Monday, January 2, 2017
Steelers outlast Browns 27-24 in Overtime.
Those hopes changed when Landry Jones hit Cobi Hamilton with a 26 yard touchdown pass and gave the Steelers a 27-24 win.
Isaiah Crowell rushed for 152 yards with Robert Griffin throwing for two touchdowns in the defeat.
The Browns finish 1-15 and will pick first in the April draft...
1) Robert Griffin had a decent day,but Griffin still had issues getting the ball downfield other than a 43 yard gain to Terrelle Pryor.
Griffin said that his injuries never fully healed,but he wanted to try to play for the team.
Give Griffin credit for that,but the Browns cannot afford to spend another season hoping to revitalize Griffin.
It was worth a try and I agreed with the decision,but Griffin looks like this-An injury-prone QB that has seen injuries kill his arm and one that has seen his strengths adjusted to and taken away by defenses.
2) I hate that Mike Tomlin benched three of his top offensive players and can only hope that it backfires.
You see,Tomlin was a protege of Tony Dungy as he came up through the coaching ranks and Dungy did this stuff all the time with the Colts (Remember this,longtime readers?) and it never worked as the only title the Colts won under Dungy was the one time that he didn't do that!
3) I know that many will demean the Browns effort because of the lack of starters on offense,but I didn't see missing players on defense and the Browns might taken advantage of a less than motivated Steeler defense as far as effort goes,but their players were there.
This was a better game by the Browns offense than people will think..
4) The biggest plays in this game meant defeat for the Browns and they are what bad teams do.
In the third quarter,Briean Boddy-Calhoun intercepted Landry Jones and made a terrific return of 68 yards as he dove for the pylon for what would have made the score 21-7 Browns.
The play was called a touchdown,but was overturned as Boddy-Calhoun's dive saw him lose the football just before reaching as Darrius Heyward-Bey knocked the ball into the end zone for a touchback that gave the ball back to the Steelers.
Landry Jones then led Pittsburgh 80 yards for the tying score-a 14 point swing....
5) The other came late in the game with the game tied at 21 and the Browns move to the Pittsburgh five after the 43 yard pass noted above from Robert Griffin to Terrelle Pryor.
With the clock rolling and under a minute to play,a field goal attempt to win the game from short range by Cody Parkey seemed inevitable.
The stage was set for one more Browns ending as Isaiah Crowell,who had been so good in gashing the Steeler run defense,fumbled the ball and sent the game into overtime.
I felt terrible for Crowell,who had such a strong game running the football,but that summed the season better than I could have...
6) Cameron Erving was moved to right tackle to the game and allowed one sack before suffering a knee injury that Hue Jackson said "didn't look good".
The Browns were hammered with O-Line injuries almost all season with Joel Bitonio,John Greco,Austin Reiter and now Erving.
It'll be interesting to see when each of those players can return next season because with some of the replacements getting playing time this season,the line could be at least decent as far as depth and improved on the field....
7) He only carried the ball seven times,but I really liked the burst shown by George Atkinson and he ran for 34 yards and a score on those runs.
I'm not saying Atkinson should be considered a missing star,but I liked what I saw to the point that I wonder why the Browns didn't give him more of a shot in the backfield...
8) When I do the Browns review,I might give some awards and easily the rookie of the year will be Emanuel Ogbah.
Ogbah made a huge third down stop on a Steeler reverse and I think he'll win that award.
Ogbah looks like a keeper...
9) For the first time all season,the Browns might have found a keeper on returns with former West Virginia star Mario Alford.
Alford won't make you think of Devin Hester anytime soon,but he does try to advance the ball,which is a new thing in Cleveland...
10) The win clinched the top pick overall.
I hate these games,because I'm always conflicted.
Winning is always nice,but you have to know that 30 minutes after the game is over that a loss would have been the best thing..
11) Getting advice already from friends that think the answer is to trade down.
Couldn't disagree more.
Impact talent changes franchises not multiple lower picks.
Who has been the one elite player that the Browns have had since 1999?
Joe Thomas-3rd overall.
You still have to get the picks right no matter where you pick and I like my odds better higher in the draft...
12) The Browns have the first overall pick,the 12th pick in round one from the Eagles,the first pick in the second round (33) and the Titans pick in round two at 52.
So four of the top 52 players could be Browns.
Now,I've noted that I want to keep the one and I like Texas A&M defensive end Myles Garrett a little more than Alabama's Jonathan Allen.
If San Francisco loves one or the other and wants to offer something strong,I'd listen to drop one spot,but not much farther down.
I would be willing to move up or down at 12,depending on the player available or the offer,but I really would like to stay in the top two.
I'm not against some moves at 12,33 or even 52 to add assets,but keep in mind the Browns already have two second rounders (Eagles),two fourth rounders (Panthers for Andy Lee) and two sixth rounders (Steelers for Justin Gilbert) in the 2018 draft.
Plus,if the Browns cannot re-sign Jamie Collins,they are likely to add a compensation third rounder in that draft.
13) In other words,this front office has plenty of ammo in the next two drafts to start this process rolling,but they have to get them right-If they don't,this whole analytics things might be looked back at as a goofy attempt similar to the Chicago Cubs college of coaches.....
14) I already have three podcast guests lined up to talk Browns and the draft in the offseason.
I'm not sure of the future of the podcast (I've been lazy and I'm not wild about paying money when I haven't been using what I pay for),but I think if it does end in June-It'll go out strong.....