X’s and O’s with the Bros, Week 14: Stopping the Chiefs

by Cleveland Frowns on December 12, 2012

Welcome to the latest edition of X’s and O’s with the Bros by X’s and O’s editor @rodofdisaster. This feature represents a basic attempt to look deeper into the game of football, learn something about the X’s and O’s that make it go, and better appreciate the games within the game. It’s called “X’s and O’s with the Bros” because you don’t have to be a player, coach, or rocket surgeon to get something out of taking a closer look at a football play, so please enjoy the post and the discussion in the comments.

This week Rod focuses on the Browns defense in a 30-7 win after a rough start against the Chiefs. 


Here’s a pre-snap look at Jamaal Charles’s 80-yard touchdown run on last Sunday’s first play from scrimmage.

One Pre

The Chiefs are in 21-personnel (2RB, 1TE, 2WR) and the formation is I-right twins (I-formation, strong side is right and both WR are weakside). The Browns are in base 4-3 and are showing a man-to-man look with one deep safety. If you look at the strongside (right) of the offensive line, the blocking is favorable as you have 4 blockers (3 OL + 1 FB) to block 4 defenders.

One Cut

The run is to the right as the Chiefs offensive line takes man assignments. The TE is moving out to Haden. The RT is blocking the DE Rucker. The RG is blocking the DT Rubin. The LG has sealed the backside DT Taylor. Notice a few things here:

1) The center (arrow) has come off the ball to the second level (linebackers) and is blocking the Mike (Jackson).

2) James Michael Johnson (circled) is in the B-gap. That’s actually the same gap that Rubin is working into. With Jackson and Taylor sealed off, this creates a huge hole.

A flail and miss by TJ Ward, and Charles goes the distance.

No doubt the Browns had seen video of Charles before the game, but if you haven’t, here are some of my favorites:

He Gone
He Gone…Again
Eat it Steelers
The Ultimate Texas Homer Compilation of Jamaal Charles

Anyway, this wasn’t a good start.

1st Quarter, 3:19 left.
KC 7 Cleveland 3
2nd & 6, KC 23 yard line

cut 2

After a brief spell by Peyton “Many Crazy Exes” Hillis, Charles comes back in the game and we see here that Johnson and Jackson are both flowing aggressively to their left. The center again has a free release onto Jackson. Charles shows his great vision and cutting ability turning it back for an 11-yard gain.

At this point, it’s starting to feel like Jamaal Charles could start to gash this defense all day long which would be problematic since the game plan against a Brady Quinn quarterbacked team is…anyone? Anyone?

Play #3
1st Quarter, 0:55 left
1st & 10 from KC 45


Here we see a similar blocking scheme three plays later and this time the Browns don’t over-pursue. But what really makes the play here is Billy Winn’s upfield penetration (arrow) that disrupts the flow of the offensive line and forces Charles to cut early.

This play shows Winn making the kind play that folks have now come to expect from the rookie sixth round pick. Since seeing him sub for an injured Phil Taylor, there’s been plenty to like, including his quickness and ability to move laterally and even drop into coverage. Jamaal Charles did gain 165 yards on Sunday and had some beautiful runs despite having been slowed with an injured rib but after an ugly first quarter the Browns righted themselves on defense and did what every good team playing the Chiefs should do. Make Brady Quinn beat you.

3rd Quarter, 11:15 left
Score: Browns 17-7
3rd & 7 from KC 23


Here we see the game’s final turning point. The blitz is coming up the middle and Brady Quinn throws to Baldwin on an in-cut. Of the four pass defenders in panel A, Sheldon Brown has the best position on his receiver of any of them. Panel B shows Quinn with his weight back during the throw (that’s poor). For good measure, the reason this wasn’t a pick-six was that Sheldon Brown’s jump was SO good that he ended up having to wait on the pass and reach back for it. This resulted in a deflection which ended up in the arms of Tayshaun Gipson.

3 step

A similar play earlier in the game nearly resulted in another Quinn interception. Here you see a throw to the near sideline (at the top of the photo), a relatively easy throw distance-wise. It’s not nearly catchable and he had at least one receiver (circled) coming wide open. In Quinn’s defense, it’s a 3-step drop which makes a deep ball difficult to throw unless it’s the primary read.

4th Quarter, 7:16 left
Inside Browns 20.
Score: Browns 30-7


Here we see the final threat of the day for the Chiefs, and Quinn throwing an incomplete fade to the end zone for Newsome which had no chance of being caught. He follows this up immediately with a similar call to the opposite side of the field to the same receiver. As the bottom panel shows, the only receiver with a chance to catch this ball is the photographer who is standing on the restraining line for the media. That line is 12 feet from the boundary.

