Browns-Eagles: Report Card

How the Browns fared against Philly, courtesy of the network

The Browns report card against the Eagles, courtesy of

PASSING OFFENSE: B - Considering the shortage at wide receiver, it would have been hard to expect much more. The Browns traded Quincy Morgan to Dallas for Antonio Bryant, who had to get a crash course in the offense. Andre Davis was out with a sprained toe, and fill-in starter Andre King sprained his ankle in the second possession. Bryant had to play more than expected, and Cleveland had to use Frisman Jackson - just up from the practice squad last week. Still, Jeff Garcia completed 21 of 32 passes for 236 yards and a touchdown. He threw one interception on a deep ball intended for Dennis Northcutt. A couple of other times Garcia forced deep balls to Northcutt, but other than that, he threw to the right places with accuracy. Browns blockers did a nice job against Philadelphia's blitzes.

RUSHING OFFENSE: B -- Browns running backs Lee Suggs and William Green combined for 142 yards in 29 carries, but their production tailed off after halftime. Suggs and Green ran for 119 yards in 15 carries in the first 30 minutes. Green had an 11-yard touchdown run, and Suggs had a 13-yarder for a score. But after halftime, Suggs and Green gained only 23 yards in 14 carries. The biggest difference was a change in Philadelphia's defense. In the first half, the Eagles, particularly linebacker Jeremiah Trotter, tended to overpursue. In the second half, the Eagles were more disciplined, and the Browns didn't adjust as well as they could have.

PASS DEFENSE: D - It started badly and never got much better as Donovan McNabb threw for four touchdowns and 376 yards. On Philadelphia's first play, Todd Pinkston beat Daylon McCutcheon deep on a 65-yarder. On the next play, McNabb threw to wide open tight end Chad Lewis in the middle of the end zone. Twice, Terrell Owens beat Anthony Henry for touchdowns, one on a 39-yarder, the other a 40-yarder. The pass rush was non-existent for most of the game until Ebenezer Ekuban and Gerard Warren got late sacks.

RUSH DEFENSE: C-minus - The Eagles averaged 5.3 yards per carry in 23 runs, a stat that is somewhat skewed by a 28-yard scramble by McNabb on Philadelphia's game-winning overtime possession. Brian Westbrook ran 13 times for 43 yards before leaving with a bruised chest. But Dorsey Levens hurt the Browns even more. He gained 48 yards in seven carries, often breaking tackles in the process.

SPECIAL TEAMS: D - This is based mainly on two fumbled kickoff returns, one apiece by James Jackson and Frisman Jackson. Neither Jackson has returned a kick this year, but were forced to when Andre King got hurt. The Eagles converted the turnovers into only three points, but it eliminated two offensive possessions. Derrick Frost had three punts inside the 20, but he had only a 30-yarder to the 22 before Philadelphia's game-winning drive. Phil Dawson extended his field-goal streak to a club-record 24 with a 38-yard field goal.

COACHING: B - Butch Davis and his staff get credit for devising a game plan to hang with the Eagles. The coaches continue to find a way to use William Green and Lee Suggs effectively, though they didn't do as much in the second half. The Browns managed to pass effectively despite being shorthanded at wide receiver. Most of the defensive breakdowns were more the fault of individual breakdowns than poor schemes. Davis was criticized in some quarters for not going for it on fourth-and-1 (a long 1) at Cleveland's 48 in overtime, but that was the percentage move. The one decision Davis probably regrets was cutting Dee Brown earlier in the week. Brown was the team's kickoff returner, and when Andre King went down, the Browns had to rely on inexperienced returners.

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