Browns simply weren’t at the same level as Texans

Posted by Vic Carucci on November 7, 2011 – 8:37 pm

By Vic Carucci, Senior Editor

The Browns have had a couple of ugly wins. They’ve had some excruciating losses.

But Sunday marked the first time where the Browns simply weren’t competitive on any level with their opponent.

And when that opponent is as strong as the Houston Texans are, the outcome is going to be exactly what it was Sunday: A lopsided loss.

Actually, the Browns were fortunate the final score wasn’t worse than 30-12.

The Texans were dominant in all phases, although the place where they held the greatest advantage was in their running game. They ran for a staggering 261 yards – with a whopping average of 6.5 yards per carry – and three touchdowns.

The Browns’ defense had at least been able to keep the team within striking distance with stout play when it counted. However, there was nothing stout about Sunday’s effort. From the very start, the Texans pretty much did whatever they wanted on the ground.

They had two backs with more than 100 yards each, and Ben Tate averaged an incomprehensible 9.6 yards per carry; that’s almost a first down on each run.

The Browns’ offense remains a mess. The play of the offensive line is so poor that it has become nearly impossible for the team to run or pass. The unit was no match for the Texans’ blitzing defense, which became increasingly effective as the Browns demonstrated they were virtually incapable of running the ball and the score became increasingly one-sided.

It has reached the point where Colt McCoy’s greatest accomplishment is being able to keep getting back up after being knocked to the ground. McCoy’s toughness is admirable, but it simply can’t be all that he or the rest of the Browns’ offense have going for them.

As well as the Texans performed in all aspects of the game and as poorly as the Browns played, it’s fair to say that there was nothing the Browns would have been able to do from a schematic or play-calling standpoint to change things.

The Browns were overmatched, which pretty much was the case in their Week 8 loss at San Francisco. The only difference in that game was that their defense, while far from sterling, did just enough to keep them in range in the second half. And the offense had one of its typical late-game surges to actually provide at least a small sense that the team was competing.

That never was the case at any point at Houston.

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