BIG PLAYS

Browns in Need of Big Rebound for Week Two

Week one of the NFL season was not friendly to the Cleveland Browns. Today I identify some players who could use a nice bounce-back week.

photo courtesy of Cleveland.com

Obviously when a team loses a game in the NFL by thirty points a lot of blame is going to go on the coaching staff. For Freddie Kitchens his coaching debut couldn’t have gone much worse. While Coach Kitchens has taken his fair share of heat this week some players who probably aren’t going to have fun reviewing film with the coach either. Many of the Cleveland Browns could use a nice rebound week against the New York Jets on Monday night. The added pressure of a primetime contest is probably the last thing that the Browns need after their opening day debacle, but last week’s underperformers must rise to the occasion. Here is my list of players who will need a bit better week two for the Browns to win.

Greg Robinson (and friends) – Robinson took a unit that already was struggling and threw it into chaos. While he has claimed that the kick that garnered his ejection from the game was accidental, it certainly did not help the cause. Anyone who lined up at right tackle was being victimized by Cameron Wake. By the end of the game, they were out of position and out of options. Without a big rebound from the offensive line this season will be in big trouble before it even gets rolling.

Denzel Ward – Ward is a tremendous coverage corner. His tackling can still use some work. If Ward has any motivation this week it will be that Jets Defensive Coordinator Gregg Williams didn’t think much of his tackling in his time in Cleveland. Luckily for Ward, there probably won’t be much time for Coach Williams to watch the Browns defense from last week. Ward missed a tackle on the Titans A.J. Brown that looked more like a drunk wedding crasher trying to sneak a date with the bride. Hopefully Ward can just make sure that nobody catches a ball in his vicinity against the Jets and he won’t have to worry about his tackling.

Oliver Vernon – With a lot of attention being paid to Myles Garrett you wouldn’t think Vernon would have failed to even yield a tackle against the Jets. While as a whole the defense looked solid, big plays and penalties defined the day. If Vernon can play up to potential next week the pass rush will look even better.

Baker Mayfield – Mayfield didn’t receive a ton of help. The offensive line made sure he took a beating, the play-calling was questionable at times and penalties took care of the rest. But Mayfield’s fourth quarter turned a sloppy loss into a blowout. Mayfield seemed to lose his accuracy as the game went on. After the game it was reported his throwing hand was checked by doctors. While all tests were negative he left with his hand in a wrap. While the injury has been downplayed it certainly is a concern going into next week. Browns fans better hope that hand is feeling better.

Austin Seibert – Missing an extra point isn’t an ideal way to start a career in the NFL. It also isn’t a great way to gain the confidence of an already leary fan base on the Browns kicking situation. If nerves got the best of him on that first kick, next Monday won’t be any better in that department.

Everyone else – Plain and simple the Browns will need to play better in every facet of the game if they expect to avoid a second straight loss to open the season. I don’t think it is impossible.

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