Austin Davis made his first start at quarterback for the Browns on Sunday against the Bengals. The game was a disaster for the Browns, though Davis wasn’t awful completing 25-of-38 for 230 yards and 1 interception. The offense as a whole scored a measly 3 points however, as the Browns suffered a 37-3 loss.
Isaiah Crowell carried the ball 11 times for 62 yards, his highest rushing total since week four against the Chargers (63 yards). Twenty-three of those yards came on a single run. Duke Johnson was not nearly as effective as he has been. He was limited to 2 yards on 5 carries. Malcolm Johnson was one of the Browns injured early on and did not see much action.
The wide receiver group was… interesting? Healthy scratches for Dwayne Bowe and newly signed Pryor, plus missing Hawkins and Gabriel to concussions meant just four wide outs for the Browns, and Travis Benjamin was also injured, leaving the Browns with Brian Hartline, Marlon Moore and Darius Jennings off the practice squad.
Hartline and Barnidge were targeted often, but the lack of playmakers really hampered the Browns offense in this one. As did the protection, especially after Joel Bitonio was forced from the game with an injury. The Bengals registered 3 sacks and hit Austin Davis 11 times. Cameron Erving was beaten repeatedly after replacing Bitonio, and was eventually replaced himself by Pasztor.
Defensively, the Browns played even worse than the offense. Granted the Bengals are a good team, but on Sunday the high-priced Browns defense didn’t look like they belonged on the same field.
Worth noting in the snap counts on the defensive side of the ball was Nate Orchard’s 75% of snaps played and Charles Gaines playing 93% of the snaps, the highest of any Browns defender including Karlos Dansby who usually misses just a snap or two.
Our weekly glance at Mingo’s playing time shows the Browns top pick of just a couple years ago played just 11 snaps.
On special teams perhaps the most interesting development was Joe Thomas playing his first snaps all season in FG kick-protection. Changes were promised to that unit, but Thomas playing wasn’t expected to be one of those changes. The Browns still had a field goal blocked.