Browns Fall to 0-12 Despite Boost From Josh Gordon
Written by Brandon Lewis on December 4, 2017
By: Brandon Lewis
For the first time since December 21, 2014, Cleveland Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon saw regular season NFL action.
Unfortunately for Cleveland, it did not matter, as they fell to the Los Angeles Chargers 19-10.
Until the fourth quarter, quarterback DeShone Kizer was holding his own against the Chargers defense, keeping the Browns within striking distance. He threw a touchdown pass to tight end David Njoku in the second quarter to give the Browns their only lead of the game.
However, in the final minutes of the game, Kizer fumbled the ball in the red zone and threw the game-clinching interception. He targeted Gordon eleven times, but was off-target on the majority of the throws. Gordon caught four passes for 85 yards, including a spectacular catch over Pro Bowl cornerback Casey Hayward.
After a great day on the ground last week, the Browns could not get the run game going, despite facing the Chargers league-worst rushing defense. The Browns had 89 yards on 22 attempts, but the majority of the yards came from Kizer. Running backs Isaiah Crowell and Duke Johnson only combined for 43 yards on 17 carries. The struggles on the ground put the Browns in a lot of third-and-longs, allowing the Chargers to pin their ears back and come after the rookie signal caller.
The run defense had a bounce-back game after giving up 152 yards last week to the Bengals. They held Pro Bowl running back Melvin Gordon to just 77 yards on 19 carries. The red zone run defense forced the Chargers to kick field goals instead of scoring touchdowns most of the afternoon, keeping the Browns in the game.
The passing defense struggled against quarterback Phillip Rivers and the lethal Chargers passing attack. The Browns gave up 344 yards through the air, and cornerback Jason McCourty had an extremely difficult time keeping wide receiver Keenan Allen in check. Allen caught ten passes for 105 yards and a touchdown, while tight end Hunter Henry added seven catches for 81 yards.
Good news for the Browns: Gordon looks like his old self. Bad news: the rest of the team is still struggling mightily. Next week, Cleveland returns home to take on the Green Bay Packers in an out-of-conference showdown.