Fanteractive Game Breakdown for Cincinnati @ Cleveland by myles.whitmore

National Football League

Cincinnati (V) vs. Cleveland (H)

FirstEnergy Stadium
Cleveland


Thursday Sep 17,2020 08:00 PM ET

Post Game Analysis by myles.whitmore for Cleveland

Post Game Report Card

Overall Team Grades
Overall Team Grade
B
Overall Offense Grade
A
Overall Defense Grade
B-
Overall Special Teams
A
Overall Coaching
A-
My Player of the Game
Nick Chubb
Game Notes
After getting obliterated by the Ravens in week one, the Browns bounced back with an impressive performance against the Bengals. While Cincinnati is far from the NFL's elite, the Browns offense was efficient, in sync, and firing on all cylinders against the Bengals. Plus, OBJ and Baker Mayfield finally showcased the successful rapport that many critics have anticipated since last season. Moreover, Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt were a terrific tandem that had success running between the tackles and the outside. While the Brown's secondary was underwhelming, CB Denzel Ward fared well in coverage. Ward's solid start early in the season is promising news for the Browns, given that he has been the lone star corner in the absence of Greedy Williams. Moreover, the defensive line was dominant in last week's game, rattling Joe Burrow and Joe Mixon with three sacks and eight tackles for loss. As a whole, the Browns need to do a better job controlling field position and time of possession because it is inexcusable that Burrow threw the ball 61 times. Nevertheless, this is a unit that can make big plays and hold their own in shootouts.
Player Grades
Player
Pos
Grade
Antonio Callaway (11)
WR 
No Opinion 
not on the browns
Austin Seibert (4)
A+ 
Cody Parkey had a perfect outing with five converted extra points.
Baker Mayfield (6)
QB 
A- 
Baker Mayfield was able to quiet all his critics on Thursday. For those who question his accuracy, Mayfield was on the money throwing lasers to his wideouts. Aside from one errant mistake, Mayfield kept the ball out of harms's way and excelled on play-action bootlegs. Even though he only threw 23 times, he showcased phenomenal ball placement and cohesion with his teammates.
Chris Hubbard (74)
OG 
Stellar in both the pass block and run block games. Allowed no sacks or pressures and refrained from committing penalties.
Denzel Ward (21)
CB 
Ward had a great game in coverage, breaking up three passes and forcing six incompletions. Without Greedy Williams on the other side, Ward showed that he is capable of holding his own on an island.
Jamie Gillan (7)
A- 
Gillan had a nice 43 punt on a relatively quiet day.
Jarvis Landry (80)
WR 
Jarvis maximized all of his three targets for 46 yards.
JC Tretter (64)
CE 
Stellar in both the pass block and run block games. Allowed no sacks or pressures and refrained from committing penalties.
Jedrick Wills (74)
OT 
Wills did a great job keeping his quarterback clean on Thursday. However, he struggled a bit to open up holes for the running game.
Joel Bitonio (75)
OG 
Stellar in both the pass block and run block games. Allowed no sacks or pressures and refrained from committing penalties.
Khadarel Hodge (12)
WR 
Hodge displayed really good rapport with his QB Baker Mayfield. Hodge broke on his routes at the right time and showed fantastic footwork to shake opposing CBs.
Larry Ogunjobi (65)
DT 
B- 
Ogunjobi did a good job stifling the run but was an underwhelming pass rusher totaling only one hurry.
Myles Garrett (95)
DE 
A+ 
Myles Garrett was a menacing presence last game. Throughout Thursday night, Garrett pressured Joe Burrow nine total times with one sack and six hurries.
Nick Chubb (24)
RB 
A+ 
Nick Chubb had a near perfect game on Thursday. Despite facing all out resistance from the Bengals game-plan, Chubb had the tenacity to burst through tackles and explode for big runs. He and Kareem Hunt were a versatile tandem on the ground that flows well with the offensive line.
Odell Beckham Jr. (13)
WR 
A- 
After weeks of underwhelming results, OBJ showed the explosiveness fans have long expected. His speed and route running helped him burn a Cincy CB for a deep TD that will make Browns fans ecstatic. Moreover, he showed his reliability as a possession and receiver who can get open, move the chains and maximize targets.
Rashard Higgins (81)
WR 
No Opinion 
did not play
Sheldon Richardson (98)
DE 
B+ 
Similar to Garrett, Sheldon Richardson was formidable along the interior. He excelled at shedding blocks and getting in the backfield to blow up the Bengals passing offense.
Sione Takitaki (44)
LB 
Takitaki and the rest of the Brown linebackers struggled profusely last game. Takitaki had three missed tackles and struggled in coverage. Fortunately for the Browns defense, Malcolm Smith did a better job tackling and pass rushing. Nevertheless, Smith, TakiTaki and B.J. Goodson all need to improve at coverage to get opposing offenses off the field.
Terrance Mitchell (39)
CB 
