Browns Lose Another Overtime Thriller 26-23
Written by Brandon Lewis on October 22, 2018
The Browns played their fourth overtime game of the season Sunday, losing to the Tampa Bay Bucs 26-23 on a Chandler Catanzaro 59 yard field goal with just under two minutes to go in the extra session, knocking the Browns record down to 2-4-1 on the season.
Rookie signal-caller Baker Mayfield played average yesterday for the Browns. He did some good things, but he also made some rookie mistakes. Mayfield finishing with an abysmal 19.9 quarterback rating (QBR) but the stats do not tell the whole story. Mayfield was under pressure the whole game, having to avoid pass rushers to try to find an open man downfield, and the Browns could not get any big plays through the air. The Browns only connected on two plays over 20 yards in the passing game. It was a lot of dink and dunk through the air. While wideout Jarvis Landry finished with 97 yards and a touchdown, and tight end David Njoku finished with 52 yards and a touchdown, most of the passes they caught were short. Overall, the Browns passing game needs to improve quickly if they want to win more games.
The Browns running game was not much better than the passing game. After trading away Carlos Hyde to the Jaguars Friday for a fifth-round draft pick, rookie Nick Chubb took the reigns. Chubb finished with 18 carries for 80 yards and a touchdown, but those stats are inflated by one 21 yard run. If you take away the 21 yard gain, Chubb finished with only 59 yards on 17 carries, netting an average of just under 3.5 yards per carrying. Chubb made some physical runs, but the Bucs stacked the box against him for most of the game, limiting him for the most part. Hopefully, for the Browns, Chubb can get going in the next couple of weeks, because clearly, the coaching staff does not trust Duke Johnson. Johnson only had one carry the entire game for a grand total of -4 yards.
The Browns defense was not great yesterday either. Bucs signal caller Jameis Winston finished with a 71.8 QBR and 365 yards through the air. Mike Evans, the 6’5 star wide receiver for Tampa Bay, put up 107 yards on only seven grabs. Tight end O.J. Howard added 67 yards on five catches, and secondary wide receivers Chris Godwin and Adam Humphries combined for 96 yards on nine catches, an average of above a first down per catch. The Browns sacked Winston four times, but for the most part, Winston had all day to throw. The Browns have to get more pressure on opposing quarterbacks sooner rather than later.
The Browns running defense continued to struggle this week. While the Browns only gave up 43 yards on the ground to the Bucs running backs, they gave up 55 yards to Winston on only 10 rushes. Good teams do not allow the quarterback to break contain 10 times in one game and get over 50 yards rushing, especially to a quarterback like Winston who is more of a pocket passer. Also, Tampa Bay scored both of their touchdowns on the ground, so that needs to be addressed quickly as well.
Next week, the Browns travel to Pittsburgh to take on the rival Pittsburgh Steelers. The Browns and Steelers tied week 1 at 21 apiece. Head coach Hue Jackson said after the game he will be more involved in the offense this week. We’ll see what effect that has on the whole team going forward.