Browns get 8 turnovers, beat 3rd-string quarterback by 6

by Cleveland Frowns on November 26, 2012

“This was just a hurting team against a healthy team.”LaMarr Woodley

“I told our rookies, ‘You’re now 1-0 vs. the Steelers.’”Pat Shurmur

“I’m surprised it was that close given the turnover situation.”Mike Tomlin

“It’s killing me to watch.”Ben Roethlisberger

—————

If yesterday’s 20-14 win over the Steelers proved anything, it’s that win or lose, it’s impossible to watch the 2012 Cleveland Browns play 60 minutes of football without feeling at least 20 I.Q. points dumber for the effort. But still, we can enjoy the the strange opiatic hint to this week’s dull hum because, look at the comments at the Post-Gazette sports page, and hey, lady, why don’t you have a seat?

Pat McManamon of Fox Sports Ohio says the Steelers “played lazy” and failed to “treat[] the Browns as if they were a real NFL team,” which might count as exceedingly reckless behavior on the part of a team starting Charlie Batch at quarterback, let alone Charlie Batch without his number one receiver playing behind an offensive line that was missing three (technically four) starters by the end of the game. Though, in fairness to Pittsburgh, the Browns were the team coached by Pat Shurmur and quarterbacked by Brandon Weeden, and the Steelers probably weren’t counting on coughing the ball up eight times (seven, really).

But credit where it’s due:

  • The Browns’ front seven: Not afraid of Charlie Batch, backup offensive linemen, or falling on loose footballs;
  • The Trent Richardson draw for the Browns second touchdown was a good call and great execution.

As for whether the Browns would have been able to score on a drive that started inside their own 40-yard line, we’re only left to guess (No). But as funny as it was to see Pittsburgh give the ball to their running backs on their first seven plays like a 7-3 lead was going to be plenty, the stat of the day for conspiracy theorists and Brandon Weeden fans is as follows:

Despite throwing a touchdown and only one interception to Batch’s zero TDs and three picks, Weeden finished with a 13.1 Total QBR (the stat that accounts for things like missed throws to wide open receivers and balls that are thrown off of the opposing team’s hands) to Batch’s 20.8, which counts as the lowest rating by any NFL quarterback in a win this season, and strongly suggests that the Browns would have won by even more than six if Batch had been taking the snaps for them.

After eleven games, Weeden’s QBR on the season is 21.8, which is miles worse than every other starting rookie quarterback and more than sixteen points worse than the 30th ranked QB, Kevin Kolb, which is really something considering that 16 QBR points is also the difference that separates Kolb from Joe Flacco.

On the other side of the ball, we could feel even better about the performance of the defense if it came against a team that could claim even a mediocre ability to move the ball through the air, since pretty much every team like that has had its way with the unit this year when it mattered. But, as much as a bad day in Oakland next Sunday could change this, it’s hard not to think that they’re not a player or two away from being something potentially consistently above-average. So we’ll stay tuned for that, as well as for the chance we get to see what Chips McCoy can do with this offense.

Anyway, banged-up or not, the Pittsburgh Steelers needed a win in Cleveland yesterday and they didn’t get it. Get these Browns a legitimate coach and a quarterback, and not only might we not need lobotomies after wins, but we might also be able to cling to a spark of hope that seven Steelers turnovers could be anything other than the Curse of Wahoo messing with our draft positioning again and/or the bare minimum level of cosmically mandated retribution for people who wave yellow towels at Browns Stadium.

Things very well might be looking at least a little bit up. For now.

—————

And the win over the Steelers wasn’t even the best Browns news of the day, because not only was yesterday Mike Holmgren’s last as a Cleveland Brown, but it looks like Holmgren’s “abrupt and sooner-than-expected departure” was for an especially good reason. Per McManamon:

“Prior to last Sunday’s game and after the rumors had broke, Holmgren and [Dallas Cowboys owner] Jones shared very warm greetings.

“Those greetings and that scene did not impress new owner Jimmy Haslam, and may have led to Holmgren’s abrupt and sooner-than-expected departure, according to those close to the team.”

Chalk up a big one for Flying J.

  • Peter

    We may not know if Haslem will be a good owner, but he at least knows when someone is stealing in fromt of him. I’m not giving up on Wheeden. If he had an experience reciever to throw to,Reggie Wayne or Vincent Jackson, what would his and the Browns season look like?

    • http://www.clevelandfrowns.com/ Cleveland Frowns

      Passes sailing high and wide to experienced receivers looks about the same as passes sailing high and wide to inexperienced receivers to me.

      • Beeej

        Did you see Eli throw high to a wide-open fullback in the end zone last night? Using QBR as proof of whether or not a QB is good makes you sound like a Creationists using the bible to disprove evolution.

