The Browns have played decently in the opening two weeks of the 2018 season, despite playing against two Superbowl contenders, the Steelers and the Saints. HOWEVER, like always, they’ve found a way to NOT WIN.
Their rushing offense has looked above average, with Carlos Hyde and Tyrod Taylor leading the rushing core in terms of ypg. Nick Chubb has made some plays here and there too.
The passing game has been mediocre, partly because of some atrocious mistakes by Tyrod Taylor. However, Jarvis Landry, Rashard Higgins, and Antonio Callaway has looked pretty dangerous.
The offense has been average. The defense has been where the Browns have shone. The defense may have conceded many yards, but thanks to INTs and forced fumbles, the Browns turnover differential is a +6 in only two weeks of football. That stat goes to show the Browns defense’s success. Denzel Ward has especially played well.
Despite an average offense and good defense, Zane Gonzalez, the Browns’ placekicker, has greatly cost Cleveland. He had a game-winning field goal blocked by T.J. Watt in week 1 which he couldn’t control. Putting that aside, he subsequently missed an extra point in week 2 against the Saints, and went on to miss a game tying 52 yard FG. If not for those crucial misses, the Browns would’ve won for the first time in a year.
I slightly feel bad for this guy. He seemed heartbroken after the Saints game, where he sat on the Browns bench, tearing up, before being consoled by a Saints player. But we can’t forget that kicking IS HIS JOB. He was DRAFTED as a kicker, yet, he has only made 2 out of his 5 attempted FGs, costing the game against the Saints. The Browns need to find a solution quickly.
Overall, the Browns have come neck-and-neck with two TOP-TIER football teams. Cleveland seems like an 8-8 record team, but they need to fix up the ugly kicking situation.