Brandon Weeden's awful NFL debut washed away an stunningly strong defensive performance by the Cleveland Browns as the visiting Philadelphia Eagles slunk out of Cleveland with a 17-16 win,
Weeden's final interception of his four with under two minutes remaining on the first play of the Browns final possession ended any hope of a victory for Cleveland,who scored just one touchdown on the day and that was a interception return for a score by D'Qwell Jackson.
The Browns travel to Cincinnati next Sunday for a meeting with the Bengals....
1) Accentuate the positive-the defense was tremendous.
The D kept LeShon McCoy under control for the most part,picked off Michael Vick four times and cannot be blamed for the final scores as they spent most of the day on the field.
From what I saw yesterday,the defense will only get better when Phil Taylor and James-Michael Johnson return from injury....
2) About the only thing that I can hold against the defense is that they did not take the other three picks to the end zone (I mean that sarcastically).Had they done that,the game was won.
Considering the ineptness of Brandon Weeden,that was the only way to win...
3) Give plenty of credit to the untested linebackers in this one as well.
L.J.Fort had a sack and a pick and Craig Robertson had an interception along with leading the team in tackles.
Both players were beyond my expectations and played well enough to deserve continued PT upon the return John-Michael Johnson and Scott Fujita...
4) Ahtyba Rubin was huge off the line in the loss.
Rubin did not have a sack,but pressured Michael Vick all day and was the dominant factor in Vick's poor play.
5) Not much to say positive about the offense.
Brandon Weeden was awful and that is me being charitable.
His lack of touch on two overthrows of wide open receivers in the end zone (Mohammed Massaquoi in the first half and Alex Smith in the second) resulted in field goals.
One good throw and the Browns win this game...
6) Weeden's supposed advantage over Colt McCoy was his strong arm-so why wasn't it used?
The Browns have the ball around midfield with time for one play before the half.
All Browns fans have heard is about the powerful arm of Weeden,well here is a spot for this edge to be used-the hail mary.
Instead,Weeden runs 30 yards down the field and slides down.
If this was a play call,which I doubt,it was a dumb one,If it was a decision by Weeden,I question his decision making process....
7) After the only Cleveland TD of the day that gave the Browns a 15-10 lead,Pat Shurmur kicked the extra point to move the game to 16-10.
I would have liked to have seen them go for two and tried to make an Eagles TD tie the game and not win it,but I still would not have felt good about it either way.
I fail to see the Browns being successful on the try,but still....
8) I know Trent Richardson only rushed for 39 yards on 19 carries,but I was still not too disappointed all things considered.
Richardson busted his hump to get into shape to play at all and had to be rusty.
Adding to that,the Eagles sole defensive game plan was to control Richardson at all costs (get used to that one,Trent) by often playing eight defenders in the box and it added up to a less than strong outing..
9) One thing about Richardson-He is not a dancer around the line of scrimmage.
He will get what yards he can with a punishing running style. Ask former Buckeye Kurt Coleman,who had his helmet KO'ed by Richardson on one run-pictured above.
Coleman likely slept well as it was he that ended the game with the 12th (OK,4th) interception of Brandon Weeden of the day....
10) Weeden played poorly,but another play that could have swung the game was not his fault.
With the Browns deep in Philadelphia's red zone,Weeden fired a dart that was his best pass of the day to Greg Little.
Little had the pass bounce off his hands and the Eagles plucked it out of the air.
A drive that should have produced seven points instead produced zero.
Greg Little finished the day with zero catches as Weeden seldomly looked at him the rest of the afternoon.
Little needs to catch the ball after leading the league in drops last season to be a true number one or even a two receiver in the league,but he cannot be ignored either....
11) I thought the offensive line issues had been shored up,but despite allowing only two sacks,Brandon Weeden was harassed all day.
Philadelphia boasts one of the better pass rushing lines in the league with Jason Babin and Trent Cole pacing the way,so I'll give a mulligan this week,but no promises against the Bengals...
Photo Credit: Cleveland Plain Dealer staff