CLEVELAND, Ohio — If Cade York hadn’t scored a 58-yard field goal with 8 seconds to go to beat Carolina 26-24, we’d be having an entirely different discussion.
It will be one of the most disappointing weeks for Brown and his fans, with Baker Mayfield defeating his old team and returning in the fourth quarter.
However, it must be said that I have heard many Browns fans say that they want Mayfield to play well with his new team. I have the same feelings, but losing the Browns in that game would have been devastating to the morale of the fans.
Instead, they won. They are 1-0 up for the first time since 2004… ah, the Jeff Garcia era!
I was having this discussion with some top brown people, and they agreed. But he also said that the “scary win” was a good way to get the team focused on how easy it is to blow up a game in the NFL.
The Browns dominated Carolina for three quarters. They had a 20-7 lead in the final period. Had the game ended there, the coaches would have spent a lot of time trying to persuade players to take the Jets seriously.
Let’s face it, starting 137-year-old Joe Flaco in a New York QB. Okay, Flaco is 37 years old. He hasn’t been a quality QB for several seasons. But Cleveland fans remember that when Flaco was in Baltimore he tormented their favorite team. Yes, he had a 17-3 record versus the Browns as a member of the Ravens.
But the Browns won.
As former Plain Dealer sports columnist Hal Leibovitz often said, “When the Browns win, the food tastes better the next week, I sleep better, the sun shines brighter.”
it’s on the coach
Now coaches can show players how a few big-bang assignments can turn an easy win into a devastating loss.
But the coaches also have to do a better job.
With 3:33 left in the first half, Brown took a 14-0 lead. Mayfield hit tight end Ian Thomas … a wide open Ian Thomas … for 50 yards. This set up a 1-yard TD driven by Christian McCaffrey.
Defensive coordinator Joe Woods said, “It’s my fault … I take responsibility for that.” He gave an explanation of how Carolina changed some players on the field: “Instead of staying with the group I had, I tried to change to a different personnel package and I didn’t communicate it clearly.”
Often when a coach says, “It’s on me,” they’re covering up for a player’s fault… and trying to shut down the discussion.
But in this case, it was up to Woods and the defensive coaches. Bottom line: He considered the situation. They got so consumed with proper matchups, they ended up with about 10 on the field. By the time the 11th player was on the field, the ball had spilled and was not in the correct position. It’s not the player’s fault. It was the wrong decision of the coaches.
it’s on the defensive back
In the fourth quarter, Brown took a 23-14 lead in 6:13. The defensive secondary lost track of Robbie Anderson, who caught a 75-yard TD pass from Mayfield. He wasn’t just open, he was outrageously open.
We had a familiar scene from early 2021 with a security and a corner looking at each other – hands out, wondering what happened. In this case, it was Grant Delpit and cornerback Greg Newsom II.
“Just miscommunication,” Woods said. “Nobody’s fault in particular. We have to work better together on the back end of that particular game.”
This is what a coach says when he doesn’t want to publicly blame a player. It was probably Newsom’s fault, who should have stuck with Anderson when the receiver went deep. He more or less accepted it.
“If you’ve seen the route, it’s something we work on every day in practice,” Newsom said. “Just seeing how much time was in the game and what they needed, I am just going to be on top of the route and it will be cancelled. We will definitely fix it. It’s an easy fix.”
Bottom-line: The Browns are good enough to dominate teams like the Carolinas, especially if the defense is paying attention. He dismissed Mayfield four times. They knocked down five of his dice. Carolina ran for only 54 yards on 19 carries. But two big mistakes made them 14 points and the game remained close.
About Amri Cooper
The Browns’ newly acquired Pro Bowl receiver’s stats looked disappointing: three catches for 17 yards. He was targeted three times. Brown knows he has to do more to get the ball to him.
But something else happened when Jacobi Brissette bowled the ball to Cooper – the defense hit him early.
He drew three near-intervention calls, including one in the end zone. This set up a 1-yard TD pass from Brissett to Karim Hunt. Fell in love with that play. Nick Chubb and Hunt were together in the backfield. Brissette throws the ball to Chub, which caught the attention of the defending side. This left Hunt wide open in the end zone.
Cooper and Brissette need to play together to schedule some time. But the fact remains that Cooper will attract a lot of defensive attention, and that will help in a passing game.
about the brown
1. James Hudson III won praise from the coaches for his start on the right tackle. The pro football focus gave Hudson the second highest grade among Brown’s offensive linemen. Only Wyatt Taylor was better. Hudson allowed zero sacks, zero QB hits and only one QB early. This is a huge achievement for the team as Jack Conklin suffered an injury a year ago from starting the right tackle and is coming out of knee surgery. Not sure if he will play on Sunday.
2. Rookie Martin Emerson Jr. also got off to a good start as a pro, a solid performance at the cornerback. Rookie Alex Wright has impressed coaches with his pass-rushing ability as a defensive end.
3. Brown believes Brissette (18 passes out of 34, 141 yards) could be much better. No one is claiming Pro Bowl caliber, but he missed a few open throws. He looked crappy at times because the offense was a time out.
4. Several QBs including Cincinnati’s Joe Burrows (four interceptions) had early games. The Rams’ Super Bowl winning QB Matt Stafford and Las Vegas’ Derek Carr each had three interceptions. Teams are afraid to play their QBs (if at all) for fear of getting hurt. Brissette played one half. So it’s no surprise that many crimes look messy early in the season.
5. The Browns love how Hunt pulled out of his training camp funk early due to the lack of a new contract and had a great first game. The hunt/chew combination can be dynamic if Brown uses them properly.
Recent Terry Pluto Pillars
Donovan Mitchell by the Cavs. Won the press conference as soon as I joined
My Latest Terry Talkin’ Podcast: It’s All Here: The Cavs talk business, parent rise, Brown
Hot time in town with a hot baseball team and the Guardians in the playoff chase
Brown’s post game scribbles: Don’t overlook defensive flaws
How did Brown win that game???
Donovan Mitchell key to Cavs making big moves after trade
Andrew Berry interview: What about the win, Waiting for Watson.
Hey Terry: Andres Jiménez and Robbie Alomar? What about Miller?
Fooling Myself, Me and My Pride – Faith and You
What will be Brown’s record this season of “Feeling Opposed”?
Carolina bets on Baker Mayfield to rotate the franchise, what is he up against?
What has happened to the Guardians? What about their playoff hopes?
Can Brown face reality while putting together his crime – Terry Pluto Scribbles
Time for the Cavaliers to “Take a Big Swing” With Mitchell Trades
The real story as Baker prepares to face Mayfield Brown
How does the Jimmy Garoppolo deal affect Brown?
Cavs make a bold, exciting trade with some risk
What do you think Kevin Stefansky learned last season? – hey terry
Hey Terry Podcast: Miles Straw, Browns, Guardians
About Joel Bittonio’s Comments in Deshaun Watson, Something Hey Terry Browns
About Mike Clevinger and the story behind the big Cleveland/San Diego business
Who is the silent superstar of baseball? Cleveland fans know him well