For the Browns, it was a tough week to say the least. First there was a bunch of players getting sick and missing practice time. Then there was having to put one of their better defensive players – D’Qwell Jackson, on IR. Then came Sunday.
Showing little fight in front of their home crowd after the first quarter, the Browns did just about nothing right, getting pounded by the Green Bay Packers 31-3. The team did little right on either side of the ball, falling to 1-6 on the season.
“It’s a really disappointing performance across the board. I don’t think we played very well. I don’t think we coached very well. The main thing to me is the way that we played,” coach Eric Mangini said. “I thought that we had been making a lot of progress in terms of the type of football that we play. The intensity with which we play, the way that we finish plays, things like that and that wasn’t there today. It has to be there every week.”
First there was the offense, which again did little to put up a fight. Derek Anderson garnered just 81 net yards passing, going 12-for-29 for 99 yards and a pick in putting up a QB rating of 36.4. Anderson has led an offense that has scored just 13 points in three games (Josh Cribbs scored via kick return last week in Pittsburgh). Even with the awful offense, Mangini said he didn’t consider going back to Brady Quinn.
“D.A. (Derek Anderson) was our starter and I felt comfortable with the things that we were doing. That was where my thought process was,” Mangini said.
Then there is the defense, which right now is a complete train wreck. After allowing over 500 yards last week to the Steelers, the team allowed 460 yards to the Packers, 258 through the air, and 202 on the ground. It became more of a preseason game feel as the Packers did just about whatever they wanted it seemed on both sides of the ball.
“They just came out and did what they had to do to get the win. Honestly, we were on sound on some coverages. Like I said last week, in the back end if you give up big plays, it leads to points,” CB Brandon McDonald said. “That was the case this week. They prepared well for us, they caught us with some coverages that they knew we were going to be in. They took advantage of opportunities and they converted them and we didn’t stop them like we needed to.”
There’s not much positive you can take from the game against the Packers, other than it’s over and the team has to find a way to move on. They have to start finding a way to run the ball better (58 yards vs Green Bay), and at least put some sort of halt to opposing offenses.
They allowed a 99-yard drive, didn’t convert in the red zone when they had chances, and looked like a team taking major steps backwards. “It hurts to lose when you lose badly like that because you are not even close to being competitive,” OT Joe Thomas said. “It isn’t a mental thing. It is just a lack of execution.”
Unless the team finds a way to start executing – and quickly – things won’t be much better next Sunday when they travel to Chicago to play the Bears.