Browns squeak by worst team in the league for first winning streak in 14 months

by Cleveland Frowns on December 3, 2012

“Week in and week out, it’s the same — can’t stop the run, can’t stop the pass. Right now I guess we’re just a bad defense. We can’t really hide it. At this point, the numbers don’t allow it. We’re just bad right now.”Raiders cornerback Michael Huff

“There’s nowhere to go but up, unfortunately.”Carson Palmer

“Brandon Weeden wore a T-shirt with the phrase ‘Killing Time’ emblazoned on the front in neon green during his postgame press conference late Sunday afternoon. Little did he know when he packed for the trip that his wardrobe choice would sum up a coming-of-age touchdown drive at the end of the Browns’ 20-17 victory over Oakland.”Mary Kay Cabot

“We came out here, had the three-hour time difference, the weather, and we were able to get it done. … He [God] was with us today.”Brandon Weeden

—————

The last time the Browns won a game on the road was last September, and like yesterday’s in Oakland over the Raiders, that win came against the worst team in the league, then the Indianapolis Colts. The last time the Browns won two games in a row before yesterday’s win was also last September, a week after that win in Indy, when the Browns beat the Miami Dolphins by one point thanks to a last minute 80-yard touchdown drive led by Colt McCoy. That 2011 Dolphins team finished 6-10, but would beat yesterday’s Raiders team by 30 if they played.

Whether the genuflecting was as intense after last year’s two-game win streak, or whether anyone called Colt’s come-from-behind touchdown drive against a better defense a “coming of age” moment for the then-25-year-old quarterback, there’s no reason at all that yesterday’s win in Oakland should mean any more for the future prospects of certain current Browns employees than last year’s win over Miami meant for Colt’s.

And it surely won’t. So feel free to ignore bought-and-paid-for sermons about how thrilled you should be that the Browns didn’t make you suffer yet another unimaginably horrible collapse against an unimaginably horrendous football team that they should have beaten by 30. And feel especially free to ignore the idea that it was anything other than a no-brainer for Pat Shurmur to call a few pass plays and go for a short 4th-and-1 in opposing territory to keep the ball away from Carson Palmer — who’d shredded the Browns defense on each of his last two drives — on a game-sealing drive against a defense that came in as the worst in the league by points allowed, had given up an average of 42 points in its last four games, had lost three members of its already depleted defensive backfield to concussions by the third quarter, and was starting a rookie fourth-rounder and a street free agent at linebacker.

Anyway, Sheldon Brown made a good play on a bad Palmer throw in the Browns end zone, which saved us from a flood of acrimony about how the Browns had used all of their timeouts with five minutes left to play in a one-score game, or about how Brandon Weeden was lucky he “only” threw two interceptions instead of four against one of the worst defenses in league history, so we can all be thankful for that.

As well as for Brady Quinn, who gets the last word this morning.

  • Wiseoldredbeard

    Say what you will Frownie, but it is fun watching a winning team. It is fun to watch a team put together a time-demolishing 94 yard drive in the fourth quarter to ice the game. The Raiders are bad. So what. Weeden appears to be finding a connection with his young recieving corps, and the d-line put together another good performance. All in all, we’re a team that is progressing. The Browns need to win games (even if not as pretty as it could be) against these bad teams so that they can learn how to win and bond as a team. Then then can start beating the good ones and blowing out the bad ones.

    I know being bitter is part of the schtick around here, but you need to invert that frown for at least a few mintues to enjoy it. The Browns are playing hard and physical football (Palmer quote that their team is all very beat up from Browns). They have a d line. They might have a solid young recieving crew. They are OVER 500 in the last seven games and have been reasonably entertaining for the majority of the season. Screw frowning for this one; I’m going to enjoy it.

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

      Mmm-hmm.

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

      Where is this “winning team” you are watching and why didn’t this bonding that you speak of happen when the Browns beat horrible teams in horrible games last season?

      • Believelander

        Generally, sir, when teams win games, they’re the winning team. And these Browns have gotten better, and are also out of the rough stretch of their schedule and have some chances to post some wins. You’ll never see a winning team because you’re not interested in seeing anything but a losing team, and aren’t interested in having anyone else see anything but a losing team either. You’re like the coach of the losing team. Have fun with that.

      • Wiseoldredbeard

        Two in a row. They are winning. I’m not sure why this requires explanation.

        As for why they’re bonding now and they didn’t before, I can only guess. Last year their roster was in much worse shape than it is now, particularly on offense, and they had a first year coach learning on the job and trying to do too much. As for why it took so long this season; I’d guess it’s because they are so young, and it’s taken them a while to get the hang of playing in the NFL and together. Why do teams with personnel and coaching consistency tend to win consistenty? Learning to play together and to everyone’s strengths (and away from their weaknesses) takes time. They seem to be getting better at it. This is worth celebrating.

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

          I agree that it’s easier for teams to play better the more they play together, but why do you think this 2 game winning streak in horrendous games against horrendous teams means any more than last year’s does? Why would it make you any more optimistic about the ceiling of this coach and this quarterback?

          • Wiseoldredbeard

            I haven’t said that I’m bullish on the coach, but given the difference in personnel I think there is a very real chance that this year’s team can take the wins, grow with them, and turn them into more. I’m not saying they will, but I am optimistic. I think they have some chemistry growing (particularly Little and Gordon with Weeden), and the more successful those three are, the more it will open things up for everyone else.

          • Believelander

            Steelers: not horrendous. Shurmur: nobody actually believes he has a ceiling higher than what you’re seeing now. And to counter your question about Weeden, why do you not just look at him objectively?

            Why does it not matter that the vast majority of the receiver snaps have gone to a 2nd-year receiver and 3 rookies when you -hammered- for years about how many receivers don’t come into their own until their third season, which means that they are probably frequently out of position and making mistakes and bad reads? Why does it not matter that Shurmurball? Why doesn’t it matter that nobody can actually provide any clear indicators that Brandon Weeden is definitively a bust and not just a rookie? Why does it not matter that human beings are capable of working hard and becoming better?

            Why wouldn’t any of these things and many others make you more realistic about the ceiling of this quarterback?

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

            KILLING TIME

          • Believelander

            That was the impression I got from the quality of analysis, but I’m surprised you admit it so openly. You sir, are a stone cold gangster.

          • alexb

            because there’s simple pitch and catch stuff that Weedon has absolutely air mailed this season. Mind numbingly easy passes that in most cities would put you on waivers that monday. But then he admittedly makes some spectacular throws…so I dunno

          • Believelander

            San Diego, New York, Arizona, Kansas City, Dallas, Jacksonville, Minnesota, and others disagree with your waiver wire statement.

            I’m not going to keep hammering perspective. Many great quarterbacks air mailed wide open throws as rookies. If you think this is an indicator that he’ll be no good, go study greats who played as rookies.

          • bupalos

            He didnt say he was optimistic about the ceiling of the coach and QB though.

