Five Telling Statistical Signs From Todays Cleveland Browns 21-18 Defeat To Pittsburgh

When you break down the final stats from todays 21-18 loss at the hands of the Pittsburgh Steelers, the stats match the final score indicating just how close this one was.  They also point out flaws but also improvements for the Cleveland Browns to focus on this week.. There were some good, some bad, and some ugly.  Let’s get right to it!

 

Here are some of the key stats from Week One.

 

Roethlisberger went 24 of 36 for 263 yards with 2 touchdowns and one interception, also one sack.

While good numbers, they were not the stellar number he typically puts up against Cleveland.  He normally scorches them for 300 plus every time.  However, only being sacked once shows the lack of pressure the Browns will need to be successful this year, also a clear indicator that injured rookie Myles Garrett is needed to be in the lineup every week if they are to improve and succeed in this system.

 

The Browns defense held Le’Veon Bell to 32 yards on 10 carries.

For many years some of the Browns biggest struggles have been stopping the run and running the ball themselves.  Today, they apparently made strides towards improving one of those facets.  Hopefully this is a sign to come on not a product of rust from Bell not practicing or playing since last season.

 

Starting Running back Isiah Crowell was held to a paltry 33 yards on 17 carries.

If Bell’s 32 yards on 10 carries was bad, then Crowell’s 33 yards on 17 carries was even worse.  The Browns need to get this figured out and fast.  Your starting tailback cannot average 1.9 yards a carry or else you will go 1-15 again.  All that money spent on an offensive line and that is what you produce? Awful!

 

Antonio Brown catches 11 balls for 182 yards.

Perhaps Joe Haden wasn’t the problem after all when it comes to covering Brown.  Simply put, no one can cover this guy and it showed again today.  Brown crushed the Browns late in the third quarter and fourth quarter extending drives with great catches.  Sometimes it was in the slot, sometimes he would go deep.  It didn’t matter, they had no answer for him.  The Browns couldn’t get the Steelers off the field on third down in the second half, and Antonio Brown was the reason why.

 

Kizer was sacked 7 times. 

DeShone Kizer had a very solid first NFL career start.  But, the one stat I can’t get over is the 7 sacks.  Not good and it was a mixture of poor blocking, poor decision making and simply holding onto the ball too long.  While I understand Kizer holding onto the ball too long, that is a common rookie mistake.  I cannot get over the poor O-Line play once again.  It bears repeating, All that money spent on an offensive line and that is what you produce? Awful!

 

 

The Browns did a lot of things well today, they truly did.  But, until they can get off the field on third down, rush the ball efficiently and also pressure the quarterback, it will continue to be hard to win games.  They have talent, they have youth and energy, they have coaching.  They simply need to get better line play on both sides of the ball and things can improve this season.

 

Time will tell!

 

 

 

 

 

About the Author

Vince McKee
Vince McKee is a growing force in the sports literary world. He has written seven books on Cleveland Sports. They have all helped to build his credibility as a top-notch chronicler of the impact of Ohio sports. Vince has done freelance work as the MMA correspondent for InscriberMag: Digital Magazine as well as a Beat Reporter for the Cleveland Plain Dealer & The Medina Gazette. His work has been featured on Drennan Live, SLAM Magazine, The Magic 105.7 Morning show, ESPN radio and over 25 local papers, tv stations and radio programs. Despite his personal connection with Bill Belichick, one of the worst moments of Vince’s young life was watching his beloved Browns leave town only weeks after the Indians lost the World Series in 1995. Vince is a life long Cleveland sports fan and enjoys spending lots of time with his wife Emily and daughter Maggie.

1 Comment on "Five Telling Statistical Signs From Todays Cleveland Browns 21-18 Defeat To Pittsburgh"

  1. Keith B McGlothin | September 13, 2017 at 8:09 pm | Reply

    Roethlisberger went 24 of 36 for 263 yards with 2 touchdowns and one interception, also one sack.

    I honestly DON’T put much into that, Steelers starters didn’t play a whole lot during the preseason, and Bell didn’t sign until September 1st. The also had 13 penalties for 144 yards, that really kept the Browns in the game, and not typical of well coached team. I thought Roethlisberger was able to do whatever he wanted, when he wanted too. Having the safeties 30-35 yards off the line of scrimmage, certainly didn’t help much. Maybe its just me, but at some point, don’t you make an adjustment? I’m not sure what to really think of Garrett, I actually liked Barnett (UT), and just not all that big on guys that do a lot of talking, and then don’t play. I guess we’ll see if he helps.

    The Browns defense held Le’Veon Bell to 32 yards on 10 carries.

