but it wouldn't have been enough if not for Carolina helping us out.

The offense, on the other hand, didn't have any help from the Carolina defense. Peppers had a great game, but we had some terrible play calling and some poor execution. Maybe someone greased up the balls before the game, because our guys were dropping them left and right, too. I got REALLY sick of seeing that Northcutt-bobble-turns-interception-turns touchdown getting replayed. The announcers kept going on about how great of a job Marshall did of being in the right place. Huh? The guy's coverage was off, and he just got lucky that Northcutt couldn't catch it, and that it fell into his hands. Why don't the Browns ever get gift plays like that?
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That roughing the passer call on Wimbley was a sad reflection on how bad NFL refs are. It doesn't make up for it that they called a borderline roughing penalty on Carolina later on to make up for it. The fact is that the refs make too many bad calls, or even worse, no calls.
And that punt-returner's fumble that we recovered, only to be overturn? Sure, his knee might've been down at the second he was touched, but I sure didn't see enough "indisputable evidence" to overturn it. I can guarantee you that if the Browns had had a fumble like that, the refs would let the fumble stand.

I was disappointed that we couldn't generate any sort of pass rush. I guess that was to protect out hurting secondary, but if we could've gotten some more pressure we could've stifled Carolina's already-meager passing game.

Holly was playing too soft to make any judgements about his coverage, but I gotta give him applause for his tackling. He made a couple great wrap-up tackles of Steve Smith. Smith could've easily taken a couple balls for a LONG ways, but Holly managed to keep the damage to a minimum. He's starting to remind me of a young Daylon McCutcheon.

Brodney Pool on Keyshawn Johnson? So, does this say good things about Pool, or bad things about Ralph Brown? A little bit of both, I think. He did OK, considering.

Run defense still has issues, but that dead horse has already been beaten.

Josh Cribbs continues to impress. I'm glad to hear that he's still trying to improve himself. The first quotes I heard from him after Oakland and Carolina was that he's disappointed in himself that he didn't get the TDs. Thats the attitude thats going to keep him improving himself.

Ryan Tucker got schooled by Julius Peppers. Why didn't we have a tight end or full-back there to lend a hand? Cause having that 4th receiver on the field sure opened things up. Note to Carthon: A QB on his back can't make a pass, no matter how open he is.

I'm starting to get downright sick of Crennel using his line that "Its a bad play because it didn't work". Now, I'm cool if Crennel doesn't want to publicly call out his coordinator for a bad play call, or his players for bad execution, but just decline to comment. The trite responses repeated ad nauseum make him sound dumb, and we know that isn't the case.

That being said, I'm glad that Romeo has left "coaching adjustments" during the bye week on the table. 1-4 is unacceptable. We've got too many talented guys to be pulling off stuff like this.

1 comment:

Metamorphosis of Life said...

I'm a believer in that they should include a sub-stat to interceptions and call it "yeah the ball was intercepted but that was due to the incompetence of my receivers." Seriously, how many times throughout a season do you see a perfectly thrown ball that should have been caught deflected up and into the hands of the other team. That first interception was right on the money and was not Frye's fault at all.

Here's to not being the Raiders, Lions, or Dolphins.