            It’s not advisable to try, but it turns out it’s possible to win the Superbowl with a bad coach and/or mediocre or even bad QB and/or racist curse. Ravens, Raiders, Redskins have all proved it.

    • Steve

      “The Raiders are bad. So what.”

      If only we can play bad teams every week. It’s fun to beat up on the Washington Generals sure, but it’s even more fun to win meaningful games.

  • Bryan

    Interesting stat: The Browns had more total yards and more first downs against the Raiders than the Bengals, Saints, and Ravens did in the three previous Raider losses. Yet we won by 3 points, and those three teams all won by multiple TDs. Why is that? I think its inferior coaching and lack of experience. We are starting to consistently move the ball against the teams that we have matchup advantages against (think Dallas game). But we continue to not get as many points as we should due to a) ineffective strategy in the red-zone b) some mistakes by Weeden and the inability of T-Rich to run for short yardage.

    I do see a lot of progress, though, and I think this group has amazing upside. Weeden obviously needs to keep limiting his mistakes, but he is also bringing a lot of positive to the table. Our underneath patterns have started to generate lots of YAC. This is due to Weeden’s improved accuracy on those throws and the fact that defenses must respect the vertical threat. Much of our offensive success came on underneath route’s yesterday in which our athletes (Gordon, Little, Cameron, T-Rich) had space to make plays. This is a great development for us, and Weeden deserves praise for that, even if he had several very poor decisions on vertical throws.

    One under-reported play: T-Rich getting completely stuffed on the key 3rd and 1 with 2 minutes left at the ten yard line, as he did his Barry Sanders dancing routine in the hole. Luckily the Raiders were called for encroachment, and the offensive line blew open a huge hole on the very next play that even James Davis could run through. But if the Raiders don’t make a mistake there, we are forced to settle for 3 due to T-Rich’s failure.

    T-Rich’s struggles on short yardage need to improve so that we don’t have to keep ramming Weeden into the line on short yardage plays.

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

      Wait, why is it interesting that the Bengals, Saints and Ravens needed fewer plays to score more touchdowns against this garbage defense than the Browns did?

      • Bryan

        You must have misread the comment. I said nothing about number of plays. I said total yards and first downs. But since you raised the issue of number of plays, I just checked and confirmed the Browns averaged more yards per play than those three teams against the Raiders. The Browns averaged 7.1, the Saints, Ravens and Bengals averaged 6.8, 6.8, and 6.3 respectively.

        The reason this is interesting is because it confirms that are offense was generally very effective all day against a bad Defense (as effective as three teams that everyone agrees have good offenses). Where we struggled was the Red Zone. This is a big concern, but a very different concern than a generally ineffective offense.

        More broadly, if the goal of this discourse is to understand whether the Browns are making progress, and to understand what our areas of weakness currently are, it seems important to distinguish “total lack of offensive effectiveness” and “general offensive success coupled with poor Red Zone execution.”

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

          The Browns ran more plays than all three of those teams did when they played the Raiders and scored half the points, that’s all. You’re allowed to be as excited as you want about moving the ball in between the 40-yard-lines against the league’s worst defense playing with 9th-string defensive backs, though. Party.

          • BIKI024

            even Weeds’ QBR was at a respectable #, (10th highest in the league) he gets no respect. hey, a win is a win. but yes, let’s see how he does against some of these defenses coming up. big emotional win for KC yesterday, but you gotta think there will be a big letdown when the reality of the situation sinks in. Another must-win for Weeds if he wants Haslam to give him the keys to next season.

          • Believelander

            Weeden’s QB rating was only 88.2, actually, which is only so so, and I think like 13th or 14th

          • BIKI024

            i wasn’t talking about his QB rating, but his “Total NFL QBR”, which is the ESPN stat Frownie keeps referring to.

            Weeds had a 75.4 Total QBR. good for 10th best in NFL this week.

            Believe it or not, Andrew Luck had a beastly comeback and performed great down the stretch, but was only able to put up a 31.4 Total QBR, good for 21st best in the NFL.

          • Believelander

            Oh, sorry, I stopped believing in Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy years ago. Although I suppose I’ve never seen any concrete evidence that they don’t exist.

          • http://twitter.com/r_vernon Richmond Vernon

            This website is the last place left that uses QBR. Even ESPN itself uses it less and is more willing to recognize what a faulty statistic it is.

          • Believelander

            To be fair, TQBR is very new, and pro-football-reference.com also does post it in the career stats. Also, Frowns doesn’t actually ‘use’ it as a regular statistic, for example he didn’t bring it up this week, which was probably an oversight.

          • bupalos

            Hear that Frowner? Luck’s QBR was less than half of Weeden’s.

            Please quit touting that stat, it is meaningless.

          • Believelander

            To be fair to TQBR, Luck was pretty atrocious yesterday.

          • Brian Sipe

            yep.. they have a funeral to attend this week… they will be a mess by Sunday.. gotta think they are out of emotional gas…

        • SteamingPileOfCraphonsoThorpe

          To sum up:
          “total lack of offensive effectiveness” = 2011

          “general offensive success coupled with poor Red Zone execution” = 2012

          2012 > 2011

          QED

          Note, while 4-8 still stinks out loud, 2012 has been far more enjoyable from a viewing perspective. Scoring TD’s and staying in games has a lot to do with that.

    • http://twitter.com/r_vernon Richmond Vernon

      Some of its also just the fact that Buster Skrine got burnt on one deep play, or that they scored once in garbage time. Say Patterson had played – couldve easily been a 20-3 game. Obviously we have a long way to go, but we’re moving in the right direction.

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

        Nevermind that the Raiders were starting half of their third string on defense and the Browns still needed a late interception in their end zone to win the game, though. This team is moving in the right direction. A wild card playoff loss within the next three years is firmly in play for this bunch. You can just see it.

        • Trampled Under Nietzsche

          But all the guys on sports radio told me this was a positive sign!

        • Believelander

          How did they need a late interception in their end zone to win the game? You act like we would have lost if Sheldon Brown hadn’t intercepted that pass. The Browns thoroughly defeated the Raiders, scoring first and leading the entire game. This team is better than they were in the first half of this season, better than they were last year, and much as I admit it grudgingly, better than they were in 2010. I agree with you, they are most certainly moving in the right direction.

          • http://twitter.com/r_vernon Richmond Vernon

            Frowns knows we needed the pick to win because he has a crystal ball thats tinted with Colt McCoy blood and foresaw it.

          • Believelander

            Actually this is inaccurate, Frownie is NOT a Colt supporter. Unless you mean that Colt’s blood, spilt by James Harrison and Tony Pashos, corrupted his prognostication crystal with dire portents for all time.

          • http://twitter.com/r_vernon Richmond Vernon

            Yes I know that Frowns thinks Colt is a bad qb and a bad person and he should feel bad.

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

            This is actually true.

        • Cranky M

          So what? How many teams have a completely healthy team at the moment? How many teams have their entire first-string defense playing these days? My guess is absolutely zero. So is every single victory in the NFL now meaningless because nobody’s defense is healthy? The Browns were playing an undrafted/4th string undrafted free agent at CB. Their entire linebacking corp outside of Jackson are second and third stringers. Every team is in the same situation. It doesn’t render a victory meaningless.