This illustrates the remarkable and maddening trait of Brady Quinn. With his chances of scoring points at a premium he fails to deliver a remotely catchable pass in the general vicinity of a receiver or even in bounds. Which recalls the Browns 16-0 loss to Baltimore on Monday Night Football in 2009, where Quinn’s throws prompted Ron Jaworski to say, “I’d like to see the ball near the field of play”.


As we see above, the Browns came out overly aggressive on defense against a player who might have gashed them for three hundred yards. But the defense either made some adjustments or simply calmed down to collect the benefits of playing against a Brady Quinn-quarterbacked team playing without Dwayne Bowe, its top deep threat, and ended up keeping Charles in front of them for the rest of the game. They won because they made enough plays to force Quinn to throw the football. As we’ve seen from the above, I think even the biggest Quinn apologist would have to admit that he’s no closer to being a legitimate NFL QB than he was with the Browns.


The complete “Xs and Os with the Bros” archive is available here.

  • nj0

    Maybe I’m getting my crappy ex-Cleveland Brown quarterbacks confused, but I remember a preseason game where Quinn threw a couple of late hail marys and none of them even found the field.

    • nj0

      Or maybe it was the MNF game mentioned in the article?

      • rodofdisaster

        went back and searched the last thirty seconds of that game just to be sure and I had forgotten about Jaws’ comment above. Just. That. Bad.

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Steve-White/100000446546049 Steve White

          I remember watching that game. I have a noodle arm even for a 57 year old, and I could have hit the photographer. Or the guy in the stands behind him.

    • FSOhioZjackson

      that happened. it might have even happened in the regular season. now that you jogged my memory, it may have happened with McCoy, too.

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

        Yes will never forget the classic Mangini gasface from when Colt couldn’t keep a game ending hail mary in bounds.

  • BIKI024

    How bout them Indians?!?! One helluva trade for the good guys, Bauer will be a Cy Young candidate within the next 3 years, and best of all we have his rights for 6 more years!

    love how our rotation is shaping up, i believe they expect Carrasco back as well. GO TRIBE

    • nj0

      It was a downright fleecing. Even if Bauer doesn’t work out, we added two quality relievers and a MLB caliber CF who was once a highly touted prospect. Kudos to Antonetti and company.

      Add in Kyrie handing it to the Lakers and yesterday was a pretty darned good day to be a Cleveland fan.

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

    In other news, don’t ever go to Willoughby: https://twitter.com/ClevelandFrowns/status/278918565183246336

    Yes, the same Willoughby that’s home of the Rebels, shockingly. http://t.co/69PQTfbs

    • nj0

      Willoughbyite #1: Are you thinking what I’m thinking? Do you know what would make a good high school mascot?
      Willoughbyite #2: Those guys who started the bloodiest war in American history!
      Willoughbyite #1:Exactly! The same ones who were fighting so they could own people!
      Willoughbyite #2: AWESOME!

      • NeedsFoodBadly

        I have never understood the proliferation of Confederate flags amongst lands that stayed loyal to the Union. It is an extremely weird phenomenon.

        • bupalos

          Yeah, it’s almost like there are some people who don’t like people with different skin colors or something. They should make a name for that weird phenomenon.

          • nj0


            Yeah, I’m just trolling now.

            Go Eagles!!!

          • BIKI024

            Bobby Jindal is a Republican.

            but yes, go Eagles

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

            Are you trying to say that brown people can’t be racist, or?

          • BIKI024

            they are the most racist people there is

          • SteamingPileOfCraphonsoThorpe

            Antiracophilia-ism? Gosh, this “making up words” stuff is hard!

      • https://twitter.com/jimkanicki jimkanicki

        i think the less holier-than-thou commentary on that period of time the better.
        the yankee decimation of white southern civilians was promptly followed by the annihilation of the plains indians so that a dust bowl could be created. let’s not get too full of ourselves.

        • nj0

          Did I make any holier-than-thou comments on the period of time? My point was using the rebel as a school mascot is beyond ridiculous, what with its clear history of blood and racism. Especially for a Northern Ohio school.

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

            It’s a great point.

          • bupalos

            Except that there is absolutely no reason not to look down ones nose at slavery, period end of story. Supercilliousness has its place and despite whatever qualifiers, slavery is one thing that ought to elicit it. Torture is another. You can’t make black into gray with more black.

            Lots and lots of people died because they believed slavery was wrong and gave their lives to end it. Muddy it however you want, its true and important.

          • https://twitter.com/jimkanicki jimkanicki

            man, no one is arguing this. what i’m saying is that to pin it all on the damn old racist south is to ignore the fact the a majority of the north (and ohio in particular) couldnt give two shits about freeing slaves at the time.

