Sunday, December 25, 2016

Browns Recap 12.25.16: San Diego Chargers @ Cleveland Browns

By Katelin Marshall, @KatelinKnowsCLE

THE CLEVELAND BROWNS FINALLY WON A GAME!!!! I REPEAT, THE BROWNS WON A GAME!!!! They pulled out a 20-17 victory against the Chargers. The Chargers totally "Charger'd" the game away and it was incredible.

The Browns played well enough to win this game even though they got out-gained by 105 yards (356-251). But the Browns won three key facets of this game; time of possession, penalties, and the turnover margin. The Browns won the possession game 32:29 to 27:31 mins. The Browns only committed four penalties while the Chargers committed nine penalties (three on the first drive which set up a Browns touchdown). And Jamar Taylor picked off Philip Rivers' pass for the only turnover in the game and the Browns capitalized on it a scored a field goal.

The Browns passing offense was hit or miss all day. RGIII threw for 164 yards on 17/25 attempts. Unfortunately, the offensive line struggled in pass protection, allowing 9 sacks for 48 yards, one of which caused RGIII to leave the game with a concussion. Gary Barnidge was the Browns leading receiver with five catches 42 yards. Terrelle Pryor had three catches for 36 yards and Corey Coleman had two catches for 15 yards including a nine yard slant route which extended the Browns last drive.

The Browns running game was headlined by Isaiah Crowell who ran for 54 yards on 16 attempts and two touchdowns. RGIII ran for 42 yards on 6 attempts and Duke Johnson had 28 yards on seven attempts. The Browns running game helped the Browns win the time of possession game.

The Browns defense did just enough to win this game. Rivers threw for 322 yards on 23/46 attempts, two touchdowns and one interception. The Chargers leading receivers were Antonio Gates with eight catches for 94 yards and one touchdown and former Brown Travis Benjamin who caught for three passes for 75 yards. Jamar Taylor (who was on of my five guys to watch) had one interception and three pass defections.

The Browns run defense completely shut down the Chargers running game. Kenneth Farrow was the Chargers leading rusher with 28 yards on 9 carries. And the Browns only gave up 34 yards total on 19 attempts. The Browns leading tackler was Christian Kirksey with 10 total tackles. Ed Reynolds had seven tackles and two hits on the quarterback.

The unsung heroes of the game was the Browns special teams. Returner Mario Alfred averaged 28 yards per kick return and defensive lineman Jamie Meder came up clutch and blocked a game-tying field goal attempt with just over three mins left in the fourth quarter.

Most Valuable Brown: Hue Jackson wins the award for this week. After a long season and losing 14 straight games the Browns finally pull out a win. This team never quit on him and you can see the emotion from Hue Jackson's post game speech. The record doesn't show it but he has this team believing in themselves and they believe in him.

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