        • http://twitter.com/r_vernon Richmond Vernon

          We all already know what your opinion is going to be after the game before kick off even takes place. :)

        • Cranky M

          I fail to see how that matters.
          But since victories against teams with injured defensive players apparently don’t count, i guess we should just negate all victories in the NFL at this point in the season. Since, you know, NOBODY has a healthy defense at this point. Hell, why are they even playing games still? They should suspend the season until everybody gets healthy, since none of these games can possibly be taken seriously.

          On the bright side, that means the Browns don;t actually have any losses, since they’ve been missing two starting LB’s all year, their top CB for a few games, their top 2 DT’s, their second CB, their starting safety…

    • Believelander

      Makes sense.

      • alexb

        yeah it’s weird, they were really good at run blocking the last two or so years but horrible at pass protect, now they’ve reversed that. The line is pretty much the same as when Hillis was running for us isn’t it?

        • Believelander

          No. In 2010 our line was Thomas, Steinbach, Mack, and a revolving door at right guard and tackle. More importantly, we had a f***ing crushing fullback. It was less that our line was great at run blocking then, and more that our lead blocker, run scheme, and running back all helped erase the mistakes of the horrid right side of our line.

          Our pass protection has become significantly better, but our line still doesn’t get a great deal of push on a lot of plays and is much better at zone blocking and blocking in space than fundamental gap creation and generating forward push, which explains why they have so much MORE trouble in short yardage situations where you don’t use zone running schemes.

          • BIKI024

            please provide the stats of amount of snaps this “f***ing crushing fullback” had in 2010 and what the average yard per run was with him in there. post the facts or it didn’t happen.

          • Believelander

            I’m sure it didn’t. To quote Biki: LOL.

  • Brian Sipe

    Oakland set a record for giving up the most points in NFL history in previous 4 games…. HISTORY!!!!!!! They then suspend McClain, and watch 3 out of 4 DB’s go down during the game and with all that…….. yes, all that. they only lost by 3. and we are celebrating this in C town like it is the Super Bowl??

    FIRE SHURMUR!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • BIKI024

      yes, we unfortunately were 1 for 3 in red zone, with a couple costly picks as well. but we still put up 475 yards, 2nd highest of the Raiders previous 4 games you’re screaming about.

    • Wiseoldredbeard

      If you think people are celebrating as if we won the superbowl, you clearly have no idea what would happen if the Browns actually won the superbowl. As for Shurmur, there is zero percent chance he is going to be fired before the season is over, even if you type in upper-case and use four million exclamation points.

      • Brian Sipe

        Don’t want Shurmur fired now… Want him fired end of year. If he stays we will be sitting here next year at 4-8 again and in year 4 of the Holmgren/Heckart/Shurmur mess

    • Jim

      That last touchdown drive was a combination of the Browns playing prevent/knowing there was little to no chance of Oakland coming back. Kind of like all the Browns’ losses last year that ended up being respectable in score only.

  • dubbythe1

    I am glad the team is winning, as any fan would be. But I know that these wins are a struglle when they shouldnt be, and there is a LOT of writing on the wall. Our coach may work as hard or harder than any coach, like many writers have repeatedly stated, but the fruits of those hours are very, very lean. We are winning against poor teams, and not decidedly, mind you.
    So all in all, and it kills me to say this, I would be happier if we lost more this season to solidify a better draft position and to all but ensure this overmatched and underqualified coach does not get another year.

    • Beeej

      The Browns have been picking at the top half of the draft since 99′. The Steelers, Ravens, Pats, and Packers have been picking at the bottom of the draft for the same amount of time. Except for the rare occasion when a Manning, Luck, RGIII, Leif, or Russell are available drafting high is no guarantee of success. Owner, GM, Coach, system, and team put draft picks in a better position to succeed. Look at the NBA and you see the same thing. Compare the Lakers draft position to the Clippers year in and year out.

      • alexb

        I agree….but there’s an awful lot of good defense coming out this year. Thankfully everyone ahead of us needs a qb.

        • Believelander

          Thank GOD. Someone needs to take the Terminal F***up Button out of our management’s hands before they have ANY chance to talk themselves into blowing a top draft pick on any of the fool’s gold QBs that will hopefully be gone before we use our first round draft pick.

      • Believelander

        Precisely. Winning teams can continue to develop talent wherever they pick because the new players can learn from winners how to win. The best thing this Browns team could do for itself is finish 8-8.

      • dubbythe1

        I view draft position as a tradeable commodity, not as a finite spot where X player is. I want a higher position to be able to deal into a favorable gain (maybe gain back the 2nd rounder we are losing)

        • Believelander

          In all likelihood, in this year’s draft there won’t be any chart-topping commodity at the top slots in the draft. We were 6th the year that the Falcons backed up the Brinks for Julio Jones, and 5th when the Jets opened up the vault to get Sanchez. Quite often, the top 2 picks are viewed as an unnecessary luxury by franchises looking to trade up.

    • Believelander

      Draft position is immensely overrated. And Pat Shurmur will not get another year. The one key thing you can take away from Frowns’ Negative Nancy Monday is that even if the Browns win out, Ask Pat will make it look like we won in spite of him. Example: arguing with a referee after a bad spot on 3rd and 1, then having to blow your last time out instead of just THROWING THE CHALLENGE FLAG.

      Even when we win, he loses because he is incapable of looking competent for 60 continuous minutes, and the play calling continues to stress rather than impress.

      • jpftribe

        I don’t believe draft position is over rated. Luck, RGIII or Richardson, which would you take right now?

        As for your second point, I could not agree more. Shurmur is a numpty and has to go. He was extremely fortunate our line blew theirs three yards downfield on the next play. If that had not happened the headlines would be way different.

        Weeden is still taking too long to make reads and delivering the ball late. It would be good to hear from a real football guy on this topic, but I think that is why he is inconsistent. When the timing is off, the ball is going to be in the wrong spot, and he is constantly compensating for this. The overthrow to Watson down the seam, hitting Gordon wide open on the right side of the field when he broke open on the left, the two int’s are but a few examples.

        Typical stuff for a rookie QB. Only time will tell if he can get faster.

        • atdietz80

          At what point is it acceptable to be happy with a win? Degree of difficulty plays no role in awarding a victory. This is not diving or gymnastics so who really cares at this point? I will celebrate any kind of win. I believe that Brandon Weeden blows and he really has very little upside, but the team still gets credit for a win. I am happy about the win and will overlook glaring defiencies in the process. This team is learning how to win, which is hard to do when it happens so infrequently and when it seems to be a foreign concept in this town.

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

            “At what point is it acceptable to be happy with a win?”

            Good question. “Bring Mangini back or otherwise make the Super Bowl” is one obvious answer but even one solid win over one solid playoff team would probably be nice.