Terrance Mitchell flashed a high upside on Thursday. Despite being targeted ten times, Mitchell held his own and only allowed two receptions.
Advanced Team Grades
Offense
Run Offense (Overall)
A
Passing Offense (Overall)
A-
Moving the Chains
B
Protection
A
Big Plays
A-
Mistakes
B
Overall QB Play
A-
Game Notes on Offense
This was the type of offensive productivity that Cleveland is capable of having when playing at their best. With Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt at the helm, Cleveland's offensive success was built upon the run game. Spurred by excellent blocking from their offensive line, this duo had many opportunities to reach the second level and beyond. Although, both these elite rushers had enough explosiveness and tenacity to create yardage on their own by plowing through contact and forcing missed tackles. Due to this rushing output, the Browns passing game excelled on play-action plays. Within Kevin Stefanski's system, Baker Mayfield was able to stay away from pressure on bootlegs and scan down the field to find open receivers. As a result, Mayfield delivered numerous dimes to playmakers like OBJ and, Jarvis Landry, and KhaDarel Hodge. Moreover, the receivers were able to get open using quality route running to move the chains and create big plays.
Quarterback
A-
Running Backs
A+
Protection & Blocking
A
Receiving
A-
Analysis Notes
Aside from a few bad decisions, this was the most disciplined and focused the Browns offense has been since 2019. If the OL can keep Baker clean and create rushing opportunities, this offense is good enough to stay in any game. Especailly when they excel at moving the chains and making big plays.
Defense
Passing Game Defense
C
Stopping the Run
B+
Controlling the Line of Scrimmage
D
Forcing Turnovers
C-
Big Plays
B
Mistakes
C+
Game Notes on Defense
This Browns defense bent but refrained from breaking in their last game. On the one hand, this unit struggled to keep Burrow off the field by allowing him to drop back and move the chains too easily. While most of Burrow's success was simply due to his stellar pocket presence, good decision making, and outstanding accuracy, this team failed to execute well on short-yard and late-down situations. If they aim to rebound against teams like the Ravens, Cleveland's linebackers need to play better in coverage and tackle better. However, there were many positives from this defense's play as well. For instance, Terrance Mitchell and Denzel Ward each did a great job holding their own against Tyler Boyd and A.J. Green. Mitchell forced numerous incompletions and Ward had his fair share of pass breakups. When you combine that success with the Brown's pass rush, it led to numerous big plays. In fact, the three-headed monster of Sheldon Richardson, Myles Garrett and Adrian Clayborn made life hell for Joe Burrow by forcing 14 total pressures.
Defensive Line
A-
Linebackers
D
Defensive Backs
B
Notes
Cleveland's defensive coordinator, Joe Woods, has a lot of talent to work with. He has shown a willingness to let Myles Garrett, Adrian Clayborn, and Sheldon Richardson wreck havoc against offensive lines and terrorize opposing backfields. Within the Browns 4-3 defense, this pass rush will be vital to their success against opposing offenses. This is especially true given that their linebackers struggled to make plays of any sort last game. Therefore, Cleveland will likely continue to lean on their playmakers in the DL and secondary to make big plays.
SPECIAL Teams
Kickoff/Punt Coverage
F
Kicking
A+
Punting
A+
Kickoff/Punt Returning
C
Special Teams Comments
The Browns special teams gave up too much yardage on kick returns from Brandon Wilson. However their kicker and punter each played well in their short playing time on Thursday.
Play of the Game
Odell Beckham 43 yard catch from Baker Mayfield at 11:54 in the second quarter
Coaching Grades
Game Plan
A
Execution
A-
Game Management
A
Key Decisions
B-
Play-Calling
A-
Creativity
A
Comments on Coaching
Kevin Stefanski showcased the excellent and aggressive play calling and game management that led to much success with the Vikings in 2019. By leaning on the run game and play-action plays, Stefanski maximized rushing opportunities for Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt. Stefanski's presence has also led to extensive improvement from the offensive line, which was able to keep QB Baker Mayfield relatively protected on Thursday. As a result, Baker was an effective quarterback who moved the chains and found receivers deep down the field. If this cohesion, focus, and game plan can continue, the Browns will play at their ceiling. Similarly, the Browns defense showed that they can compete against top teams in shootouts when their offense is organized. If the organization can maximize this defense's talent and develop it's LB corps, it has the ability to make some noise late in the season. Therefore, this team has enough playmakers to remain in playoff contention barring internal friction or dysfunction.