Cleveland Browns Short Week Recap

Cleveland Browns
Photo credit: Ron Schwane AP

A week ago, the Cleveland Browns looked like the same old team that many called the meltdown of the century against the New York Jets. With only 1:55 left in the game and up 30-17 they lost the game 30-31. Many called this a season-defining loss. Fast forward four days later and the Browns pick up a huge victory in primetime, and against division rival Pittsburgh Steelers. Fast forward a week from that Sunday’s loss and the Cleveland Browns are 1st in the AFC North and fourth in the entire AFC conference Trailing only Miami, Jacksonville, and Kansas City.

Browns Beat Steelers

The Browns get a much-needed bounce-back victory Thursday night against the Steelers. Many pundits called the loss to the Jets a possible season-defining loss. The way they lost was quite deflating and the Browns could’ve allowed that to define them. They did not. However, on a short week, Cleveland handled business against the Steelers and won 29-17. The main focus of the week was communication on the part of the defense. In order to win this game, it was a team effort on both sides of the ball. Jacoby Brissett and the offense have been efficient and can score just about at will.

Jacoby Brissett Play

Week one Jacoby Brissett looked out of sorts. He didn’t seem to have much command of the offense and it didn’t flow well. Multiple short play clocks and players didn’t know where to line up. As of now Brissett looks in command of the offense and flows well with the game. He looks more comfortable in this offensive system. According to ESPN Jacoby Brissett is completing 66.3% of his passes, has a 6.5 per yards average throwing, and a game day of 94.3 quarterback rating. Pro-Football-Focus has Brissett ranked as the number three quarterback in the NFL.

Browns Defense

Heading into Thursday night the common factor for the Cleveland defense was communication. During this game, the exaggerated point of communication was on display. For instance, you could see the defense using hand signals and everyone echoing what was going on. In the previous two games, Brown’s defense had multiple coverage busts that they allowed. In this game, they held those mistakes in check and had a limited number of big plays. For the most part, the defense held the Steelers in check. Mitch Trubisky threw for 207 yards and had an 81.1 quarterback rating. As well Cleveland gave up about 104 rushing yards. Not all was good though starting linebacker Anthony Walker Jr. was lost on the season with a torn quad muscle.

Special Teams

This unit continues to struggle. In common with the Jets game, they almost muffed another on-side kick against the Steelers. A missed diving catch for the ball and it was loose for a moment until it went out of bounds. As well it looked like Geroge Pickens was close to recovering the ball. Luckily he was flagged for off-sides so regardless if he was able to get the ball it would have been Brown’s ball regardless. Cade York missed another extra point and is struggling a bit, but that is to be expected from a rookie. The Browns seem to have found a new punt returner in Chester Rogers.

Conclusion

Right now the Cleveland Browns are tied for first place in the AFC north and third in the AFC conference overall. Where everything is at this point in time is a complete turn of events from the horrific loss against the Jets. Three weeks into the season this team can compete with anyone, as long as they don’t harm themselves. The opponents deemed to be tougher matchups on the schedule before the season started, don’t seem as difficult now. The Cleveland Browns are a good team with good quarterback play. It’s not as bad as it seemed two weeks ago and this team is going in the right direction.

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