Excruciating is really the only word that describes this Browns loss

Posted by Vic Carucci on November 13, 2011 – 9:13 pm

By Vic Carucci, Senior Editor

Here are some final thoughts of the Browns’ 13-12 loss to the Rams:

–Excruciating. Can’t really think of another word that better describes the way the Browns lost this one. I know, I know. These types of losses aren’t new to this franchise, but still …

–Amazing how a field-goal operation that produced six 50-yarders this season wasn’t able to succeed on a 22-yarder to give the Browns an excellent chance to win the game in the final minutes.

–Still, when you’re relying so heavily on field goals, bad things tend to happen to you. And this was as bad as it gets.

–I did like Pat Shurmur’s use of gadget plays. He used a lot of them, and most were effective. The “Wildcat” looks with Josh Cribbs didn’t work so well, but I thought there was a good deal of creativity in the other plays that seemed to take advantage of some of the Rams’ shortcomings. Clearly, Shurmur took advantage of the fact he knew this Rams team well having been St. Louis’ offensive coordinator the past two seasons.

–Major props to the Browns’ defense for holding up the entire game. Solid job against Steven Jackson. Nice pressure on Sam Bradford. Good pass coverage. Shurmur no doubt gave his defensive coordinator, Dick Jauron, some helpful information about Bradford, whom Shurmur guided as offensive coordinator for the Rams last year.

–Greg Little did an excellent job today, both as a receiver and runner. He continues to show his development as a dynamic difference-maker.

>>Be sure to tune in Monday through Friday, 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. ET, for “Cleveland Browns Daily, Driven by Liberty Ford” on ESPN 850 WKNR or catch the live stream right here on ClevelandBrowns.com.

>>Have a question for “Cleveland Browns Daily, Driven by Liberty Ford”? Ask me at Twitter.com/viccarucci


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Rams 13, Browns 12

Posted by Matt Florjancic on November 13, 2011 – 9:02 pm

CLEVELAND – The St. Louis Rams defeated the Cleveland Browns 13-12 at Cleveland Browns Stadium Sunday.

With the win, the Rams improved to 2-7, while the Browns fell to 3-6 on the year.

After making his first four field goals of the game, Phil Dawson missed a 22-yarder with 2:10 remaining in the game. A made field goal would have given the Browns the lead, but they trailed 13-12 following the miss.

Dawson’s attempt sailed left of the upright in the West end zone after a bad snap. Ryan Pontbriand’s snap hit the ground and bounced into the hands of holder Brad Maynard, who recovered to spot it before the missed attempt.

Josh Browns’ 34-yard field goal gave the St. Louis Rams a 13-12 lead over the Cleveland Browns with 7:42 remaining in the game.

Brown capped off a six-play, 11-yard drive that was started by the special teams.

The Rams elected to punt on fourth-and-seven from their 38-yard line and Joshua Cribbs fielded the 45-yard kick. He attempted to return the punt but was stripped of the ball by linebacker David Nixon. Fellow linebacker Ben Leber recovered the turnover.

The Browns enjoyed a 12-10 lead over the Rams after three quarters of play.

Dawson, the man Cribbs has consistently referred to as ‘Old Faithful,’ kicked his fourth field goal of the game and put the Cleveland Browns back in front of the Rams with 33 seconds remaining in the third quarter.

Dawson kicked a 43-yard field goal as the first half of play expired. The Browns trail the St. Louis Rams 10-9 at halftime.

The longest gain on the six-play, 51-yard drive came when quarterback Colt McCoy connected with wide receiver Greg Little on a 52-yard pass. Two plays later, the Browns had second-and-goal from the Rams’ 10-yard line, but tight end Evan Moore was whistled for a personal foul when he grabbed a defender’s facemask.

Josh Brown’s 29-yard field goal extended St. Louis’ lead to 10-6 over the Browns with 1:07 remaining in the first half. The Rams moved 36 yards in seven plays and took 2:19 off the clock.

Dawson’s 32-yard field goal drew the Browns to within one point of the Rams at 7-6 with 7:41 remaining in the second quarter. Earlier in the game, Dawson connected on a 44-yarder.

The big play of the drive was Colt McCoy’s 21-yard pass to Seneca Wallace along the Rams sideline. Initially, Wallace and McCoy lined up as wide receivers on opposite sides of the formation with Joshua Cribbs taking the snap in the Wildcat formation.

Cribbs handed off to Wallace as he ran right to left across the formation. Then, Wallace tossed the ball to McCoy as he came left to right. McCoy stepped up in the pocket and lofted the pass to Wallace for the 21-yard gain.

Linebacker Scott Fujita set up the drive with a deflection and subsequent interception of a Sam Bradford pass. As has become the defense’s custom after a big play, Fujita celebrated the interception with a handshake from fellow linebacker D’Qwell Jackson.

