Monday, October 3, 2016

On The Mark 10.3.16: Cleveland Browns @ Washington Redskins Recap

Growing pains prove too painful for the Browns who fall to the Redskins 31-20
By Mark West, @Markw2112

The Cleveland Browns, 0-3 before today's match up with the Washington Redskins, had hopes and even some momentum after just losing to the Miami Dolphins last week.  But with 3 turnovers and mental mistakes, the Browns ended up on the losing of this contest, with the Redskins winning 31-20 after putting up 14 unanswered points to end the game.  

Cody Kessler, with his second start, looked solid for most of the game, going 28/40 for 223 yards with a touchdown and interception.  It was his first career interception (picked by Josh Norman) and it helped seal the game for the Redskins.  Before then, he was 7/7 on third downs and looked accurate and solid from the pocket.  He was only sacked once and wasn't hit nearly as much as he was last week against Miami.

Isaiah Crowell continued his solid season, with 15 carries, 112 yards and a touchdown.  He burst through big holes from the offensive line and fought his way when the blocking broke down for extra yards.  

Terrelle Pryor had a touchdown along with 46 yards receiving while Barnidge lead all receivers with 57 yards on 7 receptions.

The defense really had no answer for Kirk Cousins or running back Matt Jones.  Cousins was 21/27 for 183 yards, 3 touchdowns and 1 interception while Jones pounded his way to 117 yards and a touchdown on 22 carries.

There were several controversies and questionable calls against the Browns.  The first was when the Browns, driving to take a 10 point lead, gave fullback Malcolm Johnson his first carry of the year.  He fumbled the ball which was recovered by the Redskins.  They would then go down the field for a touchdown to make it 24-20.  The second was a phantom fumble that was "recovered" by Redskins even though Duke Johnson recovered his own fumble and was up with the ball when the referee made the call.
 Later, Hue Jackson was told that the replay officials told the referees it was the correct call.  In videos, you can see Duke Johnson with the ball and the referee signal Redskins ball even though the defender didn't even have it.  The third was a Joe Haden pass interference call while he was looking at the ball in the air to try to intercept it.  The Redskins were able to score once again.

My thoughts: The Browns may be winless, but they do leave everything on the field.  Hue Jackson has these guys playing with heart and passion. That said, their limited talent at this is holding them back along with mental mistakes and questionable play calling.  Why have Malcolm Johnson carry the ball when Isaiah Crowell was doing so splendidly, especially when trying to go up by 10?  But the biggest question mark of all is the officiating.  How do you say that a fumble by Duke Johnson was turned over to the Redskins even though he came up with the ball?  It's one of so many bizarre things to happen the Browns over the last 18 seasons.  And, quite frankly, it's getting old.  The Browns have to earn respect, but they should also be officiated as fairly as they officiate the New England Patriots.  It just seems that the officials take the Browns far less seriously than any other team in the NFL.

Player of the game: Isaiah Crowell, with his 112 yards rushing and touchdown

Play of the game: Cody Kessler's touchdown pass to Terrelle Pryor after a Jamir Taylor interception.

Next up: The Browns are back home to play the New England Patriots.  This will be the first game for Tom Brady after his 4 game suspension. Get your popcorn ready.

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