The Disappointment Zone

Musings from a Cleveland sports fan

Cleveland Browns: QB Score: Week 13

Posted by disappointmentzone on 3 December 2007

The Browns suffered an unfortunate loss, 21-27, on the road against the Cardinals on Sunday. The loss drops them to 7-5. They are now tied with Tennessee for the last Wild Card spot, although they do hold the tiebreaker. Tennessee must play San Diego and Indianapolis in the coming weeks, while the Cardinals probably represented the toughest team remaining on the Browns’ schedule. The schedule definitely works in the Browns’ favor. They are still in good position for the playoffs, but a win would have probably sealed the deal. The Browns are now operating without much room for error. Such is life in the NFL.

Tabling the result (damn loss!) this was a glass half full/glass half empty game.

Glass half empty: The Browns did not play well. They committed 11 penalties. They gave up 133 yards rushing. They turned the ball over four times. One of those turnovers was a Derek Anderson interception that was returned for a touchdown. One was a Derek Anderson fumble that gave the Cardinals the ball in Cleveland territory and eventually led to an Arizona touchdown. One was a muffed punt that led to an Arizona field goal. And another was a Derek Anderson interception that happened deep enough in Arizona territory that the Browns probably lost out on a field goal. That’s a twenty point hole the Browns put themselves in. Few teams could comeback from such a deficit.

And yet…

Glass half full: The Browns still had a chance to win! Seriously, if Winslow is not pushed out of bounds at the end of the game the story this morning is the incredible, improbable comeback earned by the Browns with 1:45 seconds left, 85 yards to go, and no timeouts. Derek Anderson is the minor hero instead of the major goat, a young John Elway who’s lead the Browns to four fourth quarter come-from-behind victories in less than a season’s worth of games. If only that were the script.


It’s hard to judge a defense when they’re put in such a terrible situation. How one approaches the defense is smaller glass half full/glass half empty situation. The defense should only be on the hook for 10 points; were it not for an outstanding goal line stand that could’ve been 14 points. They gave up an 84 yard touchdown drive, which is terrible. But after the Cribbs fumble they held the Cardinals to a field goal, which was great. Of course, they followed that up by allowing a 79 yard drive that ended with the aforementioned goal line stand. So it’s a wash?

Not quite.

The defense did not get to Kurt Warner for a sack, which absolutely horrible. If a defensive lineman so much as sneezes on Warner he tends to fall down, often fumbling the ball over in the process. The guy is about fifty years old and has the mobility of a dead tree. To not sack Warner once in 30 pass attempts is a very weak showing. They did pick him off once, but they couldn’t stop him when it mattered. They also couldn’t stop James when it mattered… except for when it really mattered, on that goal line stand. This is kinda like a reverse clutch scenario. Were the unit actually clutch they wouldn’t give up long drives. Were they not clutch at all they wouldn’t put up great goal line stands. Is driving home drunk and not getting in an accident clutch driving? (1)


In a number of way this game reminded me of the Colts-Chargers game from a few weeks ago, where Peyton Manning threw six interceptions and the Colts still almost won because when he wasn’t turning the ball over things were going pretty well. When Derek Anderson wasn’t giving the ball to the Cardinals he tossed the ball around nicely. Hell, even when he was tossing the ball into the hands of the Cardinals he wasn’t throwing it that terribly. Yes, the second interception was inexcusable. It was third and short and Edwards was tripled teamed. Anderson should have dumped the ball off for the first down instead of forcing a throw that would have put the Browns on the threshold of a touchdown. It was a bad throw but it was an even worse decision. It was the sort of throw that was an attempt to erase the first interception, which was not entirely Anderson’s fault. On that interception Anderson didn’t throw a great pass, but it wasn’t so poor a pass that it should have been intercepted. If Tim Carter runs a sharp route — if he makes a sharp cut instead of a curved turn to the outside — and if he moves towards the ball instead of sitting down on the route then at worst that pass is incomplete. That interception was a team effort.

As for the fumble… Maybe Anderson thought his name was Rex Grossman? Who knows what happened on that play. It was a freak accident, probably the result of miscommunication about the snap count. It shouldn’t be cause for concern.

