The Disappointment Zone

Musings from a Cleveland sports fan

Archive for November 11th, 2007

Cleveland Browns: QB Score: Week 10

Posted by disappointmentzone on 11 November 2007

As I wrote earlier, Jim Tressel made two costly mistakes with timeouts. Well, the evil spirit infecting Tressel worked its way into the head of Romeo Crennel, who in the fourth quarter against the Steelers called a timeout to ponder whether to risk another timeout by challenging a play.

This was a colossal, unexplainable error. Crennel stacked the deck against himself, placed a huge bet, and — surprise! — lost: two timeouts and the challenge. It was a spectacular failure late in a tight game where the Browns were going to need all their timeouts.

This was a monumentally frustrating loss. Throughout the second half the Steelers would inch their way down the field on the first two downs, thus putting themselves right where they wanted: third and long. Third and ten? How about a 30 touchdown run! Third and 18? How about a 18 yard completion! Third and eight? How about a touchdown pass!

The defense was atrocious on all fronts. The defensive line could neither pressure nor contain Ben Roethlisberger, who either sat in the pocket for hours at a time or broke containment for big scrambles and completions. Meanwhile the secondary played something resembling a soft prevent defense. And if anyone spots a corp of linebackers wondering around the streets of Pittsburgh aimlessly — please contact local authorities. The Browns are looking for them. They apparently missed the team bus to the game this morning.

As for the offense, the first drive of the game was the most impressive drive I’ve seen this season. It was methodical, relentless, long, and successful. Derek Anderson tossed the ball around well and the running game even showed up for a play or two. How quickly things went downhill, though. Pittsburgh stepped up its defense to be sure, but the Browns just looked lost on offense. Never once did they attempt to stretch the field, Anderson had about 82 incompletions, and Lewis decided to crap the bed with heartless runs and a costly fumble. When they were finally able to move the ball — on the last drive of the game — the drive ended prematurely because the Browns were out of timeouts. Instead of third and 3 from the Steelers’ 38 yard line with about 20 seconds remaining the Browns had to spike the ball to stop the clock so they could attempt a longer-than-it-sounds 53 yard field goal into a slight wind.

Though a victory over the Steelers would have put the Browns in a commanding position to earn a playoff berth, the loss probably won’t do major damage to the Browns’ playoff hopes. The Browns remain tied for the Wild Card, although they do not hold the tie-breaker. The Browns do have a favorable schedule for hereon out and they just went to the wire against one of the best teams in football on the road. All in all it wasn’t a complete failure. The Browns had no offense, no defense, no home field advantage, and still almost won.

Josh Cribbs out-gained the entire offense, 204 yards to 163 yards. He touched the ball four times.

As for Anderson, he didn’t play well. This was his worst game of the season. Still, his worst games have come against Pittsburgh (twice) and New England. Few quarterbacks are going to have good games against those two teams and he won’t face another defense nearly as good as either of those two the rest of the regular season.

QB Score: 17
QB Score per play: .46

Posted in Cleveland Browns, statistics | 9 Comments »

Josh Cribbs > Browns Offense

Posted by disappointmentzone on 11 November 2007

With 11:14 to go in the fourth quarter Josh Cribbs has 198 yards in kick returns.

Meanwhile the Browns have 131 yards of total offense.

Advantage: Return Game.

Posted in Cleveland Browns | 3 Comments »

Two Timeouts

Posted by disappointmentzone on 11 November 2007

Illinois played a nearly flawless game, only committed one penalty, held the ball for over 13 minutes in the fourth quarter, rushed for over 200 yards, and blah blah blah. Illinois won. There’s nothing anyone can take away from them. They played better than OSU. Good for them.

Two gripes.

First, what is the point of having replay in college football if a play that resulted in a player fumbling the ball to the other team isn’t reviewed?

The Illinois RB breaks off an 80 yard run, gets knocked down, and apparently fumbles the ball into the endzone from the three yard line. None of the refs are in a position to make a definitive call on the play. The only people who are in position to make the call are the guys in the replay booth. The play should be reviewed.

It’s not as though Illinois could rush up to the line and snap the ball. Both teams had to jog down the field. The refs had to jog down the field. The chains had to be moved. Players had to be substituted. Illinois doesn’t rush the snap. The play clock ticks down towards zero. Still, no sign that the play is being reviewed despite the ample time to review the play.

In fact, there was so much time to review the play that ABC replayed the entire play before the next snap. You know what the ABC replay showed? The RB coughing the ball up as he was fell — a clear fumble.

The replay official should have buzzed down to the field to stop play, but why wasn’t there an assistant coach in Tressel’s ear yelling at him to call timeout so that the replay official would be compelled to review the play? The coaches cannot call for a replay in college football, but they certainly can do all in their powers to get a play reviewed. When your opponent breaks an 80 yard run that sets them up at your three yard line and the replay shows that the guy fumbled the ball — that’s a good time to do everything in your power to get the play reviewed. Calling a timeout is all Tressel had in his arsenal. He needed to call timeout.

Speaking of timeouts, the second gripe is Tressel calling timeout in the fourth quarter when Illinois had fourth and inches. Ron Zook was panicking and rather than risk botching a hastily called fourth down play he sent out his punt team. OSU was going to get the ball back…and then Tressel called a timeout. Was there any doubt that Illinois was going to go for it after gaining an additional minute to think things over? Zook is not a great coach but give him the benefit of another minute and he’ll arrive at the obvious, correct decision. OSU couldn’t stop Williams, the defense was tired from being on the field for basically the entire fourth quarter, Illinois had all the momentum, and a knock-out blow rested on gaining about two inches. Of course Illinois goes for it. Punting the ball was the wrong call. When Tressel called timeout he gave Illinois the opportunity to make the right call.

There is no good argument for calling timeout right there. When Illinois was set to punt all OSU should have cared about was getting the ball back. If there is no one back to return it — so what? If they had no good punt rush — so what? Better to drive 95 yards than risk never getting the ball back. As it turns out OSU never did get the ball back.

Who would have thought the Jim Tressel would be out-coached by Ron Zook? (1)

fn 1: Don’t get me started on the play calling. Inexcusably sub par.

Posted in Cleveland Sports, Ohio State Buckeyes | 3 Comments »

 
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