Browns-Chargers: Report Card

NFL Scout evaluates the Browns play on Sunday.

PASSING OFFENSE: D -- Conditions were brutal, so it would have been impossible to put up big numbers. Luke McCown completed only 11 of 27 passes for 108 yards and was victimized by several drops. Antonio Bryant dropped a pass at the goal line on fourth down to end one drive. But McCown's only interception came on a disastrous decision early in the fourth quarter. On first-and-goal from the 5, McCown rolled out to his right. He tried to throw across his body to tight end Steve Heiden, but the pass was behind him and was easily intercepted by Donnie Edwards. In a game in which every scoring chance was precious because of the weather, this was especially costly.

RUSHING OFFENSE: B plus -- Lee Suggs seemed unaffected by the conditions as he ran 21 times for 105 yards in his return from a turf-toe injury. Suggs showed vision and cutback ability in wriggling for yardage against the best run defense in the NFL. William Green started the game and had an early 13-yard run, but he gained only four yards in his other four carries before Suggs took over.

PASS DEFENSE: C -- This could almost be an incomplete grade because the Chargers threw only six times and only once in the second half. Drew Brees threw two incompletions and three of the completions gained only 13 total yards. But the other one was a huge play. Linebackers Kevin Bentley and Warrick Holdman got their assignments confused and left tight end Antonio Gates wide open for a 72-yard touchdown catch. That made the score 14-0 and pretty much put the game out of reach. With Orpheus Roye out with a sprained ankle, tackles Alvin McKinley and Michael Myers each had 10 tackles, according to Browns coaches. Former first-round pick Gerard Warren was credited with four tackles.

RUSH DEFENSE: B minus -- The Browns did a decent job on LaDainian Tomlinson, who ran for 200 yards against them last year. This time, Tomlinson gained 111 on 26 carries. His longest run was for 20 yards, which isn't bad considering the breakaway threat Tomlinson is. But with conditions as bad as they were for passing, the Browns should have done a better job ganging up on Tomlinson at the line of scrimmage.

SPECIAL TEAMS: B-minus -- Phil Dawson missed a 39-yard field goal. Normally, that's a chip shot for him, but nothing was easy on this day. According to Robiskie, the kick was headed straight down the middle until a gust of wind pushed it right. The highlight of the game in the kicking game came early in the first quarter when Dyshod Carter pushed a Charger into a bouncing punt and then alertly pounced on the ball just before it fell out of bounds to give Cleveland the ball at the San Diego 5-yard line. The lowlight was a botched onside kick to start the second half when Frisman Jackson failed to block his assigned man and that player recovered the ball. Dennis Northcutt had a 38-yard punt return.

COACHING: C - The Browns have been outscored 100-22 in Terry Robiskie's three games, but he's in an almost impossible situation. Injuries, superior competition and inclement weather have conspired against Robiskie. The Browns play hard, but they don't play smart. On Sunday, the Browns twice had 12 men in the huddle and had to call a timeout because of incorrect personnel. Even Robiskie said the coaches have to coach better.
 


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