      • Bernietocatcherguy

        Agreed.

        Here’s how the Pilot of the Flying J fired Holgrem.

        Q: How many quarterback gurus does it take for a quarterback to throw high and wide passes?

        A: One less then their used to be.

      • Cranky M

        What do you think they should do at QB, Frownie? You obviously don’t think Weeden is the answer. McCoy is terrible. I’m not overly impressed with any QB’s entering the draft, and would rather not spend a pick on a QB, anyways. Do you think they should give Weeden another season with a competent coach to see if he imprives?

        • http://www.clevelandfrowns.com/ Cleveland Frowns

          “What do you think they should do at QB, Frownie?”

          Get a good one. Preferably an Andrew Luck/RG3-type.

          • Henry Brown

            Yeah, its just that simple. Sometimes you just have to build the team in other ways to compensate for a rookie or not that great QB. Having a monster D is a good start.

          • http://www.clevelandfrowns.com/ Cleveland Frowns

            Did you forget that it actually would have been really simple for the Browns to get RG3, if only Holmgren and Heckert could have followed basic instructions? http://www.clevelandfrowns.com/2012/03/rams-gm-browns-offer-for-rg3-not-every-bit-the-offer-that-was-chosen-browns-front-office-not-good-at-following-instructions/

          • Cranky M

            The problem is, there aren’t any elite QB’s coming out in the next draft. And there are zero quality free agent QB’s. So i fail to see who people want to replace Weeden with next season.

            I’m actually still glad that they didn’t make the RG3 deal.

    • nj0

      Reggie Wayne running wide open and giving confused shoulder shrugs at Weeden for throwing it late to the check down running a three yard drag?

    • BIKI024

      i like our receiving corps, they should be even better with another offseason together to get their timing and chemistry down. hopefully with more reps with each other, Weeds will reduce the amount of misses, which is reasonable to expect as more often than not, rookies tend to progress in their 2nd year in a system. i hope the new regime feels the same way and doesn’t waste our 1st round pick on another project.

      • Cranky M

        The receivers (Gordon and Little, especially) have been far and away the biggest surprise to me this season. Never in a million years would i have expected either of them to be playing so well this season.

      • NeedsFoodBadly

        I’m in agreement with you on this. Weeden’s accuracy isn’t what I would like, but he’s a rook and the receivers ARE actually getting better. I don’t see a Luck/RGIII in this year’s draft, and going for a QB in the first round WOULD be a waste.

  • http://twitter.com/cpmack Chris M

    Thank you, QBR. It’s now glaringly obvious to me that the Browns should trade Weeden for Charlie Batch, immediately.

    • bupalos

      I’m not going to put any stock in QBR until someone can concretely explain what the hell it is. But anything that factors in the QB not seeing wide open guys wouldn’t be all bad. All-22 has been pretty instructive in this regard on Weeden. Those big wide eyes just ain’t seeing it…at least not yet.

      Looks like he’s going to play next week, so I’ll be interested to see how he looks against pretty much the worst pass defense in the NFL. Keep hope alive!

      • Believelander

        Clutch index – multiplier of the rating a QB gets on every play of 0.3 to 3.0 based on the down and distance (some merit), game clock and quarter (…huh?) and score (just no).

        An enormous sample size of Total QBR might be effective at analyzing how averageily important a quarterback’s plays were to their team winning games, sort of. Unfortunately it has essentially nothing to do with how good the QB actually is.

      • http://twitter.com/cpmack Chris M

        Sorry if I didn’t make my sarcasm clear. I think the stat is a pile obfuscated shit, to be honest.

        • http://www.clevelandfrowns.com/ Cleveland Frowns

          It’s a conspiracy to trick people.

  • Wiseoldredbeard

    Things to consider: 1) while it is upsetting that we did not score more points, creating 8 turnovers against a team that rarely makes mistakes in bulk is impressive; 2) since the return of Taylor, our run-D has been outstanding; 3) as of yet, I have not seen a single sign that Haslam does not get it, and although we’ll have to wait until we actually have a winner to be happy, for the first time in a long time I feel like we’re on our way. Imagine what one CB and a stud pass rusher could do for the defense.

    • Steve

      How many of those guys who turned the ball over for the Steelers are a normal part of that “team that rarely makes mistakes”?

      • Cranky M

        Um, every single one of the running backs. So, everybody besides Batch.

  • GrandRapidsRustlers

    So in a weekend Jimmy got rid of Holmgren and probably fired everyone involved in the white flag nonsense.

    Since he is busy I will accept the Cleveland sports owner of the decade award on his behalf.

    • http://www.clevelandfrowns.com/ Cleveland Frowns

      Seriously.

  • Art_Brosef

    That is a brilliantly worded headline.