          • bupalos

            So what? A much much bigger portion of the south not only didn’t give two shits, but was willing to fight and die to enshrine the principle of slavery forever. There is better and there is worse. You’re original comment was that we-of-the-north shouldn’t look down on worse because the north wasn’t perfect. In the context of Rebels and Union, one side was better than deplorable. Isn’t that sufficient to make “Rebels” a really bad idea?

          • https://twitter.com/jimkanicki jimkanicki

            yes, let’s get back to the original comment and the original point. it was intended to provoke the thought, and for others, remind of several facts:

            * the union army and sherman in particular waged ‘total war’ on civilians without regard to their individual role in either secession or the institution of slavery. history being written by the victors, this policy and the glorious ‘march to sea’ is presented as a noble mission but in fact, it seems to me, it was little more than a drunken debauche hiding behind a specious moral imperative. it is worth pointing out, in my opinion, because i’ve never heard it pointed out;

            * simultaneous with this debauche is the ethnic cleansing of the indians and this too was enabled by the prevailing righteousness of most northerners;

            * chinese laborers did indeed attempt to strike and were indeed met by posses and so were forced back into labor and that is slavery.

            that overarching point was never to say ‘bring back colonel reb.’ it was simply to address what i did feel was a holier-than-thou attitude that i do think still colors north/south discussions.

          • bupalos

            Can’t disagree with much of any of that but the reason north v south is colored by holier than thou attitudes is that one side was holier. Not holy. Holier.

            Mad props to Lee for refusing to go guerilla though. Better man than Sherman in the end.

            I’m sensitive to this because in doing ta stuff at the university of Toronto I was confronted with a bunch of african-canadian undergrads who sincerely took the revisionist southern bullshit to heart and felt there was no difference between Jefferson Davis and Abraham Lincoln. There was. It mattered.

          • https://twitter.com/jimkanicki jimkanicki

            yes, davis wouldve have kept slavery; lincoln would have freed the slaves and shipped them to liberia.

            let us not forget that the emancipation proclamation did not free slaves in border states or tennessee or west virginia or union-controlled parishes around new orleans. the difference between the two on this subject, it turns out, was the political expediency needed by lincoln to gain re-election. sometimes revisionist history is just a correction of the record.

            again: not intending to be a dick here; but a lot of this stuff is not widely known nor taught in school.

          • https://twitter.com/jimkanicki jimkanicki

            meh, it’s probably me. i think there’s sometimes a tendency for northerners to look down their noses at the south and slavery without acknowledging the comparable racism that was present in the north but which was not enshrined by law. further, the uses of workforces of the time, while not slavery, is still consistent with a macro view of exploitation… but yet with a whiff of self-righteousness because, ‘hey theyre not slaves.’
            there are cases of civil war regiments deserting en masse after the emancipation proclamation. the draft riots in nyc had a lot to do with not wanting to fight to free slaves.
            it’s all fine to not want to lionize the rebel cause as it can be interpreted as being in favor of slavery or institutionalized racism. just so long as we dont cop some attitude of superiority on it as though the north had some monopoly on enlightened human rights. because that just aint so.

          • bupalos

            Actually, when it comes to the specific question of right and wrong and the civil war, one side really did have the effective monopoly there. And when you talk about THE REBELS in the context of the civil war, you are talking about one thing.

            Sorry that I can’t see the need for nuance here. Not every southerner of the time was bad, not every northern of the time was good…so what? When we talk about the issue it’s fine to talk about Right and Wrong and the imperfect north was right and the imperfect south was wrong.

          • https://twitter.com/jimkanicki jimkanicki

            the lack of allowance for nuance in addressing major and complex issues is precisely the primary problem confronting our entire society today. e.g., see attached (and sorry to pick on you nj0, i recognize the nuance behind the statement.).

        • bupalos

          There’s better and there’s worse and there’s no reason not to recognize that fact, even at the moral hazard of confusing “the better” with the good.

          I also sincerely doubt there is even one confederate flag enthusiast who is sincerely trying to bring to light the lesser-but-still-bad racial injustice of the north. Niki please.

          • https://twitter.com/jimkanicki jimkanicki

            meh,, it dont get much worse than this.

            and i suspect there are quite a few rebel flag sympathizers who would very much like to make the point that the narrative of ‘south=evil racists vs north=champions of black folk’ is much more nuanced.

          • nj0
          • https://twitter.com/jimkanicki jimkanicki

            like button.

          • bupalos

            Oh it gets a lot worse than that

            I have no doubt that all those rebel flag enthusiasts are looking for little nooks of nuance. But as I said, can’t make grey by adding black. If there was some flag that was specifically and most closely associated with native American genocide, you’d have a great point. Although I have no doubt if there was such a flag, the kind of people who desire to fly the confederate one would buy them all up.

