Browns Prove AFC North is Worst Division in the NFL
Last night the Browns put on a display that proves the AFC North is easily the worst division in the NFL right now. Can this change as the season goes on? Sure. Will it? I doubt it. After beating up on the Ravens a week ago, the Browns were able to hush critics regarding the offseason hype. It will be much louder this week. Let’s get into what happened last night.
The Play Calling
Freddie Kitchens hasn’t been the same play-caller that astounded the NFL and BrownsNation, except against the Ravens. Baker hasn’t been the quarterback we saw last year, except against the Ravens. Nick Chubb has not been the…wait no. Chubb HAS been exactly the player he was last year. So, why do the browns continue to get away from using him for stretches in ball games?
This game was the perfect team to use screens and draws against or pound at them with the big running back. When they did this, they were successful. Freddie did this last week against the Ravens. This week he panicked down big, and the run/screen game vanished. Nick Chubb had 12 touches in the first half and five the rest of the game. Two of those were in garbage time. That’s not good enough. Even down 28-3, you need to use his talent and get the ball in his hands more than three times the entire third quarter. The love for the big play is killing this offense.
Baker has not been good enough this year, period. No excuses. He has to be better than what Brown’s fans have seen so far. I will provide a fact though Baker Mayfield has never faced four of the five defenses he has faced this year before. Even Gregg Willams in New York. In the game where he had seen the defense for the third time, he threw for 342 yards a touchdown and an interception. This distinct difference may mean nothing over time or could show that as he sees defenses more, he will perform better. Last night was his worst game as a pro; hopefully, it is only up from here.
I know the defense is short-handed. I know it has been great so far this season overall. Last night was the first time they were undisciplined. They allowed Shanahan’s zone offense to dictate the flow, getting sucked down the line on multiple occasions. The other concern from last night is that no adjustments were made to help stop this from happening. This game may have played the worst the defense has played all year. The offense didn’t help either with turnovers or just bad plays that resulted in short drives. If this defense whats to take it to the next level, they must not let the other team dictate the line of scrimmage.
Last night was by far the worst all-around game the Browns have had this year. I include the 43-13 game against the Titans. The Browns performance last night against the 49ers, two weeks ago against the Rams, and at the start of the year against the Titans combined with a convincing win over the perceived best team in the Ravens is proof of only one thing. The AFC North is the worst division in the NFL right now.