        • Believelander

          The point is that only in very rare cases do you have these amazing ‘sure thing’ top prospects. As much as the Rams benefitted from the #2 overall pick this year, ask them how much it helped them to Sam Bradford’s middling skill set and megabucks contract.

          More important than better position to draft prospects, many of whom will bust, is a winning culture. If you can win, win and win and win and have good things happen.

          • jpftribe

            Actually, I think the point is how good you are making decisions with what you have to work with. In the Browns case, I would say Heckart has done a great job compared to the average NFL GM. When compared to the post expansion Browns orgs, he is off the charts, nobody better.

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

            Maybe, except that RG3 is on the Redskins and the Browns have Brandon Weeden as their QB of the future.

        • dubbythe1

          >>Weeden is still taking too long and throwing the ball late<<
          Can's emphasize this enough.. but this is what I DO attribute to being a rookie in the NFL, this will improve IMO.

          • Believelander

            Actually I sat down with my new NFL REWIND PACKAGE, NOW FIFTY DOLLARS AND COMPLETELY AMAZING!!!(!!!!!!) and charted every Weeden dropback over the last several games. For example, in the Steelers game (I was curious how long he was dallying since he got sacked 4 times) his dropback time from snap to point of release was 2.76 seconds on average. NFL average is 2.8 seconds. On his 4 sacks, two of them were several tenths under 2.8 (he basically stood zero chance as a blitzer blew in completely free up the middle), the third was 2.85, and the fourth was the odd slide-sack he took in the 4th (apparently by design, he could have easily thrown it out of bounds but he was under instruction to run the clock). Occasionally he holds on to the ball longer than he should, but the narrative that this is the standard is completely false at this point.

      • dubbythe1

        Everyone seems so Shur that Shurmur is gone come end of season… although I certainly hope so, I am very worried he wont be.

      • actovegin1armstrong

        “Draft position is immensely overrated.”

        Really Blander? (That name may stick, it is a fun one.)

        Really?

        How much were the great minds in football clamoring for Luck or RG3?

        Does anyone even remember who was selected with that 3rd pick? I think it may have been some running back, but I have not heard much about him.

        • Believelander

          As I just said, Luck and RG3 are the anomalies. The Browns have been frequently unlucky when these prospects show up, to not be in a position to get them. But in most seasons (like the one upcoming) there aren’t any must-have commodities in the draft.

    • alexb

      what other ‘poor” team did we beat? The bengals aren’t poor, neither are the steelers even though they whined about not having Roethlisberger. That defense knocks out one Browns player a year and now they’re gonna whine about not having their qb when they had their star RB, who they yanked after 1 play cause he’s got fumbleitis, and that perennial #1 defense was all there except Woodley got hurt early. So what? You don’t see Steelers fans saying “ah the browns weren’t at full strength” whenever they knocked one of our guys out and went on to win the game. The Steelers win was huge because they absolutely did not go to sleep on us, I was there….they did not mail that game in, they are in the thick of the wild card hunt.

      • Believelander

        Poor team: Chargers. So the Browns have now beaten two winning teams and two losing teams.

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

          Batch-fumblefest doesn’t count so just say the Browns have beaten zero playoff teams.

          • Believelander

            I’m committed to being realistic, objective, and genuine. I also respect those who go out and play their butts off for my team every Sunday. So I’m going to politely decline to say that, because it wouldn’t qualify for any of the above attributes.

  • BIKI024

    much has been said about the amount of points allowed by the Raiders the past 4 games, but let’s take a look at yards allowed. yes the name of the game is scoring points, but due to our youth and inexperience, i’m cautiously optimistic that we will be able to clean up the red zone execution where we struggled again going 1-3. i’m sure this will be a point of emphasis for whoever the next coaching staff is.

    we put up 475 yards, and were 1-3 in Red Zone.

    11/25 34-10 loss to Bungles, allowed 415 yards, RZ: 4-5
    11/18 39-17 loss to Saints, allowed 380 yards RZ: 2-3
    11/11 55-20 loss to Ravens, allowed 419 yards RZ: 4-5
    11/4 42-32 losss to Bucs, allowed 515 RZ: 2-3

    so as you can see, we’re putting up similar yardages, but clearly need to improve in red zone efficiency. but the fact remains is that after an 0-5 start with a bunch of tough losses, the young guys are hopefully learning how important it is to have enough in the tank to execute properly in the 4th quarter and we’re 4-3 in last 7 games.. let’s see how we finish, with 3 teams who are in playoff hunt.

    • Bryan

      Biki – You stole my narrative ;)

      I think another great stat that t is that our Yard per Play against the Raiders was higher than the Saints, Ravens, and Bungles.

      Baby steps.

      • BIKI024

        my bad yo, i saw yours right after i posted mine. you’re right, Yards per Play is key, maybe even the best stat of all. baby steps indeed. hopefully it builds them some confidence and we can do well in these last 4 games, looks like Steelers will be having a lot to play for in that last game..

  • Peter

    my picks for alst week were never processed,

    • https://twitter.com/jimkanicki jimkanicki

      yeah, i couldnt find them. happy to post them if you can point me in right direction.

  • Believelander

    “….Sermons…” – I’m excited the Browns won because I’m a Browns fan. I don’t listen to the P ain Dealer, or anyone who says I shouldn’t be excited when my team wins.

    “And feel especially free to ignore the idea that it was anything other than a no brainer” – While on the surface this statement seems completely true, I think you’re underestimating how much of his brain power Shurmur has to exhaust on simply stuff like this. Round peg, round hole. Rough stuff, that.

    “genuflecting” – you should probably check your dictionary. That word no longer exists. It’s called tebowing now.

    “the worst team in the league” – I’m still not convinced they’re not better than the Chiefs, Jaguars, or Jets. Greg McElroy!

    “worst defense in league history” – This is subjective. Aren’t we trying to be objective here?

    “Brandon Weeden only threw 2 interceptions” Hey man, Total QBR says 75.4 yesterday in spite of two interceptions to only 1 touchdown, so he was really cutting a rug out there. Good Defenses > Talented Rookie > Bad Defenses.

  • Cranky M

    Can we please stop making excuses as to why every Browns victory is worthless? Every game has extenuating circumstances. Every team has injuries. It doesn’t matter, a win is still a win. Why weren’t we making these same excuses for the Browns when they were losing games without Haden, Rubin, Taylor, etc (not to mention Fujita and Gocong, who were both supposed to be starting LB’s)? If one so desired, they could make excuses for every single team in every single game. It’s a completely pointless exercise.

    As someone else pointed out, they actually averaged more yards per play than the teams who crushed the Raiders in the last few weeks. They also put up the 2nd-most yards against them throughout that span. Sounds good to me. They didn’t score as many points. In my opinion, that’s simply indicative of the coaching: they have struggled with their playcalling in the red zone all season (remember Weeden mentioning that they weren’t adjusting their calls in the red zone against the Ravens when they were playing right into their defensive scheme).

