Browns-Chargers: Report Card's grades for the Browns effort against the San Diego Chargers last Sunday. Returns, as they have been for the Browns all season, are mixed...

Charlie Frye has been sacked 29 times and has been hit countless other times this season.

After Sunday's game in San Diego, Frye was limping, aching and hurting. He was sacked five times and chased around a dozen more.

He also took a hit from Chargers defensive end Derreck Robinson that Browns linemen said was a blatant cheap shot. Frye was blindsided well after a whistle blew to stop the play because of a penalty.

Frye appeared to be in serious pain after that shot, and stayed on the ground for several seconds.

If the Browns are to keep their quarterback healthy, something has to give. Game in and game out Frye takes a pounding.

He keeps on ticking, but eventually he won't. The Ravens and Chargers really beat him up, and he's on a pace to set a Browns record for sacks in a season.

Either the Browns need to establish a running game, or they need to find a way for Frye to get rid of the ball quicker.

No quarterback can last a season getting hit like Frye does.


PASSING OFFENSE: D -- Charlie Frye wound up with decent numbers -- 236 yards and a touchdown -- but many of them came late when the Browns were down 14. Cleveland's only touchdown came with 1:11 left. Frye's main problems were the pass rush and the team's inability to score more than one touchdown in six trips to or inside the Chargers' 20-yard-line. No team will win many games that way.

RUSHING OFFENSE: F -- Reuben Droughns had one more carry than LaDainian Tomlinson and 136 fewer yards. Droughns' 36 yards on 19 carries were an accurate reflection of the team's inability to run the ball.

PASS DEFENSE: B -- Considering the Browns were playing with their fifth and sixth corners, this unit did well. Cleveland started the game without Gary Baxter, Daylon McCutcheon and Daven Holly and lost Leigh Bodden early. That forced the defense to use Jereme Perry and Ralph Brown at corner. This was not the tandem the Browns envisioned using when the season started. But even with the inexperience at corner, the Chargers did little in the passing game in the way of big plays. Philip Rivers completed some passes, but the Chargers did most of their damage in the running game, not the passing game.

RUSH DEFENSE: D -- Weird day. For a long time it seemed like the Browns had LaDainian Tomlinson bottled up. Yet he exploded in the final 16 minutes for 123 yards and three touchdowns. It's not realistic to expect a team to stop Tomlinson, but it is realistic to expect to make him work a little harder for his yards. Tomlinson wound up averaging 9.6 yards per carry.

SPECIAL TEAMS: A -- This unit continues to be the bell cow of the team, as the Browns had 237 yards in returns. Dennis Northcutt's 81-yard punt return set up a field goal, and Joshua Cribbs had a 47-yard kickoff return. Phil Dawson was perfect on a team-record six field goals, and Dave Zastudil's punting continues to be excellent.

COACHING: B -- The Browns were an outmanned team against San Diego, yet they led at halftime and late in the third period. And they did this with four starters inactive and a fifth who was hurt early in the game. Somehow, Romeo Crennel and crew held the team together to play the Chargers close. More important, the Browns truly seemed to believe they could win the game, which is a testament to the team's belief in its coaches. A poor fourth quarter did them in, but the effort and plan and will were clearly present.

The OBR Top Stories