  • Bryan

    Question for those who criticize Weeden so much: Why don’t you criticize TRich? That dude was the third pick in the draft, is 37th in YPC (which, as all Jim Brown fans know, is the true measure of a RB), is averaging less YPC than his backup, and continues to miss huge holes because he dances too much. Yes, he occasionally makes a big play, but he leaves MANY long runs on the table with his dancing.

    I for one like both T-Rich and Weeden. Both are rookies and have shown serious flashes. Their struggles, to me, seem expected, and their demonstrated upside is large. What I don’t understand is why so many fans are super critical of a late 1st round pick playing the hardest position in sports, yet anoint the 3rd overall pick as a “Star” in the making even though his overall performance has been basically mediocre.

    And to be clear: The point is not that T-Rich is bad. Its that evaluating a rookie with a single overall statistic makes no sense. Especially a QB. Weeden may turn out to be terrible, and he certainly has played better games this year than he did yesterday, but I don’t understand the idea that he is the worst QB in the league or hopeless. And if you subscribe to such thinking, how do you justify the optimism for T-Rich?

    • BIKI024

      exactamundo!

    • nj0

      T-Rich is 21.

      But I get your point.

      • http://www.clevelandfrowns.com/ Cleveland Frowns

        You might also add that there’s at least an argument that T-Rich is performing at replacement level (i.e., at least we’re getting from him what we might be getting from a league-average running back). The same can’t remotely be said of Weeden. This shouldn’t be hard to grasp.

        • Believelander

          Thank you for deleting my valid points, I appreciate continued censorship of any logical criticism of your opinion.

        • Beeej

          “That dude was the third pick in the draft, is 37th in YPC (which, as all
          Jim Brown fans know, is the true measure of a RB), is averaging less
          YPC than his backup, and continues to miss huge holes because he dances
          too much.”

          • nj0

            Can I see this list? I looked for one that had him at 37th, but could not find it.

            Considering that he’s probably behind guys like Cam, RG3, and Vick too, that puts TR at the 34 or so. I’m sure he’s also behind some guys who are part of a two or three headed attack.

            Point being, only 32 guys start at RB in the NFL. If you post numbers that put you in the range of those starting players then you are not replacement level (at least as it is used in baseball statistical parlance).

            This is not to defend TR.

            I just hate people thinking replacement level (again, as it is used in the sabermetric community) means “guy who would be starting and contributing”. It really means, “crappy player who you boo”. Example, Johnny Damon posted a 0.1 WAR this year.

          • Beeej

            I just copied/pasted Bryan’s comment from above. For the record, I’m not down on TRich or Weeden. They’ve both flashed. They’ve battled. They are rookies AND they have to overcome Shurmur. I’ve seen Weeden make throws that no QB has made from 99′ to now. I’ve seen TRich make some great runs. I’ve also seen bad reads/throws. I’ve seen missed blocks and one too many cuts. I believe that if St. Mangini were running this team we would talking about a wildcard possibility. I’m excited to see what this roster can do with a real leader as the owner, president, GM (although I’m happy with Heckert), and head coach.

          • nj0

            Agreed. I’ve been agnostic on both Weeds and TR all season as well.

          • dukem1

            Agnostic describes my sentiments exactly…flashes of upside are no substitute for consistency…and, just to start a stupid argument, I say that given the production of the Browns D Sunday, I think an O with McCoy and Hillis would have produced more than 20 points, regardless of the coach.

          • rodofdisaster

            Could you be specific as to what throws Weeden has made or what runs of TRich’s have impressed you? I’m not giving up on either guy myself but I’ve heard various people wax poetic on Weeden making “throws no one else makes”. I find that a bit of hyperbole. Yes, he’s made some nice throws; Major League throws, in fact but to say no one else has made a Major League throw since 1999 is a bit of a stretch.

            Not trying to give you a hard time specifically Beeej but it seems to be all the rage to say that.

          • Bryan

            Rod – I read Beej’s comment to mean “no one else who played QB for the Browns since ’99.” That’s a pretty low bar.

            Two throws that jump to mind are the throw Little dropped in Baltimore and the one Gordon dropped in Indy. Weeden was under pressure in both cases and flung the ball 50 yards down field perfectly on target. We have not had a QB who can get vertical like that with accuracy under intense pressure in a long time. DA had arm strength, but he couldn’t make those two throws under pressure.

            I also think the 33 yard Gordon TD in Indy was an elite throw in terms of arm strength, placement, and vision. The seam route to Watson with the game on the line in Dallas was also big time. And the TD to Little in Cinci when Weeden was being blasted in the face but somehow tomahawked the ball 25 yards down field on a rope. Those are just a few that come to mind.