    If it isn’t obvious from watching the games that the defense has the potential to be REALLY good, and that the offense has more potential than it has at any point in recent memory, then i don’t know what to say. Our receivers are getting better. Our running game is solid. Our O-line is really damn good, especially since Greco stepped in at LG. Our defense is extremely solid. There’s no reason to believe Weeden can’t improve. They have been competitive in every single game this season. What’s not to like? Especially considering just how abysmal we were in the very recent past.

    You used to repeatedly quote some thing about never discouraging progress, but it seems to me that you have been doing exactly that. Nobody is claiming the Browns are suddenly great, simply that they seem to be moving in the right direction (talent-wise, if not coaching-wise). What is wrong with that?

    • Cranky M

      And you kept saying before that you needed to see Weeden put together a drive in the 4th quarter to put a game away. He does that, and suddenly it doesn’t matter because of who he did it against. A 94-yard drive at the end of the 4th quarter. According to QBR, that’s one of the clutchiest thing a QB can do. I think it’s worth over 100 clutch points.

      • Believelander

        I would be a lot more comfortable with TQBR if we all referred to them as ‘clutch potatoes’. It just rolls off the tongue a lot better.

      • SteamingPileOfCraphonsoThorpe

        In 1995, I made a trip back to NE Ohio to catch the Indians playing during that Summer of Awesomeness (I somehow managed to attend the only game they would lose during the 7-10 days around that game)…I listened to Herb Score call Manny’s “Wow!” shot off Eckersley and proceeded to freak the heck out. I said all that to say that, during that trip, the clutchiest part of my ’89 Toyota Camry gave out – I give that a -0.0 on the POSR metric. Worth about 250 American greenback points, as I recall.

      • actovegin1armstrong

        I never said that. I need two years to judge Weeden.

    • actovegin1armstrong

      Cranky,

      “What is wrong with that?”

      1.) Losing draft position with no hope of making the playoffs.
      2.) The coach without a clue is buying more time and he may even be retained.
      3.) Beating the Steelers always means something, beating the Raiders
      and getting excited about it would most assuredly be better described by one of the Bupettes as as being something like a “Happy Stinky Potty Pants”.
      Nothing personal Cranky, I mean that with all due respect.

  • Randy

    According to the most comprehensive QB metric ever created, one that takes situation, opponent quality, and time into account, Weeden had a top 10 performance. Good for him. And good for his progress.

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

      A top ten performance against a bottom one defense is something, at least.

      • BIKI024

        bud, the quality of defense is factored in the formula. they are saying that only 9 other QB’s would’ve done better against that defense than he did yesterday..

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

          What it really says is that only 20-some percent of NFL QBs would
          have likely done better against that defense yesterday. That doesn’t rule out the possibility that the degree of difficulty was so low that the standard deviation would be completely insignificant. Like jumping in and out of a hula hoop that’s set on the floor or something, or knocking over a domino. There’s only so good someone can be at something like that. Anyway, I’m glad everyone is coming around on QBR.

          • BIKI024

            frankly i’m a little shocked they gave him a QBR so high, with those 2 huge red zone picks he threw. but i guess they factor a lot into that 95 yard drive he engineered in the clutch. if he keeps it up, he certainly makes an argument that with more time he will become more familiar with the offense and teammates and execute more efficiently in third downs and in red zone.

          • Believelander

            The reason the picks weren’t immense drags on his Total QBR is because neither one was a red zone INT. One was 2nd down from the 33 and the other was 3rd down from the 37. Furthermore, neither pick set up the Raiders with exceedingly good field position. Since their formula’s foundation is Expected Points, while both INTs were negative expected points (obviously), they don’t weight as heavily as something like a pick 6, and the expected points lost on a pick goes down as you get away from the red zone, and later in down and distance situations.

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

            See how much sense this makes? Banner day in here today.

          • Believelander

            The problem is that other known factors of Total QBR annihilate its value for analyzing how good a quarterback is.

          • actovegin1armstrong

            And the winner of the O. Henry bad pun competition is….

          • bupalos

            note to self. Always check to see if Blander has already covered it 5x better.

          • Believelander

            Absolutely not. I have a way of speaking too much stat geek so I need people to translate me into English sometimes. Great minds and such.

            But I am a bit hurt that you think I’m Bland.

          • bupalos

            The second “redzone” pick he threw was nothing but a positive for us. It was 3rd and 2 if memory serves, outside of fg range, and it put the ball on the 7. It was an awesome punt. If QBR is sensible, that should have been a plus for the Weedster.

            The first one was horrible with a capital H. Cost us 3 at least, and should have been completed at the 10 or so to boot.

          • Defenestration

            Did my comment get deleted or lost in the discuss reply ether?

          • Defenestration

            Is that what it says? Where did you get this percentile info? I’ve never seen it described that way.

            From ESPN:
            “The final step is transforming the clutch-valued expected points rate to a number from 0 to 100. This is just a mathematical formula with no significance other than to make it easier to communicate.”

          • http://www.facebook.com/anne.dunn.144 Anne Dunn

            The expected points numbers aren’t percentiles, but positive or negative points. I believe the QBR points added or subtracted for Weeden is most often negative. — “Total clutch-weighted expected points added” for Weeden is -7.9.

            The QBR is going to take a little more work to read and understand where the numbers come from, especially because ESPN isn’t releasing its formulas yet. There’s a good article by a NYtimes football stats guy that compares Luck and Griffin using the stats and ocncepts from the QBR.

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

            “Scoring: 0-100, from low to high. An average QB would be at 50. … [A] value of 50 is average, and that is what QBR generates for an average performance. That being said, the top values in a season tend to be about 75 and above, whereas the top values in a game are in the upper 90s.”

          • Defenestration

            Yeah. How does this mean that “only 20-some percent of NFL QBs would have likely done better against that defense yesterday”? Where does ESPN tell us that this is how you should interpret QBR?

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

            If the scale is from 1-100 and the average is 50, a score of 80 tells me that about 20% would be expected to have done better. But regardless of whether my math is wrong or my understanding of the stat is flawed, nobody has explained why it doesn’t do exactly what it says it sets out to do.

          • Defenestration

            “regardless of whether my math is wrong or my understanding of the stat is flawed”

            First, it is. Second, how am I supposed to explain to you why the stat doesn’t do exactly what it sets out to do when your understanding of the stat is flawed?

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

            This is just a pathetic response. QBR Trutherism is the new Mangini witch hunt.

          • Defenestration

            Look, I would like to have a real, lengthy in depth discussion on QBR. You told me that would be diminishing clutter.

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

            While you are here being an an insane QBR Truther, can you tell us that similar advanced metrics used by Pro Football Focus and Football Outsiders that each result in similar rankings as QBR, with Weeden at the very bottom, are also deeply flawed in ways that you won’t even try to explain?

          • Defenestration

            I’ve never said that. I have specifically stated that the use of the other advanced metrics is good. Please refrain from attempting to state an opinion as my own and then ask me to defend it. And as I just wrote elsewhere, if you think that that is enough evidence that the methods and calculation of QBR are completely valid…. [I won’t finish the sentence I suppose, because I’m sure I could not sway the “diminishing clutter” vote I would need to keep my comment around].

