First Impressions: Game 1

1. At least there is still a season to look forward to. At halftime, with the score 24-3 and the Browns having done nothing, the post in my head was All Aboard the Runaway Train. 

By scoring 24 unanswered points — looking like a football team– they managed to derail the “Johnny Football Express” and the lynching parties.

2. It’s the defense’s fault. Assigning responsibility for a game is very simple. An average NFL team scores 24 points a game. The side of the ball that was farther below the average gets the blame.

The offense was 3 points above the average– despite not having Puff Gordon and losing both TE Jordan Cameron (2-5 for 47 yards) and RB Ben Tate (6-41). The defense was 6 points below.

Plus, they gave up 490 yards and allowed 7.3 per play. They gave up

3. Correction to the official stats.They currently list Brian Hoyer as 19-31 for 219 yards, 1 TD, 0 INTs and a 94,8 rating.

Had he played against a team with a better pass defense, Hoyer would have had three interceptions and a 53.0 rating. It’s great that he rallied the team and that they looked competitive But against a good team, he would have been turned the ball over several times.

4. Ray Farmer giveth and Ray Farmer taketh away. The good news is that Terrance West looked like  a player. 16 carries for 100 yards is the sort of day he was having for Towson a year ago.He now looks more worthy of a #3 pick than he did during the pre-season.

Even if you tale away the runs of 29 and 22 yards,, that’s still 3.5 yards a carry. And the Browns were clearly having trouble figuring out the run-blocks. When the line figures this stuff out, they’re going to chew holes in everyone.

Rob Ryan’s instinct will be to blitz on every play next week (that’s always his instinct) and they could tear his defense to shreds– rush for 300 yards.

The back who looks like he really gets this scheme, actually, is Isaiah Crowell (5-32 and 2 scores), who just flew through the holes.

The goat of the game would be CB Justin Gilbert, who made Markus Wheaton (6-7 for 97 yards) look liek a Pro Bowl player and Justin Brown (3-4 for 38 yards).look good. He also committed a stupid penalty. His best play of the game was keeping Wheaton in bounds after he caught an 11-yard pass for a first down on the final drive.

His worst play of the game? Let;s pick the play after that– the blown coverage on the 20-yard pass to Wheaton that set up the field goal

Right now, he looks like the worst first-round pick in the 2014 draft.

5. Contrary to what the media will write…It’s not a good thing that Donte Whitner made 13 tackles. They call the safeties “the last line of defense” for a reason. It’s good that he made the tackles before Pittsburgh got 650 yards, but it would have been better if linemen and corners had made tackles before he got over there.


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