    This is a stat that ONLY looks good on paper, with no explanation. I’ll be the first to admit, I liked the aggressive play of the defense, especially in obvious run situations. Pittsburgh, just seemed to be trying to get through this game healthy. Bell missed ALL of training camp, so it may take him a few weeks to get going and get comfortable. By the time these 2 face off again, it may have a different look and feel to it.

    Starting Running back Isiah Crowell was held to a paltry 33 yards on 17 carries.

    I’m no more concerned about Crowell’s apparent struggles than I was with those of Bell. Crowell is clearly at a disadvantage, playing with a rookie QB, with LIMITED field time, who processes slow, and opposing defenses, will be bringing pressure, taking away run lanes in the process. I thought the OL got pushed off the ball most of the day, so much for the highly publicized additions of Zeitler, Tretter, and new contract of Bitonio. Thomas had a rough day as well.

    I thought the play calling was awful, and too predictable. I thought a few screens could have slowed down the pressure, but as an offensive coach, I just haven’t been very impressed with Jackson. They basically just threw Kizer out there, and HOPED he came out on the other side.

    Antonio Brown catches 11 balls for 182 yards.

    I honestly have no idea what they were trying to do defensively vs Brown. What was the game plan, don’t let him beat you deep for 50 yards over the top, but 30 ir 40 yards underneath, we can live with? I’ll never understand ANYTHING the Browns do, cutting Haden, is just another move that made no sense. They guy was FINALLY healthy, looked good, and a more aggressive style of play, may have been to his liking. He was by far the Browns best cover guy, and had he been here to cover Brown, I’m willing to bet he doesn’t catch 11 of 11 targets for 182 yards.

    Brown is definitely a guy that requires your attention, but with Haden, are you playing your safeties that far OUT OF THE PLAY? Then to make matters WORSE, he goes to a division rival, and you get NOTHING for him? They got a draft pick for Gilbert, remember him? Brown played with a smile on his face all day, and at some point, don’t you make an ADJUSTMENT, or were you hoping he’d eventually DROP one?

    Kizer was sacked 7 times.

    He was actually sacked about 10 times, and had 3 nullified by penalties. It’s hard to really be upset with Kizer, he was put in a difficult situation. I blame coaching more so than anything. Rookie struggles and mistakes, are anticipated, if not expected, but he could have been prepared better to play. I don’t think anyone handles the QB position, worse than Cleveland.

    The COMMITMENT to Kizer, should have been made the moment they drafted him. There was no need to have a sham of a competition, that was geared towards a desired outcome. Nothing was gained, but time wasted. They got rid of the QB who would have started, had he been back. In watching Griffin lll against PIT to close the season, he looked healthy, and I was excited to see him, with pieces around him.

    They NEVER wanted Osweiler, and had NO INTENTION of him starting, or being here. I said early one, despite him being the most accomplished of all the QB’s, he was NEVER going to get a REAL opportunity. I said pay more attention to how they TREATED him, as opposed to what they were SAYING about him. Kessler was Hue’s guy, TRUST HIM, he said. He was HANDED a job he hadn’t EARNED, and wasn’t good enough to keep. I said Wentz was PERFECT for here, but Hue didn’t think so… How’s Wentz looking these days? Guess who ISN’T looking for a QB.

    I honestly don’t know how Kessler is still on the roster, I also said he wasn’t a better QB than Hogan, he’d just NEVER get the opportunity to show it, but he’s EARNED the opportunity to be the #2. Kessler is only here, because Hue’s not ready to admit he was a mistake, passed on Prescott too. What exactly is it again that makes him a QB Whisperer?

    I thought Kizer should have been PREPARED to PLAY and LEAD this team from day one. Its WHY he was drafted. NOBODY understood the Kessler pick, but Jackson, so why waste time? I’ve always looked at camp, and the preseason as the time to PREPARE your starter, not sort out backups. Put your starter in the best position to lead, and have success. Prescott was getting 90% of 1st team reps in DAL, backup 10%.

    Kizer basically played 2 QTRS with the first unit, and STRUGGLED to complete 6 passes. Made no sense that he didn’t play the 4th game. This was a ONE win team last year, NOBODY deserved a game off. He needed meaningful field time with his OL as well as his receivers. He holds on to the ball too long, locks onto the primary, because he LACKS trust, he has to see a guy open, as opposed to throwing him open. I think he’ll get better. He’s going t face a lot of pressure, nevertheless, I was impressed with his first showing, mistakes and all.

    I’d like to see more creativity to the offense, too often they seemed to be playing behind the chains. How about some quicker reads, and throws? Screens to the RB’s? BAL will be bringing pressure, I’m anxious to see what adjustments are made, and what the team improves on from game 1.

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