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

            OK, well I think we can all agree that every advanced metric shows that Brandon Weeden has been the worst starting QB in the league this season by a country mile, unless John Skelton and Mark Sanchez count.

          • Defenestration

            I’ve never argued differently. I just think that QBR has major issues that you don’t care about. Which is totally within your rights.

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

            And also that there’s not necessarily anything wrong with any of these metrics.

          • Defenestration

            http://www.pro-football-reference.com/blog/?p=9069

            This is a really good read. And it hits on most of the things I have been trying to say. It just does a much better job. I think this could be a reasonable starting point for the conversation going forward. Unless you think Chase Stuart of Pro Football Reference is an insane QBR Truther.

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

            “It’s not perfect, but it’s almost certainly better than the traditional passer rating and possibly the best single statistic out there.” OK.

          • Defenestration

            Awesome. I just won a bet about what what you would pick out of that to comment on. How one views the value of “possibly the best single statistic out there” is an important factor in this discussion. Anyone who uses a single statistic is overlooking a whole lot.
            More appropriate to this discussion is the following “My biggest complaint is that this looks to be very retrodictive or explantory statistic but will be used in a predictive manner.”
            “I’m sure if ESPN threw in “QB kneels at the end of the 4th quarter” in there, and gave it a large enough weight, they could get that number close to 100%. But that just makes it a stat that correlates with winning; it says nothing about it causing winning or how it will help you predict what will happen in the future. While explanatory stats are useful, I like predictive stats a bit more.”
            “I like all the factors that go into the ESPN QBR, as long as we understand that it’s explanatory, not predictive. But I’m still disappointed that we have to go on blind faith. On the bright side, ESPN’s QBR tastes sweet, but that’s as far as we can go. I can’t tell you if it’s full of natural sugar or something much different.”
            I think there are really intelligent, legitimate points raised about the stat, how much we know about it, and how it is used in there. If that is not the conversation you want to have, then so be it. I’m not sure how you apply the “QBR Truther” label to the person in the conversation who does want to have the conversation though.

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

            I feel bad for the person who would be so dumb as to bet that I wouldn’t focus on the most relevant portion of the article.

          • Defenestration

            Why? I won that way?

        • Believelander

          You guys are actually both off. Total QBR doesn’t factor in the quality of the defense at all. Another reason it lacks credence as an advanced statistic.

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

            Hmmm, well, there’s no real reason why it should since the quality of the defense would already be accounted for in the individual per-play determinations of whether the “average” quarterback would have done better. This also supports my “knocking over a domino” argument in explaining Weeds’ unnaturally high number for this week. The more I learn about QBR the more I like it.

          • Defenestration

            Huh?

            “the quality of the defense would already be accounted for in the individual per-play determinations of whether the “average” quarterback would have done better”

            That is not how expected points and win probability work.

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

            For each play, after the quarterback’s relative contribution to expected points is determined, the resulting value is compared with the maximum possible net point gain which leads to a “net points percentage” value between 0-100 for the quarterback on the play, representing the percentage of the possible point gain that the QB produced, which is then transformed so that a value of 50 represents the avg. net point gain of an NFL QB.
            I would guess that the quality of the defense played on each individual play measured would have at least something to do with the final assessment of what an average QB would have done on the play, but even if not, the “knocking over dominos” point still stands.

          • Defenestration

            “I would guess that the quality of the defense played on each individual play measured would have at least something to do with the final assessment of what an average QB would have done on the play”

            If the stat is well-designed, well-explained, and you have the understanding you claim to, you would not be guessing about such things.

            Here’s a quick and dirty on expected points. http://espn.go.com/nfl/story/_/id/8379024/nfl-explaining-expected-points-metric

            QBR then attempts to assign a portion of the expected points to the QB based on their impact on the play and then uses “clutch weighting” to give an importance factor to the play.

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

            Just because a stat isn’t well-explained (or just because you don’t understand the explanation) doesn’t mean it’s not well designed. As ever, you’ve done nothing to show why the stat doesn’t do exactly what it says it does.

          • Defenestration

            “The Total Quarterback Rating is a statistical measure that incorporates the contexts and details of those throws and what they mean for wins. It’s built from the team level down to the quarterback, where we understand first what each play means to the team, then give credit to the quarterback for what happened on that play based on what he contributed.”
            “for the past three years, ESPN has charted football games in immense detail”
            “By putting all these ideas together and incorporating division of credit, we have built a metric of quarterback value, the Total Quarterback Rating, Total QBR or QBR for short.”
            “The final step is transforming the clutch-valued expected points rate to a number from 0 to 100. This is just a mathematical formula with no significance other than to make it easier to communicate.”
            “With this rating, we have intentionally not adjusted for opponents.”

            You yourself have asked multiple times things about the standard deviation involved and that maybe it’s possible that the hulu hoop/domino analogy applied. I commented on the fact that the major issue with QBR is that we don’t know these things. Because they don’t give enough information to determine those things [I said it with much more snark that apparently qualified as “diminishing clutter” however, so it’s gone]. If your default is to trust the formula and the number and then use the number however incorrectly [you’ve done it multiple times and quite frankly, I put most of the blame on the way the stat is presented, not on you] it may be because it supports your current argument, then so be it. I am more skeptical and require it be shown or that at least enough information is provided so that I can delve into it and have discussions with others about its merits.
            Also, can you answer this: what is the proper use of QBR? Is it set out to measure a repeatable thing that will have reasonable predictive value? [See a conversation on WPA in baseball for some background here]

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

            The proper use of QBR is to measure how much a quarterback has contributed to his team’s efforts to win football games. I’m not interested in chicken/egg arguments about whether it’s “predictive” or not. If a guy keeps doing the same thing week in and week out …

          • Defenestration

            ” I’m not interested in chicken/egg arguments about whether it’s “predictive” or not”
            Then that means that you aren’t interested in any meaningful discussion of the stat itself. And if you don’t know/care about those things about the stat, then your application of the stat should be taken with a grain of salt. Especially since you’ve demonstrated a misunderstanding of the scale and how to use the number.

          • Defenestration

            “If a guy keeps doing the same thing week in and week out …”

            Let’s say I own an ice cream shop on the beach. I notice that the amount of business I do tracks really well with the number of sunglasses and bikinis I see walk by my shop. I decide to have my brilliant math whiz friend come up with a formula that incorporates all these factors. All the data tracks really well. Would it be a reasonable decision to try to increase the amount of people in bikinis and suglasses in the area during the winter as a way to sell more ice cream?

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

            Good grief. If a quarterback registers a highly measured contribution to his team’s efforts to win football games week in and week out …

          • Defenestration

            It’s what is being measured and reported as a number that makes what you think comes after the … not as intuitive as we would like. Clutch-weighting and assignment of responsibility can really obfuscate what comes after the … That is really what this whole thing is all about.