Outside of those three turnovers Anderson played extremely well. (2) How he responded to the interceptions and fumble should inspire a bit of confidence, even if the interceptions and fumble inspire more concern. Including the interceptions and fumble and Anderson was just a tick above average, although going against a weakened secondary a tick above average is probably more like a tick below average. Still, he was on the whole above average. So glass half full, right?

QB Score: 83
QB Score per play: 1.93

fn 1: Do not drive drunk, even if you think you’re the Big Papi of clutch driving. The risk is nowhere near worth the reward. Also, it’s illegal.

fn 2: I’d like to apologize for the idiocy of this statement. “When Anderson wasn’t sucking he was pretty good!” WTF? Is my name Bill Livingston? Moreover, why don’t I just rewrite the line to not be so asinine instead of writing this footnote pointing out how asinine it actually is? Probably because my internal critic is louder than my internal editor.


6 Responses to “Cleveland Browns: QB Score: Week 13”

  1. RockKing said

    After a game like that, I felt like DA’s QB Score would be well below average. It felt like he killed us in that game. But, at the end of the day, he did some things really well, including 2 TD passes in the 2nd half and should have had a 3rd. He racked up a lot of yards on Braylon’s TD as well as a couple other nice passes to Braylon.

    I’m still glass half full on DA, I think that with weapons (which Cleveland clearly has), he is a very successful QB. I’m not sure with his accuracy issues he would be this good everywehere, but who knows.

  2. I too was pretty surprised that his QB Score was around average. The three turnovers really hurt him. Without them his score would have been above 4, which is that borderline elite area. Without the turnovers I think the Browns blow the Cardinals out of the water. DA definitely cost the team the game, but it wasn’t a Rex Grossman-type performance, where the QB costs his team the game and gives them no chance to win. DA give the Browns a chance to win.

    Some of DA’s accuracy issues stem from making really bad decisions. The second INT was a bad pass, but it was an even worse decision. Throwing a seam route into triple coverage is about as hard of a throw as there is. You have to get it over the linebacker but not float it so that the safety can make it over to break up the pass, all the while dealing with a corner back. I’m not sure any quarterback routinely completes that pass, but routinely good quarterbacks usually don’t attempt that pass. Anderson needs to learn to walk that line between gunslinger and game manager.

  3. Joe B said

    While we’re talking about bad decisions, let’s talk about a defender who decides to kick the ball after the play is over. Some penalties are just plain bad decisions by a player. This one apparently changed the outcome of the game.

    Just about every penalty that occurs after a play is over is due to a bad decision by a player and is inexcusable. How hard is it to just jog back to the huddle, or get up and jog off the field?

  4. RockKing said

    That’s an excellent point about Grossman. Despite all his early turnovers, I never thought the Browns were out of that game, because I had confidence DA could make some plays to get them back in it. No way would Bears fans feel the same about Grossman. Nor would probably 20 of the 32 teams with their QBs.

    The good thing about accuracy issues being a result of poor decisions is that it’s much easier to correct poor decision making than it is to correct poor accuracy. While he still makes some poor throws to open receivers as well, he’s definitely shown that on throws in which he can unleash his arm, he can drill the ball into tight areas. It’s his “touch” throws that seem to give him the most trouble.

  5. Dawg Pound said

    One thing that we need to understand as fans is that no matter who the QB is, he’s not going to be perfect. Not stating that DA’s our guy for the future or anything, but just go easy on him for a couple bad games…

  6. Kosar was on Munch last week and must have been reading the comments here before going on the show cause he simply repeated what I have been saying all along…which is…how much better of a QB do we think Quinn or anybody else is going to get? Does anybody think DA has even peeked yet? I don’t. So if he is not “the future” then exactly what do we expect for “the future”? The only QB’s better than DA will be Manning, Marino, Favre and Elway caliber.

    No matter how stupid those 2 INTS looked…at the end of the game…I was not one bit worried, I knew without a doubt we would drive that field and score a TD…and we did…just a bad call kept it from counting.

    If DA is not “the future” and the real future is BETTER than DA…then watch out New England…Cleveland is going to be the dynasty of all dynasties real soon…

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