Browns-Texans: Report Card

The grades are in for the Browns finalie, and reflect the lackluster game...

The Browns ended their season by going the final two games without an offensive touchdown.

The only points the team got in losses to Tampa Bay and Houston were via a fumble return for a touchdown and two field goals. The Browns finished the season ranked 31st in total offense, an accurate reflection of the way the team played.

Quarterback Charlie Frye talked of losing the offensive identity during the season, and of needing to rediscover it in the offseason.

That may be done with a new coordinator and staff, as the front office would like coach Romeo Crennel to hire an experienced offensive coordinator.

Going along may save Crennel's job. If he balks, he may not be back.

"We're going to talk about that, and we'll see what changes I might be asked to make," Crennel said.


PASSING OFFENSE: D -- The Browns turned to Charlie Frye, sore right wrist and all, and Frye acquitted himself well. He completed 25 of 34 passes for 187 yards, including 11 receptions by Kellen Winslow. Frye moved well, but he admitted he could not throw the ball down the field due to pain in his wrist. That limited the offense to underneath stuff and limited the team to two field goals.

RUSHING OFFENSE: D -- Reuben Droughns had a good average (4.4 yards) and did gain 83 yards, but his first-half fumble near the red zone hurt badly. Droughns had his moments in the game, but he still does not look like the same back that gained 1,200 yards for the Browns in 2005.

PASS DEFENSE: C -- Houston's David Carr passed for just 86 yards, but he only threw 15 times. Daven Holly came up with an interception off a tipped ball, and standout WR Andre Johnson had just two catches for 12 yards. All in all, not a bad game, but not a great one either because the Browns just could not come up with the big defensive play needed to change the game.

RUSH DEFENSE: F -- The Browns made a habit this season of giving up 100-yard games to the opposition. Houston came close, but this time it was an unknown who gained 99 yards. Chris Taylor replaced the injured Ron Dayne and came from nowhere to tear up the Browns defense. The undrafted rookie, who had carried the ball eight times total heading into the game, ran 20 times.

SPECIAL TEAMS: D -- Cleveland was hurt by Phil Dawson's missed field goal from 48 yards. The Browns also had no real good returns. The bright spots: Dawson did make two kicks, and Dave Zastudil's punting was stellar again.

-- The Browns went to Houston with nine starters sidelined and their starting quarterback playing with a bad wrist injury. Romeo Crennel let Frye decide if he wanted to play, an odd decision given Frye's wrist is so vital to his success. It does not seem as if the Browns had much to gain by playing Frye, but he insisted and Crennel relented. Even so, the Browns still lost to a team that won six games all season.

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