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

            Sure. I’m just not all that suspicious about ESPN’s ability to properly weight clutch and assign responsibility and none of the QBR Truthers have ever given me any reason to be. It’s not hard to understand that close games are different from blowouts, and that threading the needle is different from checking down in the flat.

          • Defenestration

            Alrighty. The amount of comment deletions really get to the point where this isn’t any sort of discussion. Thanks for at least partially engaging me. Not sure we got anywhere, but oh well. I am going to go read X’s and O’s now and put this discussion to bed. Cheers.

          • Defenestration

            May I ask why my other response to this comment got deleted?

          • Defenestration

            How is the statement not saying “I’m not interested in whether it’s predictive or not, I’m going to use it that way because I think I should/can/want to”

          • Believelander

            But it doesn’t take into account how the average quarterback would have performed against that defense. Finding an ‘average’ baseline would necessarily be how the ‘average’ QB (actually a combination of many, many QBs’ historical stats) performed on average, which would mean against good, poor, and average defenses, for a resulting ‘average’ defense. So no, it doesn’t account for individual per-play determinations of whether the average quarterback would have done better against that defense.

            Or more simply, what Defenenstration says below me, which is that that isn’t how it works.

          • actovegin1armstrong

            Is that how they get that ship in the bottle?

          • Believelander

            Maybe.

          • Defenestration

            100 + 100 = 1,000,000

            The more I “learn” about math, the more I like it!

        • vespo09

          No, quality of opponent is not factored into QBR. Direct from ESPN: “With this rating, we have intentionally not adjusted for opponents.”

          http://espn.go.com/nfl/story/_/id/6833215/explaining-statistics-total-quarterback-rating

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

            Well that explains it, too.

        • http://www.facebook.com/anne.dunn.144 Anne Dunn

          The QBR doesn’t factor in quality of defense. You might conclude that 32 quarterbacks in the league would have played better than Weeden on any given Sunday, but stats don’t predict. They just measure performance after it happens.

      • Believelander

        Sho nuff.

      • Jim

        How many points does Weeds get for battling under the QBR stat? He battled like heck out there. Saw some real nice flashes too.

      • http://www.facebook.com/anne.dunn.144 Anne Dunn

        True, but he still ranked 33rd out of 34 quarterbacks, and Brady Quinn ranked No ! while Weeden ranked 10th.for the week.

  • BIKI024

    awesome game for Josh Gordon, who’s cementing himself as one of the top young WR’s in the game.

    his 19 average yards per reception is THIRD in the NFL.

    Kendall Wright is looking like a stud as well and has 20 catches more, but not a bad 1st year campaign for Gordon who hadn’t played in a game for a couple years.

    • Believelander

      I love the smoothness with which he catches with his hands, allowing him to catch footballs without adjusting his stride, and stay running at full speed through the catch. It allows him to showcase his ability to just run around opposing defenses, or also moosh defenders trying to tackle him.

  • SteamingPileOfCraphonsoThorpe

    Ok, I overcame my usual laziness and actually looked up last year’s train wreck against the Raiders…

    This happened

    That is why Colt McCoy doesn’t get more credit for beating the Dolphins and Colts. Yes, the bigger problem in that game was the special teams giving up not one, but two, special teams TD’s, but McCoy threw 45(!) times, was 21-45 for two touchdowns (credit for thinking touchdown) and one INT – much like Weeden yesterday, he could have had a couple more INT’s, per the game notes. AND, on top of all that, the Browns knocked out Jason Campbell only to face the ignominy of losing to Kyle Boller. And this was at a point in the season when the Browns were actually 2-2, and objectively had more to play for.

    In what QBR would call “clutch time”, “McCoy completed a 7-yard pass to Josh Cribbs on first down, but was
    incomplete on three short throws to end the game. The last one bounced
    off Massaquoi’s hands when he was belted from behind by safety Tyvon
    Branch” (bolding added by me). As I so adroitly and presciently pointed out in a comment on this great site last week, Weeden’s long throws, even when incomplete/picked, opened up the D so that receivers running the short/intermediate routes later had space within which to work. And, for the most part, Weeds hit them in stride so the YAC Attack could commence!

    Now where’s my check?? I’m going to need rotator cuff surgery from all patting of my own back!

    • http://www.facebook.com/anne.dunn.144 Anne Dunn

      Your newspaper source would be better used to line a bird cage it was so biased that you came away thinking McCoy threw an INT.. No INT so reporter talked about “almost” INTs and you fell for it.

      The key to this game was giving the RAiders 2 TD on badly covered kick and punt returns. Giving up 14 points at the beginning pretty much meant the game.

      But you try to lay this on MCCoy. Isn’t that getting a little old. McCoy wasn’t his usual accurate self, but when it came to sustaining a drive, he completed 75% of his passes and scored 2 TDs and put us in place for a FG. After the last TD, we recovered an onside kick and set up with one minute at mid-field. (2011 team 12th in league in 3rd down conversions — 2012 team at the bottom of the league in 30th)

      1st and 10 pass for 7 yards (Shurmur’s play calling at its worst — it took 20 seconds off the clock because the WR wasn’t in position to get out of bounds.

      2nd and 3 — pass to Little, dropped

      3rd and 3 pass to tight end, defended

      4th and 3 pass to MoMass hit him in hands and bounced out when he was hit by DB.

      Short passes not to sidelines in 40 second drill –Pat Shurmur
      100% pass plays in 4th quarter , pitifully predictable –Pat Shurmur
      Incompetent right tackle Tony Pashos — Pat Shurmur
      Bad clock management –Pat Shurmur
      Terrible special teams play — Pat Shurmur
      Short passes to middle of field in “2-minute drill” — Pat Shurmur

      McCoy had already thrown several long TD passes in the first few games, and McCoy, game for game, has thrown and completed more long passes than Weeden — you just didn’t notice them — and provided there was a receiver on the team not only fast enough to get open down field and then not drop the ball, things could have been different, if not for Pat Shurmur..

      You must have missed all those long passes McCoy was completing in 2010 and a little less in 2011 when Head Coach Dink and Dunk came to town — Sort of like the way you read this article and missed that McCoy threw 2 TDs and 0 INTs .

      • SteamingPileOfCraphonsoThorpe

        Anne, I enjoy good dialogue, so let’s keep it respectful and allow me to address your points. I acknowledged early in my post that the defense/special teams were more to blame and led directly to playing from behind – and I think most people would agree that we got to see enough of that situation during McCoy’s time as a starter to say that he struggled, as most QB’s do, in those types of games.

        I must say I’m surprised to learn that we converted better on third down; it certainly didn’t lead to many points, but still surprising.

        Now for the final sequence: if the WR wasn’t in position to get out of bounds, was it the coach’s fault, did the QB choose the wrong WR to throw to, or were his options limited through some combo of both? I don’t know. 2nd down – all on Little, he flat out dropped a lot balls last year.

