The Game: The Browns faced off against a very difficult team Sunday against the AFC offensive powerhouse Kansas City Chiefs. The contest ended with the Browns marking down another loss, giving them a record of 2-6-1. This didn’t feel the same as the 36 prior losses. The sense of the Browns having no future seemingly turned in a new direction. The team overall was able to cut down on penalties and run with a better flow. The new era of Browns football is starting and the team universe is aligning itself in the right direction.
The Offense: First-time offensive coordinator Freddie Kitchens was given the task to build a game plan better suited for rookie quarterback Baker Mayfield. You could tell quickly that the new plan will incorporate more Duke Johnson. Overall, Mayfield would go 29 of 42 for 297 yards with 2 touchdowns and one forced interception with this new plan. Great numbers against any other team. Coach Kitchens was able to incorporate eight different players into the receiving game. Then all three running backs while also including wide receiver Breshad Perriman into the running game.
Taking a look at the NextGen stats, Mayfield used the entire field. With sixteen passes to the right, seven in the middle, and nineteen to the left. This is how the ball should be distributed. The new offense also breathed life into Duke Johnson’s season with nine targets for nine catches for 78 yards and two touchdowns.
The Browns scored points in three of the four quarters, a solid start for the team to build on heading into week 10. I look for coach Kitchens to keep developing the best program for Mayfield and his offensive group.
The Defense: This was never going to be an easy task for coach Williams and being thrust into the interim head coaching role didn’t help. Unlike coach Kitchens, Williams was not able to devote all his time to one unit. Plagued with injuries across three of the four position groups, the “next man up” philosophy was put to the test.
Once again, linebacker Jamie Collins did not have the same sense of urgency as the other players on the field. Collins’s lack of drive only added more pressure to an already difficult game plan. When asked about Collins’s performance, coach Williams went to the linebacker’s defense. He pointed out that Collins was given the role of defensive quarterback after the loss of Christian Kirksey.
This is a new tone after years of Hue Jackson. We can only hope, for the betterment of the team, coach Williams will address this issue behind closed doors The Browns have a lack of depth at linebacker, and Jamie Collins is on a large contract. He just may find himself in a spot where the team simply cannot do anything but let him play.
On a positive note linebacker Tanner Vallejo, who was signed to the team in September from the Bills, stepped up and performed well. In his first action since joining the team, Vallejo turned in six combination tackles, five solo, and one assisted tackle. This was the definition of the “next man up” philosophy coach Williams is teaching every day at practice.
Overview: I see this game as a test run into the final stretch of the season. Find out what you have in each player under the new regime, then make all necessary adjustments and get ready for battle next Sunday. It’s important for not only changing the culture but also the mental stability of the team.
Written By: @Chadp71
Edited By: @Robzie_