Before the kick-off against the Ravens, aside from all of the Johnny-drama, the narrative that the ESPN pregame show was running with for the Browns was that they were going to play the youngsters and see what they had. Justin Gilbert was not only active, but going to start. Danny Shelton and Cameron Erving were starting. More Barkevious Mingo. More Nate Orchard and Xavier Cooper. Run Duke Johnson.
Sounded like a solid plan, but how did it shake out? Did they really play the young draft picks more?
Well, offensively speaking Cameron Erving played all of the offensive snaps, which is technically more than last week. Duke Johnson did indeed play more snaps (up 22%) but carried the ball just 7 times for 27 yards. He also caught 5 balls for 23 yards.
Once again, the Browns completely abandoned the running game in the second half. All 7 of Isaiah Crowell’s carries came in the first half (for a whopping 7 yards), while Duke Johnson carried twice in the second half. Once in the first drive of the half, and of course the famous run to set up the blocked field goal.
Gary Barnidge played his highest percentage of snaps on the season with 66 of the 69 offensive plays. Brian Hartline was right up there with 94% played as well. Dwayne Bowe played 4 snaps. He was targeted once, and did not record a catch.
Austin Davis got the nod after McCown was knocked from the game. McCown was 21-of-38 for 212 yards and a touchdown. Davis was 7-of-10 for 77 yards and the touchdown to Travis Benjamin.
Defensively, rookie Danny Shelton played slightly more than he did against the Steelers, but still played less than half of the defensive snaps. Xavier Cooper’s workload actually went down compared to the Pittsburgh game, but he did still play 21 snaps. Nate Orchard played 25 snaps of a possible 59, and Barkevious Mingo played 32% of the snaps, roughly what he has been playing lately. Justin Gilbert played just 19 snaps before he left the game with a concussion in the second quarter.
Statistically, the Browns defense registered zero sacks, and had just one official hit on the QB (Desmond Bryant). Whitner and Gipson led the team in tackles with six each. Dansby had the big pick-six.
Not much else to see here.