            Obviously south≠evil racism. That’s dumb. But enthusiasm for the Confederacy pretty much does. That’s just reality. There is a ton of revisionist history that tries to claim the south was really upset about northern economic oppression and state’s rights and so forth. If you read the primary documents, it’s extremely EXTREMELY clear. For the south at least, the Civil war was about slavery and almost nothing else. For the north, it was 62.3% about slavery. And one side was right and one side was Wrong. And I’m not sure why there need to be too many qualifiers about the stupidity of a highschool even coming close to lionizing regressive stupidity.

  • ChuckKoz

    i will take the Eagles +3 (Bengals) tomorrow

    clearly a bad pick since i am just picking based on how i want this to go, due to browns playoff implications.

    • ChuckKoz


      i see its actually +4.5

      my bad

      • https://twitter.com/jimkanicki jimkanicki

        if it had been +1.5 i would have brought it to your attention, but assumed you’d be good accepting more points on this.

  • FSOhioZjackson

    Toledo +10.5 vs. Utah State

    Tampa Bay +3.5 at NO

    Minnesota +3 at SL

    Cincinnati -4.5 at Philly

    ESSAY: Washington Redskins pk

    I could write a lot. I could write a little. I could be wrong; the standings prove that. RG3 or no RG3, Cousins or cousins, fired up crowd and momentum and Travel Channel and all that jazz, I just don’t see the Browns winning this game without help, and I don’t see the Redskins letting down in this spot now. I do worry about Josh Gordon absolutely abusing DeAngelo Hall, and I worry about Cousins if he’d have to throw, but I think the Redskins will run the ball, the Browns will turn it over and won’t be gifted by Ryan Succop, Brady Quinn, dropped interceptions, Charlie Batch, Carson Palmer or anything of the sort.

    I’ll take these guys pick now and expect the Browns to be getting 2.5 (or maybe even 3) by kickoff.

  • bupalos

    Richardson is in good company I guess. Charles was also drafted #3.

    Oops. That’s round #3.

    • alexb

      without Trent how many of you would still be watching Browns football? He’s been the only glimmer of hope throughout the whole season up until about two weeks ago. Seriously, do you remember the season? Without Trent most of us would have tivoed in the rest of the season. When all of our wide receivers couldn’t catch a sack of potatoes and our qb was hitting DB’s in stride, who was it that gave us any reason whatsoever to watch Browns football? Was it the guy who did this? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-KqnrI6OPlM

      or the guy who did this? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fcL_NcRKD9I

      • Kamov

        I’d still be watching. I’d still be watching even if we had drafted RG3 and he was out for the next game against the Redskins.

        Richardson is a good RB. When you draft an RB in the 1st round, though, you’d like them to be making you think, “this guy is doing something that a mid-to-late-rounder-or-UFA couldn’t do”.

        • alexb

          I think he is. I don’t see a whole lot of late rounders dragging entire defensive lines 4 yds. It’s not pretty what he’s been doing, granted I think he’s left alot of yds out there cause he sometimes tries to feel his way past the line. But when he does make contact he walks at least 2-3 people another couple yds. Hillis wasn’t a whole lot better even in 2010, and that’s when he was running behind Vickers. I would still prefer Richardson learn to run a little bit more like HIllis but at the same time he’s gonna be in the league longer if he doesn’t take those hits. Gonna keep railing about it even though I know it’s akin to hitting the crack pipe….but we should still try to get Hillis back here next year and let him start a couple games so Trent can stay healthy and maybe with Trent, Peyton and Montario as our backfield we might have something scary. AFC North is the most brutal divison in the NFL, we need another downhill slugger who can spell Trent.

          Trent is not the same kind of runner that Peterson or Charles….we knew that, but he is overall a much freakier athlete than they are and honestly if those guys had to play pgh and baltimore 4 times a year they might get a little more banged up. Trent is the kind of runner you need in the AFC north. I like Montario as the change of pace guy but you see what happens if Montario is in there too long…the defense adjusts and somebody touches him in the backfield and he’s done, he can’t shrug off tackles like Trent can. Don’t you think thats’ something kind of important in a division dominated by 3-4 defenses that routinely blitz linebackers, safeties and DB’s into the backfield to disrupt things? No Trent’s doing just fine, he’s forces everybody to stack the box….Weeds numbers honestly should be way way better than they are cause everybody has been jumping the run. That’s something the x’s and o’s guy will agree with.

    • BIKI024

      hey Bup, have you seen the preview for “Promised Land”, anti-fracking flick bay Matt Damon and John Krasinksi, directed by Gus van Sant, looks great: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AHQt1NAkhIo

      • bupalos

        Nope..thanks for the tip. I’m all over that like white on rice as you can imagine.

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