The Cleveland Browns need to be prepared to let their best offensive player win the game for them, Nick Chubb.
Is it too much to ask that if the Cleveland Browns running backs average over eight yards per carry against the Steelers, then the running backs should get just over 21 carries versus 43 drops for the quarterback, as was this the case last week against the Packers?
We can discuss who is to blame, but Green Bay’s play is a singularity in terms of the failure to make an adjustment in play. It couldn’t be clearer that the ground play was a huge success and that the passing game was a major disaster.
Look, maybe the team got intimidated playing the Super Packers on the frozen tundra and stuff, and felt they had to score 50 points to win. Maybe their game plan required them to throw the ball all over the pitch and throw Desperation Bombs in double cover.
But shouldn’t the Browns have known that Nick Chubb was their best player, and that he was incredibly successful on the pitch? In particular, Joel Bitonio, playing out of position on the left tackle, looked like his buddy Joe Thomas and was dominant in blocking the race.
He played like a grader and the Packers played like dirt. Nick Chubb was blowing the Packers up and there was nothing they could do about it.
Cleveland was even more successful when they gave the ball to D’Ernest Johnson. Johnson only had four carries but was good for 58 yards, averaging 14.50 yards per carry. What’s so bad about it? Well, go get a bench, D’Ernest.
The Browns were unresponsive to their success on the pitch, allowing Chubb just 17 carries in a must-see game and four at DEJ. They were roughly okay with five sacks and four INTs and a few other balls that were way off the mark.
It was crazy. We can discuss who was to blame – your choice between coach Kevin Stefanski, offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt and quarterback Baker Mayfield – but the passing game wasn’t working and it couldn’t have been any clearer. that the racing game was in high gear. . The Browns obviously couldn’t see that.
Will the same happen against Pittsburgh in another game up for grabs with the playoffs still a possibility? Sure, plan to throw it, throw it in a double blanket, or whatever the brain trust thinks makes sense compared to a still tough Steeler defense. But if Chubb and Johnson prove to be able to run on them, can we please make an adjustment and give them the ball a little more often?
By the way, about this passing game, perhaps an analogy between Baker Mayfield and Peyton Manning is in order. Remember the 2015 season, when Manning was battling nerve damage that left his fingers numb and pitched nine TDs and 17 INTs during the season.
Manning kept trying to make the shots he used to do because he wouldn’t admit his injury was limiting him. In fact, he just couldn’t do it. He was therefore put on the bench in favor of Brock Osweiler. Eventually, however, he got his old job back, but resolved to be a dink and dunk specialist, mastered interceptions, and did just enough for his team to win the Super Bowl.
Speaking of adjustments, the Browns are incredibly slow to realize they don’t have a two-headed monster to run with Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt. They have a three-headed monster with Ernest Johnson’s ugly duckling forcing his way into the mix, especially with questionable Hunt against Pittsburgh. The Browns have had this guy for three years and his career yards per carry are consistently higher than Jim Brown’s.
This season, he has only 70 races for 398 yards, 5.69 yards per stroke, 5.47 yards per stroke for his career against 5.22 for Jim Brown. Now, obviously, no one is as good as James Nathaniel Brown, but the fact that anyone can publish comparable stats even in a small sample of data should at least get the coach’s attention.
When you talk about alchemy, this guy has alchemy with the offensive line. Has there ever been a full-back who uses his blockers as smart as DEJ? He looks creepy Leroy kelly the low. Anyone can see it except the coaches. Why not feed this hungry ball player until he comes back to earth?
Against the Steelers, if the Browns leave, they’ll have Joel Bitonio and Michael Dunn (or Jed Wills if he can come back) against Alex Highsmith and his old friend Joe Schobert. On the right, they have Blake Hance and Pancake Teller versus TJ Watt and Robert Spillane.
On the other hand, Cameron Sutton and Joe Haden may not be quick enough to cover Donovan Peoples-Jones and Anthony Schwartz in man-to-man, although they may measure up better against possession receivers like Jarvis Landry and Rashard. Higgins.
All in all, it’s cool if Sunday’s game plan calls for long double-cover bombs again or whatever they see fit. But if that doesn’t work and the running backs average eight yards per run, they might notice and consider an in-game adjustment of their awesome game plan and resort to running a little more often this way. time.
Follow Peyton Manning’s lead and don’t be so stubborn.