            I am frustrated, though, that such throws have become less frequent in recent weeks. Its hard to know whose fault that is.

          • Beeej

            Bryan had it right. It sucks that the bar is so low, but with the litany of quarterbacks we’ve had since 99′ I feel like he could fill the position for a least a couple of years while we wait for a high draft pick we REALLY want or 2. groom a mid-round pick w/out having an immediate controversy. . The bombs to Gordon have been tremendous. Why we haven’t seen one of those in a couple of weeks? I like that he can actually make the touch throws to the flat that Anderson was never able to do. Quinn and McCoy never got the ball more than 10 yards down field. Considering Couch, Dorsey, Detmer, Pederson, Wynn, McCown, Delhomme, Dilfer, Frye, Garcia, Wallace, and Holcomb I can’t think of any guy on the list I would want in there over Weeden. As Anonymous Browns Fan was fond of saying, “Fuck.”

            Trich’s 15 yard TD run on Sunday was great, but I’d chalk that up to the blocking. His 32 TD run against Cinci was pretty sweet, the15 yarder against the G-men…I like that he runs hard. I worry that he runs too hard and will get hurt. You can tell he wants to punish people similar to Hillis, but he holds on to the football, unlike Hillis.

            More than anything I’m excited about our O and D lines.

          • Cranky M

            “I like that he can actually make the touch throws to the flat that Anderson was never able to do. Quinn and McCoy never got the ball more than 10 yards down field.”

            Quinn and McCoy couldn’t get the ball 10 yards downfield OR make those touch throws.
            Other than that, they’re fantastic….

          • dukem1

            Yeah…I’m with you (I think) insofar as let’s keep the Society for Baseball Research out of this football discussion.

          • nj0

            Exactly.

            I love baseball and stats and football and stats, but….

            …baseball is a game where most interactions have a set numbers of outcomes and – compared to football – far fewer variables.

            ….baseball produces a MASSIVE sample size in a single season (which still isn’t large enough for some stats).

            ….the game of baseball has remained (in terms of rule and general game play) static over the last 100 years (compared to football which seems to constantly evolve).

            Trying to apply baseball-style stats to football is just wrong imo.

        • Cranky M

          But a third overall pick who contributes at a replacement level would be a huge bust.
          Actually, you could argue that the RB picked 3rd overall producing like a league average RB is a MUCH bigger disappointment than a late 1st-round QB performing under replacement level. RB’s are notoriously easy to find late in the draft, or even as undrafted free agents. In addition, they have the lowest average career length. So they have a short life span and are (relatively) easy to replace. Drafting one 3rd overall is a huge, counter-intuitive risk, and speaks of much higher expectations for them.
          Quality QB’s, on the other hand, are notoriously hard to find, and rookie QB’s (especially those not chosen in the top 10) are expected to struggle in their first season, anyways (to say nothing of late 1st-round rookie QB’s surrounded by exceedingly young/raw skill position players and incompetent coaches).

          Not saying that Richardson is a bust, or that Weeden is the answer. Just saying that you could spin it either way, since it’s so hard to judge rookie QB’s. It’s why teams like Jacksonville are STILL holding out hope for Gabbert. You don’t always truly know how good they are based upon their rookie season, and good QB’s are so hard to find to begin with; you have to be patient.
          Meanwhile, you have recent teams like the Texans running roughshod over everybody with undrafted RB’s.

          Like i’ve said before, i don’t think it’s really fair to judge Weeden until next season. Not only will he have more experience and knowledge of what he needs to work on, but he’ll presumably have better coaching, as well.

          • Cranky M

            That was chapters 5 – 8 of my new novel.
            Sorry for the rambling….

        • Henry Brown

          The learning curve for QB is much sharper than for RB

    • dubbythe1

      Im all for giving BOTH players another year. Typically it takes a running back a good year to adjust to the speed of the game, especially in the effect of holes and how long they are open.
      Weeden (age be damned) is trying to run an offense he isnt suited to, that requires tremenous coordination and timing, and you can see sometimes where he gets it, and other times where its forced. Being the young (LOL?) QB he can still be baited by experienced corners and has been on more than one occasion, and although you can fault him for it, I think the HC deserves some of the blame for being predictable enough to allow the CBs to bait him so often.

    • Jim

      Re: the back-up, I would like to see Hardesty get some more carries. Not saying he should start, but he has run hard and gotten positive yardage this year when he played. Why not give him five to seven carries a game? It would be a change of pace from T Rich. and, more importantly, it would also save him some wear and tear.

      • NeedsFoodBadly

        Absolutely. Hardesty has been effective, and Richardson has been battling health issues. Why we aren’t rotating backs out more is baffling.

