By Rich Kozlovich
Well, this game is now in the records. We lost! However I am pleased at the overall performance, even though we lost by a larger margin than last week, the Browns nonetheless played in such a way that Browns fans can have confidence that there is enough foundation there for them to root for a team that is going to win a lot of games.
Our defensive line is aggressive for four quarters. As they put pressure on the quarterback they do it with a consistent rush avoiding big holes up the middle, and they really shut down the running game again this week. This loss can be attributed to the fact that the defensive backs couldn’t contain Bengals wide receivers. Playing them ten yards off the line is difficult to defend, but they may have decided that the long passes were equally difficult to defend against so better to force them go inside and hope to stop them at the ten year line and then make them kick field goals. That was a strategy used by Belichick very effectively. Also, I find it hard to believe that one player is that crucial to our defenseive back field.
As for the offensive line; did they perform much better this week or was the Bengals defense that much worse than the Eagles. Yes! They played better and the Eagles have a better defense. As for Weeden; it is clear that he is capable of being a great line of sight quarterback because of his rocket arm delivery. He still has no touch on long balls and he has trouble “knowing” where the receivers are going to be and as a result misses his receivers in critical situations. I am inclined to think that quarterbacks that have this problem lack what is called “spatial” intelligence. That is a skill that allows a person to see the field in his mind in three dimensions; much like an air traffic controller. However, he did handle the pressure much better. If he improves this much each week then we have our QB. As for our run game; Richardson is the real deal, and the wide receivers performed far better. Let’s hope this is a continuing trend.
Overall this game, even though a loss, was encouraging to me. I am seeing a much better performance in weak areas, including coaching. Most importantly, they never gave up, and that interception by the defense was not wasted by the offence. They scored! That is a huge encouragement to the defense.
I enjoyed the game.