Bradford’s seven-yard touchdown pass to Brandon Lloyd gave the St. Louis Rams a 7-3 lead over the Browns with 14:53 remaining in the first half of play.

Lloyd ran an out route and hauled in the pass right before it hit the ground. Browns defensive back Joe Haden was in coverage on the play.

Bradford completed five passes on the drive, including a 24-yarder to Lloyd along the Rams sideline.

On second-and-20 from the St. Louis 21-yard line, Bradford took a snap and threw the ball left to Lloyd, who reached out with his right hand and pulled in the reception with two feet in bounds before falling into the sideline.

The Browns held a 3-0 lead over the Rams at the end of the first quarter.

After the teams traded early punts, the Browns put together a scoring drive that Dawson capped off with a 44-yard field goal with 4:51 remaining in the first quarter.

With the 44-yarder, Dawson is now 13 of 15 on field goal attempts this season and 3 of 4 on kicks between 40 to 49 yards.

The 11-play, 54-yard drive took 5:57 off the clock and had one defensive penalty for a neutral zone infraction. The big play of the possession was a 20-yard pass from McCoy to Cribbs that moved the Browns from their 23-yard line to the 43.

The Rams reported two injuries to the press box at the end of the first quarter. Cornerback Al Harris suffered a right knee injury and has been ruled out for the remainder of the game. Safety Darian Stewart has a head injury and returned to the game in the second quarter.


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Dawson misses from 22

Posted by Matt Florjancic on November 13, 2011 – 8:58 pm

CLEVELAND — After making his first four field goals of the game, Phil Dawson missed a 22-yarder with 2:10 remaining in the fourth quarter of play from Cleveland Browns Stadium. A made field goal would have given the Browns the lead, but they trailed 13-12 following the miss.

Dawson’s attempt sailed left of the upright in the West end zone after a bad snap. Ryan Pontbriand’s snap hit the ground and bounced into the hands of holder Brad Maynard, who recovered to spot it before the missed attempt.


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Rams go back in front

Posted by Matt Florjancic on November 13, 2011 – 8:44 pm

CLEVELAND – Josh Browns’ 34-yard field goal gave the St. Louis Rams a 13-12 lead over the Cleveland Browns with 7:42 remaining in the fourth quarter of play from Cleveland Browns Stadium.

Brown capped off a six-play, 11-yard drive that was started by the special teams.

The Rams elected to punt on fourth-and-seven from their 38-yard line and Joshua Cribbs fielded the 45-yard kick. He attempted to return the punt but was stripped of the ball by linebacker David Nixon. Fellow linebacker Ben Leber recovered the turnover.


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Browns lead after three

Posted by Matt Florjancic on November 13, 2011 – 8:21 pm

CLEVELAND — The Browns enjoyed a 12-10 lead over the St. Louis Rams after three quarters of play from Cleveland Browns Stadium.

Phil Dawson, the man Joshua Cribbs has consistently referred to as ‘Old Faithful,’ kicked his fourth field goal of the game and put the Cleveland Browns back in front of the Rams with 33 seconds remaining in the third quarter.

Dawson’s 27-yarder capped off an eight-play, 68-yard drive that took 4:26 off the third quarter clock.


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Old Faithful good from 27

Posted by Matt Florjancic on November 13, 2011 – 8:16 pm

CLEVELAND – Phil Dawson, the man Joshua Cribbs has consistently referred to as ‘Old Faithful,’ kicked his fourth field goal of the game and put the Cleveland Browns back in front of the St. Louis Rams at 12-10 with 33 seconds remaining in the third quarter of play from Cleveland Browns Stadium.

Dawson’s 27-yarder capped off an eight-play, 68-yard drive that took 4:26 off the third quarter clock.


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Rams lead at halftime

Posted by Matt Florjancic on November 13, 2011 – 7:33 pm

CLEVELAND – Phil Dawson kicked a 43-yard field goal as the first half of play expired. The Browns trail the St. Louis Rams 10-9 at halftime from Cleveland Browns Stadium.

The longest gain on the six-play, 51-yard drive came when quarterback Colt McCoy connected with wide receiver Greg Little on a 52-yard pass. Two plays later, the Browns had second-and-goal from the Rams’ 10-yard line, but tight end Evan Moore was whistled for a personal foul when he grabbed a defender’s facemask.

Josh Brown’s 29-yard field goal extended St. Louis’ lead to 10-6 over the Browns with 1:07 remaining in the first half. The Rams moved 36 yards in seven plays and took 2:19 off the clock.

Dawson’s 32-yard field goal drew the Browns to within one point of the Rams at 7-6 with 7:41 remaining in the second quarter. Earlier in the game, Dawson connected on a 44-yarder.

The big play of the drive was Colt McCoy’s 21-yard pass to Seneca Wallace along the Rams sideline. Initially, Wallace and McCoy lined up as wide receivers on opposite sides of the formation with Joshua Cribbs taking the snap in the Wildcat formation.

