Browns-Saints: Report Card

The grades are in on the Browns effort against the Saints, and, well, they're not outstanding marks. Then again, not many fans would disagree...


PASSING OFFENSE: D-minus -- The pass protection was nonexistent, passes were dropped and the only real plays that were made seemed to come from Charlie Frye running for his life and pulling out a throw. The only thing that keeps this grade from being a failing mark is the play of Kellen Winslow, who provided life to a team that played poorly.

RUSHING OFFENSE: F -- The Browns seemed to outthink themselves at every turn here. Instead of giving the ball to their best back and letting the game get a flow, they gave up on the run. Too, they took Droughns off the field on the most important plays -- third and short yardage -- and twice used a rookie who gained nothing. The Browns have to run the ball to win. They failed in the play-calling and they failed in the execution on Sunday.

PASS DEFENSE: D -- Saints rookie Marques Colston, a seventh-round pick from Hofstra, caught four passes against the Browns secondary. All went for first downs. Reggie Bush was given more room than the blimp takes up on third downs. The pass rush was inconsequential. The Browns gave a smart quarterback a lot of time, and he took advantage.

RUSH DEFENSE: F -- No team can say it was successful when the opponent's backs combined for 151 yards -- exactly what Deuce McAllister and Reggie Bush did. The Saints got a lot of their yards up the middle, the area where Ted Washington was supposed to be strong. On this day, Washington lost the matchup to Jeff Faine, a center the Browns discarded in the offseason.

SPECIAL TEAMS: C-minus -- The return game was solid, but a penalty for being downfield wiped out a big tackle of Reggie Bush inside the 10. The Browns followed that penalty with a timeout because they did not have the right players on the field. This is way too sloppy for a team working six weeks for opening day.

COACHING: F -- For whatever reason, the Browns started the season listless. On the first play from scrimmage, they could not handle New Orleans' pass rush. The Saints seemed to be fired from jets every play, while the Browns muddled around. The play-calling bordered on the bizarre and the Browns played like amateurs. This did not look like a team ready to start a season.

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