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Why Austin Davis Deserves Another Chance to Start as the Browns QB

Let’s take a look at the last factors before we talk about Austin, and that is the offensive line and running game. The running game was somewhat there for the Browns today. They still finished with an abysmal 68 yards but Isaiah Crowell did have 62 of them on 11 touches. With playing from behind so early, they had to abandon the run. So let’s look at what impacted every play and that’s the offensive line.

Austin Davis seemed to be scrambling for his life on every play. The line could not give him enough protection to step up and make throws that he seemed to roll towards the sideline every play.

The receivers also are so bad that they could not get any separation that despite having the ball and looking downfield for 5+ seconds Davis still had to throw at least four passes away. That also does not include the couple of intentional grounding plays from where the line gave him no protection.

The line was so bad especially in the middle against the great DTs of Cincinnati. The downhill momentum began when LG Joel Bitonio reinjured his ankle. The Browns decimated by injuries had to turn to first round pick Cameron Erving again to fill in for him. However Erving’s play was so bad, that like fellow first round pick Justin Gilbert he was replaced in the fourth quarter for Austin Pasztor who made his season debut.

For the Browns possibly having a top five offensive line entering the season with Mack returning, they have looked like they belong in the bottom five. Alex Mack will likely opt out after the season and Mitchell Schwartz shouldn’t be resigned so the Browns will have decisions with what to do covering center and the whole right side of the line going forward to protect our QB.

The Browns have allowed a NFL high 38 sacks this season. That as I said before is likely a combination of the line struggling to block and the wide receivers being so bad that the QB has hold onto the ball to not force bad throws and turnovers. The line also allowed a blocked field goal from poor blocking for the second time in two weeks.

Now let’s get into the real talk of Austin Davis. Davis was 25 of 38 for 230 yards and one interception and one “fumble loss.” ThatAustin Davis Browns performance to me is actually starter worthy in my mind with all things considered. You figure he had no receivers, no protection, was playing a pretty good defense and a 9-2 team.

His numbers for that was pretty good and if you watched the game he looked fine to me. The one interception he had was on a miscommunication with Brian Hartline and to me it looked more like Hartline ran the wrong route.

It was a double move deep and instead of continuing to go inside where no safeties were he for some reason cut it back outside and up the field leading to the easy interception.

On the fumble, it was a quick pass to the outside where he couldn’t even catch the pass, turn, and throw the ball before the defensive lineman was 5 yards deep in the backfield to swat it and ruled it as a backwards pass. Crowell also didn’t help the matter in thinking it was a dead ball and letting the Bengals pounce on it for the turnover.

Once again, I’m not putting the majority of the blame on either turnover on Davis. He was also hampered with a drop and pass interference from Gary Barnidge that killed some early drives.

As far as both failed fourth downs, this first one should have never happened. There was no reason to attempt a 4th and 11, especially against a blitz.

The Browns should have taken the timeout. The second one was covered up excellent by the Bengals and Davis had nobody to throw to. It would have been nice to see them find the endzone once, but all things considered I don’t think Davis, McCown, or Manziel would have been able to lead a drive to get them there.

To me, it’s clear that Austin Davis should be the guy going forward.

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While a pharmacy major at Toledo by day, Brandon Urasek is now making his mark in the journalism scene specializing in fantasy football and all things Cleveland sports. A five time fantasy football league champ and two time runner-up in ten tries, Brandon strives to help people with their lineups each week in both personal and weekly fantasy leagues in addition to covering the other various Cleveland teams. Follow Brandon on twitter @burasek10

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