Maybe It’s Not the Quarterback?

After Seneca Wallace’s performance against Arizona in a 20-17 overtime defeat a little over a week ago, the blogosphere and the radio talk shows were filled with talk as to how much better Wallace looked at the controls of the Browns’ offense than Colt McCoy does.

Personally, it terms of results, there wasn’t much difference because 17 points doesn’t get victories in the NFL.  Yesterday, 11 teams scored more than 20 points, something rare for a Pat Shurmur offense. 

In yesterday’s 20-14 loss to the Baltimore Ravens, Wallace did a pretty good impression of McCoy, putting up just 14 points and averaged just 4.5 yards per pass attempt.  Mix in an interception thrown off his back foot to kill a promising drive at the beginning of the game, and you have the total Browns’ quarterback experience.

Look people, it doesn’t matter right now if the starting QB for Cleveland is Colt McCoy, Seneca Wallace, Otto Graham, Frank Ryan, Bill Nelsen, Brian Sipe or Bernie Kosar, the offensive game plan put together by this head coach is terrible. 

As we said earlier this week, Shurmur’s offenses don’t move the ball, and they don’t score points.  Other than that, how was the play Mrs. Lincoln?

The Browns even managed to run the ball too.  RB Peyton Hillis gained 112 yards against the vaunted Raven defense.  That wasn’t as much as Baltimore gained against Cleveland, as they had 162 yards on the ground.

Ray Rice was held to just 87 yards after getting over 200 a few weeks ago, but veteran running back/pot smoker Ricky Williams gained 45, and QB Joe Flacco somehow ran for 32 on a scramble.

On offense, this game was just more of the same.  The Browns had eight different receivers catch passes, but only two averaged over ten yards per grab:  Chris Ogbonnaya, who caught one for 12 yards, and Josh Cribbs, who caught 2 balls for 28 yards, however, one was a 23 yard catch.

It’s pretty easy to defend the Browns when they simply refuse to throw deep, no matter who the quarterback is.

And we haven’t even brought up the abomination at the end of the first half, when Cleveland had the ball, 1st and goal at the Raven 5 with 34 seconds left and managed not only not to score, but they didn’t even get an attempt at a field goal.

Wallace took the blame for not spiking the ball to stop the clock, since the Browns had no timeouts left, but it’s just another instance where this football team was poorly prepared. 

Another came at the end of the game when Cleveland had a chance to get the ball back with two minutes left, but rookie DT Phil Taylor jumped offsides, giving Baltimore a first down and allowing them to run out the clock.

The one bright spot was Cribbs 84-yard punt return which gave the Browns their first touchdown.  It was his first kick return for a touchdown of the year, and it gave the team a spark, since they were down 20-0 at the time.

There is one gripe about the game too.  The Ravens’ first touchdown was pretty much the result of a 60-yard pass interference penalty on S Mike Adams, on a pass that the Baltimore receiver had to come back on. 

The pros should go to the college rule on interference having it be a 15-yard crime.  There shouldn’t be any call an official makes that costs a team that much yardage, and it doesn’t matter if it’s the Browns or not. 

This wasn’t Adams pulling down a receiver who beat him deep.  It was a poorly thrown ball, and the Ravens benefited greatly from it.

There are fans who will talk this week about how the team didn’t quit on their coach.  They were down 20 points and fought back to make it a game. 

That’s a ridiculous endorsement of the coach.  The players are professionals and they should play hard.  It’s their job.

Once again, the holidays for Browns fans are for them to think about a high draft pick, and should the team take Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III.  As long as the team is running this offensive plan, it would be like having Jeff Gordon drive your ’01 Nissan.

JD

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