        • dukem1

          Agree…My opinion is that TRich has been playing hurt all year, and, knowing the intensity of the dumpster fire, thinks that any sign of weakness could put him in the next remake of “The Expendables,” Browns football-wise.

    • beeceeinla

      FWIW, it is actually possible to negate a RB’s strengths depending on scheme. the best example i can think of is when minnesota gave up all those picks to get herschel walker and then took away his ability to quickly hit the hole and accelerate with a running game based on traps and draw plays. i’ll leave it to the others to determine if TR could be used more effectively.

    • bupalos

      It’s a good point. I think the answer is that it’s hard for a running back to be stand-out-bad. But so far T-Rich is a pretty big disappointment for me. Yesterday might have been his best single run, but the guy isn’t really making a difference.

  • willy loman

    A popular saying about the war in Iraq was “love the troops, hate the war”. This sentiment can also be applied to the Browns: I love the players but despise Shurmur. There are more talented/above average players on these Browns than any other (Browns) team post-99, which makes the performance of this coaching staff that much more appalling. The roster has improved, but will the record ever get better under a Shurmur regime? Probably not; fortunately, I think Pat’s fate is sealed.

    In regards to Weeden, I think we need to ride it out with him for at least one more season. IMO, Shurmur’s “offense” (if you can call it that) has significantly undermined Weeden. For example, he should be in the shotgun more because that’s what he was used to in college. Look at how Shanahan adapted his playbook to suit RG3′s strengths! Also, the QBs at the top of next year’s draft – Geno and Barkley – do not appear to be transcendent prospects.

    • BIKI024

      how do you know how well the players would be performing without the coaches helping them develop? i don’t have the answer either, but it seems reasonable to presume that the players are responding well to the coaching, particularly the plethra of players who are late round picks and undrafted guys.

      • nj0

        Just last week Weeden complained about WRs running patterns they hadn’t practiced. So it goes the other way too.

        None of this is new though. Browns teams always seem like a confusing cat’s cradle of ineptitude and talent from both the players and the coaches. Basically, figuring out who deserves what amount of blame or praise for our crummy record is all we ever have to talk about.

        • BIKI024

          I’m a Weeds fan, but he’s an idiot for saying that. he’s obviously frustrated his muscle memory isn’t there yet for the playbook, that only happens after a year or 2 in the system, not from a few extra reps during the week.

        • http://www.clevelandfrowns.com/ Cleveland Frowns

          Lobotomy.

          • nj0

            Rocket to Russia was a great album.

          • http://www.clevelandfrowns.com/ Cleveland Frowns

            Cleveland Browns games: Bottle in front of me AND frontal lobotomy.

          • nj0

            Make it a bottle of Rumple Minze and kill two birds with one stone.

            I pride myself on being able to drink, but had a few shots of that this weekend and found myself in a shamanistic trance discussing the Unpanishads with Mike Fratello and Cheetara from the ThunderCats.

      • willy loman

        It’s impossible to know the answer to that question. What I’m saying is that no matter how good the talent on this team is, their efforts will always be hindered by Shurmur’s laughable game management. They’ll always lose a handful of winnable games because of him.

        • Henry Brown

          This blog is hindered by your asinine comments

    • p_forever

      wrt “playing to strengths” – rg3 has A LOT of strengths. so sure – shanahan adapted his playbook for rg3. but his “adapting” actually consisted of OPENING HIS PLAYBOOK UP because suddenly he had approximately a million more options than he had before, with a non-rg3 qb. it’s easy (or at least tons easier) to “play to strengths” when your guy has tons of them.

      shurmur sucks, but he isn’t “undermining” weeden. weeden doesn’t have enough strengths to make it in the nfl. being comfortable running plays out of exactly one formation (which isn’t even the same as saying that he’s effective when he lines up in shotgun formation) doesn’t count as a strength in the nfl.

      weeds and shurmur both have got to go. you needn’t be “transcendent” to improve upon either.

      • bupalos

        I’m not sure weeds “needs to go” since I don’t really know what he is supposed to be replaced with. But otherwise, yeah, pretty much. Shurmur has lots and lots of problems, but I can’t say one of them is not designing plays for Weeden.

      • Cranky M

        If Weeden needs to go, then who exactly do you propose that we replace him with?

        • p_forever

          i didn’t mean to imply that he needed to go before the end of this season, or something drastic like that – just that he is clearly not a franchise qb and that he is clearly not the answer for the brownies and that we shouldn’t keep him around after this season. not even as a back up. keep colt mccoy around for that role.

          draft a qb. not with your first pick – that’s for manti te’o. and i wouldn’t go near matt barkley, as recent history has shown us that no matter how good they look in college, usc qb’s are inept when it comes to playing in the nfl. he would need some polishing, but e.j. manuel is someone worth consideration, and he’d likely be around a bit later in the draft (i’m trying to take into consideration the fact that we aren’t going to use our first pick on a qb, which is why i’m leaving out some of the higher-rated qb’s (smith; wilson).