        3rd and 4th down, however, are part of the crux of my argument, and it goes a little something like this: due to McCoy’s physical limitations (arm strength, field vision, etc), defenses essentially played outside-in on him; that is, they collapsed to the middle half of the field, confident that single coverage on the outside would be enough, and the rest of the D consistently lined up within 10-15 yards of the LOS. This means that a lot of the short-to-intermediate throws, the ones McCoy is best at, occur in heavy traffic with a defender OR multiple defenders in close proximity to the receiver making YAC, and sometimes clean catches, much more difficult (see 4th down above). Even someone with Burnt Orange-colored glasses has to acknowledge that the receivers this season are catching clean passes with open space in front of them instead of a dude smashing them into the turf as soon as the ball arrives. While I’m on the subject, you state that McCoy had completed a number of long passes, but I will submit that a high percentage of those were over the middle, and to Tight Ends…the reason being that, because he has only an average NFL arm, he has to take the shortest route to complete passes of 25-30+ yards. Once the other teams had film on him, they started to play that tendency, with many of those middle throws covered by high/low bracket coverage and consequently he was picked and/or the receivers got laid out when trying to make those catches. And throwing deep outs and long sideline routes was an adventure that often ended in disaster. (Just in case you’re waiting to pounce with the Drew Brees comparison, being a QB with a similar body type – I watched a chunk of the Saints/Falcons game a couple weeks back, and was reminded that Brees has a cannon for an arm and a pretty quick release, so he’s not a 100% match for Colt’s game – of course, he still turned the ball over 5 times so even Pro Bowl-ers screw up).

        By the way, I agree Tony Pashos = the definition of terrible.

        Oh, and we all know that the Dealer is biased, but that doesn’t mean their description of every event is wrong. (And, I never said that McCoy threw more than one INT [you said 0 but the box score shows one], only that the game notes indicated he could have had two more, just like Weeden was lucky not to have a couple more picks in the Raider game this year). And I seem to remember the paper being pretty supportive of him after the Saints/Pats wins in 2010, before the season went in the toilet.

        I do not disagree that this year’s team has a lot more offensive talent and that McCoy would have better numbers than 2011 if he was playing with this group. And again, I did not argue that his play alone led to that loss, although a sub-50% completion percentage didn’t help. And a receiver “fast enough to get open down field” might outrun McCoy’s ability to get the ball there, even Weeden has underthrown Gordon several times. Let’s inject some reason here: I am concerned with Weeden’s completion percentage, just like I was DA’s percentage in 2007, and he has to improve on that for sure, and turn the ball over less. This is not a “down with McCoy/up with Weeden” argument, only an observation. As another note, I can’t count the number of times I practically came up off the couch yelling at the TV when Colt would dump off a 4-yard pass that ended with the receiver getting blasted immediately because the D simply sat and waited close to the LOS and it seemed like they were always anticipating exactly what was coming. That seems to be happening a lot less lately. Is it because the receivers are finely approaching a semblance of NFL-caliber play or the QB throwing the ball is better? Is the coach calling more long passes because he has a QB who can make the throw or because he has more confidence in the guys being thrown to (and/or has nothing to lose anyway)? Chicken or the egg? I don’t know, and may not be smart enough to say for sure. I can only say for sure that I’ve enjoyed the offensive output and results a whole lot better this year!

        p.s. If you look at my first post, by the way, I most certainly did not miss that Colt threw two TD’s in that game, it’s noted in my second full paragraph, not counting the hyperlink. And yes, I think “almost” INT’s can be important, as they may indicate a QB has either a timing problem (throwing late/early) or they aren’t seeing the field well. Weeden has shown that this year quite a bit as rookies often do.

  • CleveLandThatILove

    Regardless of the opponent, the rookies are learning how to win after a lot of disappointments early on. That’s a good thing. They are our future.

    • BIKI024

      i believe the children are our future
      teach them well and let them lead the way
      show them all the beauty they posses inside…

      sexual chocolate! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ExG7Ut6DJ1E

      • CleveLandThatILove

        Right. George Benson-style.

      • actovegin1armstrong

        Sorry Biki, I did not see this before I posted.

    • Believelander

      This is so true. Although I’d go so far as to say that with the youth of this roster, they’re also our present!

      • CleveLandThatILove

        Seriously. That ball is in a rookie’s hands the vast majority of the time out there.

    • actovegin1armstrong

      CLTIL, I thought children are our future.

  • LesFleursDuMal

    There is realistic and there is being negative for the sake of negativity (much like art for art’s sake). Frownie, you have begun to resemble the latter as opposed to the former.

    • Believelander

      Does negativity addiction qualify for Intervention on A&E?

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

      LOL how did we get to this magical place where I need to make things up to be negative about? I mean, it’s one thing if it doesn’t bother you to see your city’s leading lights write about “coming of age drives” against one of the worst defenses in modern league history, but you can’t just click your heels three times and act like things like The Curse of Wahoo, Mangenius Interrupted, the Lerners, and the Holmgren regime just don’t exist.

      • Believelander

        People can actually very reasonably think that the Curse of Chief Wahoo doesn’t exist, as the belief in any metaphysical curse relies on a measure of belief in the absence of any tangible evidence.

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

          That’s just insane. The existence of Wahoo itself + Cleveland sports history since 1964 = all the tangible evidence anyone could ask for. It’s folks who don’t believe in the Curse who are relying on metaphysics.

          • Believelander

            Or, you know, high school level mathematics, capitalism, and human nature, which explain it more easily. Occam’s Razor, sir.

    • http://www.facebook.com/anne.dunn.144 Anne Dunn

      It sounded like REALISTIC shaded a bit toward KIND to me — certainly nothing that wasn’t painfully obvious to all but the most Pollyanna-ish of Browns fans. The last three weeks, Oakland has been blown out by at least 3 touchdowns each week, and their defense, playing safeties as corners, lost 3 more guys during the game. Yet we barely won by a field goal. What’s to celebrate in that???

      And, honestly, are there any other 29-year-olds out there who haven’t “come of age” yet?

  • Believelander

    If anyone was wondering how America’sThe New Jersey Penal System’s Team, the New York Jets, is doing right now, your intrepid Gangrene has, in the interest of charity, asked Mark Sanchez to donate some of his playing time to less fortunate quarterback Greg McElroy, the child from the Jetsons cartoon. Their game against the Arizona Roadkills perfectly encapsulated below:

    Cardinals linebacker Brandon Williams picks up a 15-yard penalty for … I don’t know. I think the official call was hitting Greg McElroy in bounds, but making it look like it was kind of out-of-bounds, and besides, things are hard enough for a Jets quarterback anyway. Yes. That was it. Fifteen yards. It’s the Jets’ biggest offensive play of the day. In fact, it’s the best thing a Jets quarterback has done in about three-and-a-half years.

    Credit: The Smorgasbord, Kissing Suzy Kolber.

  • https://twitter.com/jimkanicki jimkanicki

    if you’re playing cheddar, you probably have bookmarked EDSBS, but just in case you missed it: here is the 2012 College Bowl Preview to end all previews.

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