In an era where rule changes are continuously implemented to help the offensive side of the ball, the Cleveland Browns have built themselves a pretty damn good defense.
Entering last Sunday's game, Browns linebacker D'Qwell Jackson was quoted as saying "no one can run on us."
He's not wrong. In Week 1, the Miami Dolphins averaged 0.9 yards per carry. In Week 2, the Baltimore Ravens averaged 2.8 yards per carry. Yet for the fifth time in the last five seasons, the Browns have started 0-2. There is one common dominator regardless of who is the owner, who is the coach or who are the players: a lack of offense.
In three games, the Browns have scored 16 points, 10 of which came from the leg of place kicker Billy Cundiff.
On Sunday, the Browns mustered two field goals. As for the rest of the offense's "gaudy" numbers:
· 12 quarterback hits
· Five sacks
· Three delay of games.
· Two quarterbacks played.
· But, hey, no fumbles or interceptions!
In the first two games, the Browns offense has somehow produced halftime leads, but once they fell behind in the second half, it seemed as if a one-score lead was insurmountable.
Because it was.
Again, we cannot state this enough: This league is designed for offenses to score 31 points a game quite easily. The Browns are averaging eight.
We can blame the new offensive coordinator Norv Turner. We were told Turner would turn this Pat Shurmur-inept offense into one equipped to play in the 21st century's NFL. It has been more of the same. Three and outs. Sacks. Bad penalties. Dropped balls. The ghost of Pat Shurmur remains.
We can blame the right side of the offensive line. And they were bad Sunday against the Ravens.
We can blame the dropped balls, and there were some bad ones Sunday against the Ravens.
We can blame the quarterback, who, although he was better than Week 1, was bad — and got injured — Sunday against the Ravens.
We can blame the lack of overall offensive talent. It is hard to think the absence of Josh Gordon, even a player even as talented as he is, making that much of a difference.
We just want to blame someone. We're tired of more of the same.
While it is true the Dolphins and Ravens had trouble running on the Browns, they sure didn't have trouble getting the win.