  • BIKI024

    Does anyone here seem to find any relevance whatsoever that the Steelers are the #1 ranked defense in the NFL?

    • Cranky M

      Out of curiosity, does anybody know when the last time a Dick Lebeau defense lost to a team with a rookie QB? I can’t imagine that it has happened very often.

      • BIKI024

        i believe Terry Pluto said it’s only happened 1 other time..

      • http://www.clevelandfrowns.com/ Cleveland Frowns

        Does anyone here seem to find any relevance whatsoever to the question of whether a Steelers defense with no Polamalu, no LaMarr Woodley, and half a James Harrison counts as a “Dick LeBeau defense”?

        An even better question is whether God’s Own Defense could keep its team in the game with an offense that turns the ball over 7 times along with punts on 5 more drives of 5 plays or less.

        • BIKI024

          they haven’t had Polamalu all season, i think he’s played 2 games early in the season. Harrison is back to full speed, all game long the Steelers play-by-play guys were saying how he was back, which makes up a bit for losing Woodley in the 2nd quarter.

          but yeah, those half dozen other pro bowlers on their defense are slouches, not to mention Dick LeBeau’s schemes.

        • Cranky M

          I neither said nor implied that it had any relevance. I said i was just curious, as it seemed exceedingly rare. Remember, I’m the guy who argues against completely pointless stats/tidbits like that having relevance. Just curious about a random tidbit.

        • Henry Brown

          An even better question is why you don’t just become a Steeler fan?

      • Henry Brown

        They are 19-2 counting yesterday against rookie QBs

        • dukem1

          Did you just know that off the top of your head…/Well done!

    • nj0

      Some of our starting field position…

      PIT 44 (fg)
      PIT 10 (td)
      CLE 42 (fg)
      PIT 34 (punt)
      PIT 31 (td)
      CLE 39 (punt)
      PIT 40 (punt)

      I’d say that the Steelers played like a top defense and we played like a bottom tier offense that was afforded great field position thanks to a multitude of turnovers.

      It bothers me that the Steelers could have turned it over five or six times and the score could have easily been 14-6 or 14-13.

      • BIKI024

        yes, we are a struggling offense, we are what we thought we were. but at least we only turned it over once, albeit it resulted in 7 points. not bad for a unit that starts 4 rookies and 1 2nd year guy..

        coulda woulda shoulda, we won the game dude, let it go…

        • nj0

          Let what go? Our offense didn’t play that well and I’m still worried about them. I come to a Browns site and point this out. What’s the issue here?

          • BIKI024

            no issues man.. i’m a glass half empty kind of guy, we’ve got 5 more games to improve, luckily against 2 of the worst defenses in the league these next 2 weeks, hopefully we can perform up to your expectations and you will stop whining.

          • nj0

            I’m whining now? Sheesh.

            What’s the whining – my factual list of starting position or my concern about the current state of our offense?

          • BIKI024

            “the score could have easily been 14-6 or 14-13.” WOULDA COULDA SHOULDA the score was 20-14, we won!

            it’s hard to get wins around here, we all know that, it’s very frustrating that people still find new ways to complain instead of moving on to the next game.

            yes the offense is a work in progress, we knew that it would be going into the season, but we’ve played an extremely difficult schedule and have hung tough. definitely frustrating that if our offense made just a few more plays to close games that we would maybe have 5 or 6 wins now instead of 3. but it is what it is and they go back to work tomorrow to get ready for Oakland. life goes on

          • nj0

            Aren’t like 70% of all sports discussions woulda coulda shoulda? Why even come here if all I can say is… the score was X, player Y put up these numbers, etc.?

            This is supposed to be fun, right? And it’s fun discussing what happened on the field and analyzing it, right?

            Honestly, I’m probably less invested in the Browns than most people here. I watch the games, read some articles about them, and debate stuff here when I don’t want to be working, like today.

          • BIKI024

            yes, it’s fun to win. but not really my cup of tea to rip on the team, coaches, players, etc in victory. unless of course Mangini is the coach!

          • Henry Brown

            The issue is that crappy Browns fans are never happy. They put up 20 on the same team that the Ravens could only muster 6 the week before. They offense was fine for what it is.

    • alexb

      yeah, we didn’t do too bad.The pgh offense obviously lost the game for them with all those turnovers, and even the best defense is going to eventually fail…..but so fucking what it’s the fucking steelers.

  • CleveLandThatILove

    Holmgren: Hey, Jimmy. Hey, Joe. You wanted to meet and compare notes on how I can best contribute to the organization for the rest of the season?

