Last night (Sunday) I made the decision to watch my wife’s team play their week 11 regular season game as they were going up against a division rival. The game we watched was her Detroit Lions take on the Chicago Bears instead of me watching my Cleveland Browns play against the high-flying Jacksonville Jaguars. You know what? It was the correct decision seeing as the Lions/Bears game was a good one and was the first full game I’ve watched where Mitchell Trubisky has been at the Bears’ helm all game – he’s going to be very good, I think.
I watched the Browns/Jags game this morning and only using the ‘Game in 40’ option via GamePass. I think the header image of this post pretty much wraps up any explanation I might have thought I needed to do about how the game went as Leonard Fournette just ran over the Browns for 111-yards on 28 carries and a 5-yards per carry average. Despite all his comments about him not liking the kind of wet and cold weather they were going to have to play in during this game, the Jaguars are an offence built correctly for this climate and Fournette was always going to be the main focus. In fact, all three of the Jaguars running backs are strong, powerful, hard-nosed types who could have carried the offence in those conditions, but Fournette is by far the most talented of them.
Since Blake Bortles has been outed as being crap, their offence also seems to play the shorter passing game as well which compliments the running game nicely and is also better suited, in my opinion, to this kind of weather.
Having said that, both offences looked pretty crap and is why I’m glad I watched the NFC North game live instead. Blake Bortles knows his role in that offence is just to game manage until they can pick up a better QB in the off-season and the coaching staff have implemented a gameplan that works perfectly with the weapons they’ve got. Hue Jackson, on the other hand, seems unable to get anything going on his offence with the crap that he has at his disposal. I really do think that he’s either too stubborn to or is incapable of changing things on the offence to make things work and is why I’m starting to think that he’s not the right man for the job and needs to go. I’ve tried to resist saying such a thing for a while now as the team really does need stability if it is to start moving forward, but right now they are going nowhere but backwards. I know they were up against a very good defence with one of the best defensive lines and cornerback tandems in the league, but they just looked toothless and awful!
Greg Williams has come in and is getting the defence working and looking good but Hue Jackson’s offence looks rubbish…end of! If the franchise has some master plan that they are working to then, please, carry on, but right now things just look BAD! I can’t help but think that Hue is nothing more than an offensive coordinator and really isn’t a head coach. He seems to want the money a head coach gets paid but just wants to do the offensive coordinators job. Many many people are calling for the team to bring in an offensive coordinator and I fully agree. Hue Jackson either needs to take on the head coaching job properly and hand the offensive reigns over to someone else or bugger off somewhere else and be the offensive coordinator he appears to want to be, he’s proven (to me and many others at least) that he can’t do both very well.
Anyway, I’m banging on again in a post that was supposed to be a quick one about the actual game.
Positives from the Game
Not many if I’m honest. Corey Coleman’s back and actually looked decent with his six catches for 80-yards. I still have concerns about him now that he’s broken his hand twice in two seasons but the talent is definitely there, he just needs to stay healthy. I guess people would say we should give him the benefit seeing as it’s his first game back, but he did drop a pass that was a little low but still catchable. It’s this kind of thing that has happened way too much this season and could be argued is making DeShone Kizer look worse than he actually is.
Duke Johnson was up there again as one of the teams top receivers with his four grabs of which one was taken for a TD.
There really isn’t much more to be said about the offence as they really were bad again. The run game went for a total of 50-yards and DeShone Kizer got nearly half of them, sheesh. Only half of Kizer’s passes were caught and he was sacked five times and intercepted twice. He also fumbled three times of which two were recovered by the Jaguars. All this adds up to a tough watch for any Browns fan.
The defence looked ok for most of the game but, yet again, the highest scoring quarter for the opposition was the 4th. This to me shows that the Browns defence is having to spend far too much time on the field and gets tired towards the end as the offence is just so bad and struggles to put drives together enough of the time to allow the defence to rest.
James Burgess Jr. has come in as a starting outside linebacker in place of Jamie Collins, who has been placed on IR, and looked pretty good. He was in on sixteen tackles and got a sack. Greg Williams has stated in the past that he likes the way Burgess goes about his business and was a great pick up by the Browns after being an undrafted free agent.
Negatives from the Game
Too many to list!
The biggest downer from this game (other than the score and the performance…again) is the fact that DE Emmanuel Ogbah is done for the season. He broke his foot in this game and so will not play again in 2017. After a shaky first season in the NFL, Ogbah has stepped up his game and looked to be a very good DE. With him on one side of the line and 2017 first overall pick Myles Garrett on the other, the Browns pass-rush has been much improved. It will be up to Carl Nassib to step up and be the starter in place of Ogbah, which I don’t mind as he too is a good young DE who has a knack of pushing the pocket and getting to the QB or getting his hands up and blocking passes at the line.
Title image credit: David Richard/AP