Cribbs handed off to Wallace as he ran right to left across the formation. Then, Wallace tossed the ball to McCoy as he came left to right. McCoy stepped up in the pocket and lofted the pass to Wallace for the 21-yard gain.

Linebacker Scott Fujita set up the drive with a deflection and subsequent interception of a Sam Bradford pass. As has become the defense’s custom after a big play, Fujita celebrated the interception with a handshake from fellow linebacker D’Qwell Jackson.

Bradford’s seven-yard touchdown pass to Brandon Lloyd gave the St. Louis Rams a 7-3 lead over the Browns with 14:53 remaining in the first half of play.

Lloyd ran an out route and hauled in the pass right before it hit the ground. Browns defensive back Joe Haden was in coverage on the play.

Bradford completed five passes on the drive, including a 24-yarder to Lloyd along the Rams sideline.

On second-and-20 from the St. Louis 21-yard line, Bradford took a snap and threw the ball left to Lloyd, who reached out with his right hand and pulled in the reception with two feet in bounds before falling into the sideline.

The Browns held a 3-0 lead over the Rams at the end of the first quarter.

After the teams traded early punts, the Browns put together a scoring drive that Dawson capped off with a 44-yard field goal with 4:51 remaining in the first quarter.

With the 44-yarder, Dawson is now 13 of 15 on field goal attempts this season and 3 of 4 on kicks between 40 to 49 yards.

The 11-play, 54-yard drive took 5:57 off the clock and had one defensive penalty for a neutral zone infraction. The big play of the possession was a 20-yard pass from McCoy to Cribbs that moved the Browns from their 23-yard line to the 43.

The Rams reported two injuries to the press box at the end of the first quarter. Cornerback Al Harris suffered a right knee injury and has been ruled out for the remainder of the game. Safety Darian Stewart has a head injury and returned to the game in the second quarter.


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Browns open their offensive bag tricks to mixed results

Posted by Vic Carucci on November 13, 2011 – 7:31 pm

By Vic Carucci, Senior Editor

Here are some halftime thoughts of the Browns-Texans game:

–Nice to see Pat Shurmur opening up his playbook and employing some gadgetry. The flea-flicker that resulted in a 24-yard throw from Colt McCoy to his understudy, Seneca Wallace, was a thing of beauty. The early screen pass to Josh Cribbs was nice as well, generating 20 yards. But the two “Wildcat” plays with Cribbs under center didn’t do very much. At the very least, the Browns have given the Rams’ defense something to think about.

–The Browns’ defense is gradually being worn down by the Rams’ fast-paced, no-huddle attack. It’s evident in the improved production of running back Steven Jackson, whom the Browns had done a solid job of containing for most of the first half, in the late stages of the second quarter.

–The kickers for both teams have done a pretty amazing job of dealing with strong wind gusts.

–Chris Ogbonnaya needs to learn to kick some runs to the outside. He seems to think he can simply run over defenders, and that doesn’t work for him. It also would help if he ran with a little greater authority.

–McCoy’s protection has been mostly solid against a defense that mostly relies on its front four to rush the quarterback.

–And with time, McCoy can make beautiful throws like the one he had to Greg Little for 52 yards just before halftime to set up (another) field goal.

–Evan Moore has to know better than to draw a major penalty as he did just before halftime by grabbing a facemask. He caused the Browns to settle for a field goal when what they desperately needed was a touchdown. Opponents are just going to continue to be physical with him in hopes of that happening repeatedly.

>>Be sure to tune in Monday through Friday, 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. ET, for “Cleveland Browns Daily, Driven by Liberty Ford” on ESPN 850 WKNR or catch the live stream right here on ClevelandBrowns.com.

>>Have a question for “Cleveland Browns Daily, Driven by Liberty Ford”? Ask me at Twitter.com/viccarucci


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Dawson good from 43

Posted by Matt Florjancic on November 13, 2011 – 7:30 pm

CLEVELAND – Phil Dawson kicked a 43-yard field goal as the first half of play expired. The Browns trail the St. Louis Rams 10-9 at halftime from Cleveland Browns Stadium.

The longest gain on the six-play, 51-yard drive came when quarterback Colt McCoy connected with wide receiver Greg Little on a 52-yard pass. Two plays later, the Browns had second-and-goal from the Rams’ 10-yard line, but tight end Evan Moore was whistled for a personal foul when he grabbed a defender’s facemask.


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Rams extend lead

Posted by Matt Florjancic on November 13, 2011 – 7:20 pm

CLEVELAND – Josh Brown’s 29-yard field goal extended St. Louis’ lead to 10-6 over the Cleveland Browns with 1:07 remaining in the first half of play from Cleveland Browns Stadium.

The Rams moved 36 yards in seven plays and took 2:19 off the clock.


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