    Haslam: Yes, Mike. Close the door. And be on the other side of it.

  • http://www.autismspeaks.org/ PML

    I’m guessing that “lady” in the pic sounded just as horrific as she looks. I will never, ever, ever in any circumstance condone hitting a woman, but if that look isn’t screaming “throw a beer in my face” , I don’t know what is.

    Or it could be she was about to drop a Shurmur on her seat that was “this long”.

    • GrandRapidsRustlers

      Since I can’t condone hitting a woman either I pray that there is a woman just to the left of him who is about to stand up and smack the shit out of her.

      You can also file this photo under things that never happened at the Old Stadium.

      • nj0

        Which is why it’s best to role to with Condi Rice when there are Steelerettes around.

      • beeceeinla

        why resort to physical violence when a well placed: “are you retaining water?” comment typically reduces even the most confident woman to tears?

        • http://www.clevelandfrowns.com/ Cleveland Frowns

          I’m just going to put a flag up right here, thx.

        • CleveLandThatILove

          She’s a Steeler fan. It’s a wonder she can retain anything.

  • bupalos

    I grabbed the panthers to close out this weeks picks Kanick. Thx.

    • http://www.clevelandfrowns.com/ Cleveland Frowns

      Meow. I mean, woof.

  • rodofdisaster

    Personally, I think all Steelers fans should be offended that their organization, knowing that they had a QB with potential for injury, locked their backup hopes onto Byron “Time the throwing motion with a sundial” Leftwich and Charlie “Older than dirt” Batch. When your season falls apart because you have no viable backup QB then the front office has really let you down.

    Of course, I’m not a Steelers’ fan so I’m just laughing.

  • alexb

    Ok so despite the good win, are we all finally off the Weedon nut swing? I’m not saying this dude is utterly terrible, for sure maybe under a different coach or different receivers or whatever, the guy could be decent. But can we finally be “realistic” about the level of talent we have at QB? Under no circumstance do i want the browns to go out and draft a 1st round qb next year….but if there was a big name free agent coming out we almost have to take a run at him. Brandon Weedon is just a so so qb no matter where he played. Even against the Steelers the guy had plenty of time to throw, yeah they started to get through to him because as usual, opposing teams make adjustments and we don’t. But for the most of the game the dude had plenty of time to throw against the best defense in the NFL but without their hall of fame safety. I was at the game and saw up close how even on his completions his receivers were having to make really really really good catches. Where the F was that at the beginning of the season when they wouldn’t catch a damn thing? ANyway, i made the comment a few weeks back that Weedon is DA with a better arm…I stand by it. He’s zeroing in on his primary and DB’s are just sitting in wait..he’s always looking at one half of the field. He’s just an average qb with a really good arm. He could very well be better next year, but is he going to be the guy for the next 7-8 years?

    • Cranky M

      No reason to give up on Weeden already. McCoy’s limitations were both mental and physical. He simply doesn’t have the arm strength to get it done (along with a multitude of other flaws). No way to correct/learn arm strength. Weeden’s flaws seem to be mental. No reason to assume that he can’t correct those mistakes as he gets more experience.

      I would also add that many of the times that he has all day to throw, it could very well be because the defense has dropped into coverage instead of rushing. Hence, all day to throw and no open receivers.

      • alexb

        not a mccoy fan either, so weedon’s the best we got….gotta work with him. But i’m over the whole “it’s shurmurs fault”. There’s plenty of issues with Shurm, Weedon’s inability to hit open receivers cleanly and see the whole field is not completely on the coach. And the whole whining about practices not being fair to him? wtf?

      • alexb

        defense’s aren’t dropping back into coverage, not a single one has been scared of weeds enough to do that. They have all been in the box either piling on Trent the instant he gets the handoff or pinning their ears back coming after Weeds. This level of pass protection is not the result of some fluke series of defensive scheming by multiple teams. You trying to tell me the Giants front 7 laid off weeds in that game? The Browns were in town they thought they had lunch served. We handled that line. Coughlin must have been beside himself watching a Cleveland Browns qb sitting in the pocket like he’s sipping daiquiri’s off the veranda in the summer. Of course there were no real meaningful completions so he probably wasn’t too irate but you get what I’m saying.

  • http://www.redright88.com/ Tom_RedRight88

    I was torn over this whole game.

    On the one hand, woo-hoo beating Pittsburgh. On the other hand, Charlie Batch.

    On the one hand, seven of the Browns last eight possessions ended in punts,with five of those possessions being 3-and-outs. On the other hand, No. 1 defense in the NFL.

    On the one hand, eight turnovers. On the other, just 20 points?

