Monday, November 2, 2015

On The Mark 11.2.15: #Browns vs #Cardinals Recap

A Tale of Two Halves: Browns start strong, end badly in 34-20 loss to the Cardinals
By @MarkW2112

The Cleveland Browns lost to the Arizona Cardinals 34-20 at First Energy Stadium.  A loss is what Browns fans probably expected to a playoff caliber team like the Cardinals.  But what made this loss quite possibly the worst of the 6 so far was the fact that the Browns were up 20-7 2 minutes before halftime.
 They had 3 touchdown passes from Josh McCown, 2 of them caught by Brian Hartline and one by Gary Barnidge.  But after a fumble recovery by K'Waun Williams near the goal line as the Cardinals were driving, the Browns went three and out.  Andy Lee's punt shanked and the Cardinals were able to get a field goal to make it 20-10 before half.

The second half was all Cardinals.  They scored 24 more unanswered points, including a Michael Floyd 60 yard touchdown that Joe Haden was badly beaten on.  Haden would be out for the rest of the game after that with a concussion.  As far as the Browns offense went, it pretty much sputtered and died.  Duke Johnson, who had such a good game in the first half, was no where to be seen in the second.  Hartline dropped passes, McCown looked to be hurt as he was getting tossed around like a rag doll and the Browns just seemingly collapsed.

Carson Palmer, the victim of several dropped balls in the first half, was fantastic in the second.  He finished with 374 yards, 4 touchdowns and an interception on 23/38 passing.  Chris Johnson, who fumbled the ball twice, still had 109 yards on 30 carries.  

My take:  The Browns were Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde.  They looked confident in the first half, lost and disoriented in the second.  While the Cardinals made adjustments, the Browns seemed to take everything that worked for them in the first half and throw it in the trash.  Mike Pettine may have lost more Browns fans after today by not putting in a healthy Johnny Manziel as Josh McCown labored in the second half after being pummeled all game by the Cardinals pass rush. 

Player of the game:  Carson Palmer, who was magnificent in the second half.

MIA:  Duke Johnson, after being sensational in the first, was no where to be found in the second.  A very puzzling move by the Browns.

Next up:  Thursday night against the Bengals in Cincinnati.

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