    I know a lot was made of Weeden’s tipped pass that was returned for an interception, but I was more concerned (as usual) about the conservative play calling and the Browns over-reliance on Phil Dawson. You can credit the interception on the other team making a play; the unwillingness to try for a touchdown on several of the drives is by design and far more troublesome.

    We see wins around here so infrequently that it is hard to be overly critical when it actually happens, but it doesn’t mean anything if the Browns stink it up the next two weeks against the Raiders and the Chiefs.

    In the end, the Browns did win and I’d rather see them force eight turnovers and find a way to win, rather than force six turnovers and find a way to lose.

    On a Cheddar Bay note, the Packers can suck it. I had the lobster bib on, the water in the lobster pot was at a full boil and everything was ready to go. Stupid Packers.

  • SteamingPileOfCraphonsoThorpe

    As Bryan commented below, Weeden has made throws that other Browns sacrificial lambs…I mean, QB’s were unable to. But let me throw something else into the discussion. The past few weeks, he’s suddenly skittish of the deep middle/go routes, and is it any coincidence that comes after Shurmur said the biggest thing he needed to improve on was “don’t throw interceptions”? He seemed to be challenging defenses more earlier in the year.

    Cue the standard “rest of the league is getting film on him now” argument, but stay with me for the point I’m making – yes, defenses may be trying to take away some of those throws, but I’d be happy to see, at least once a game, one of those deep routes run on a 3rd-and-5, the kind of throw where, if it gets picked, the announcer says, “Well, that’s as good as a punt right there, Ian/Gus/Dan”. Why? Will more picks affect his Holy QBR’ness? Yes! But those throws do two things: 1) when they’re successful, the offense has momentum, and when they’re incomplete/picked, you would have been giving it away anyway, and, 2) the defense has it in the back of their mind, so that the next time you line up in the same formation on 3rd-and-5 (or any down), they (the D) maybe give you those few extra yards of cushion to make the short/intermediate throws easier and more successful.

    Is Weeds the answer? Who knows? But could McCoy stretch the D and make them respect the 60-yard throw on a rope? Only with a 30-mph tailwind off the lake and an armful of holographic chips, on his surgically-attached cyborg arm!

    • alexb

      he can certainly make throws that Colt can’t, but i’m not seeing much that previous qb’s weren’t able to. I saw Colin Kaepernick make a couple throws the last two weeks on a dead run that I haven’t seen Weedon be able to make standing uperturbed in the middle of the pocket.

      • SteamingPileOfCraphonsoThorpe

        List of QB’s since 1999:

        Ty Detmer
        Tim Couch
        Spergon Wynn
        Doug Pederson
        Kelly Holcomb
        Jeff Garcia
        Luke McCown
        Trent Dilfer
        Charlie Frye
        Derek Anderson
        Brady Quinn
        Ken Dorsey
        Bruce Gradkowski
        Jake Delhomme
        Seneca Wallace

        (I apologize for frightening readers with that list, sorry if that sets off your PTSD).

        Other than DA (and maybe the Corpse of Jake Delhomme), that really is a Noodle-Armed HOF. Probably only Anderson had a stronger arm than Weeden; of course, his lack of touch proved that arm strength only goes so far (pun maybe intended?). We have spent most of 13 years watching other teams play every defensive snap within 15 yards of the line of scrimmage and just waiting for that Noodle out route that even an average DB can pick-6, and likely with time for a nap and a sandwich on the way. I might argue that the Browns played Charlie Batch that way just this past Sunday and looked how that worked for the Stoolers.

        So I respectfully disagree that most of the “previous QB’s” could chuck it the same way.

        However, Kaepernick does throw a nice ball – it’s amazing how easy it is to look good on a winning team.

        • alexb

          I’m not sold on Kaepernick btw, he has to show he can do this while getting smashed. Defenses will now scheme for him so we’ll see.

  • jaws

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

    While our line has been pretty good in pass protection, we have been average AT BEST in run blocking, according to advanced metrics.

    Meanwhile, our “open field” yards (measuring rb play) has been SECOND WORST in the league behind only Green Bay’s awful RB corps. coaching could definitely shoulder some of the blame (chip kelly plx) but T-rich definitely needs to raise his level of play tremendously to be considered anything but a flat-out bust.

    • alexb

      Yeah our run blocking is so so but honestly, we need to protect the qb more than anything right now in cleveland. T-rich is a bonafide genetic freak, on a different food chain…..I see the upside to him. I’m just worried that all these carries are going to break him down. T rich is showing the signs of a budding NFL star, Weedon is not showing those same signs at his position. Every defense that plays us has a couple guys say the next week that Trent is a freak and they were completely unprepared for how hard it was to tackle him. Have you heard anyone talk about Weedon like that? All the defense’s that play Cleveland focus on one guy during the week…..wanna guess who it is between our RB and QB?

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