The Usual Final Quarter Weirdness

The Browns-Jets pre-season game ended with the usual weirdness one expects at the end of pre-season games. Here's Barry and Lane with the recap.

After a low-scoring game until this point, the Browns and Jets quickly struck for back-to-back scores as the fourth quarter began.

With Ken Dorsey showing his usual workmanlike control late in pre-season games, the Browns moved efficiently downfield against the Jets reserves. The big play was Dorsey's 25-yard completion to Martin Rucker to the Jets' 25. Rucker had an impressive debut in his first pre-season game, which gives TE Darnell Dinkins longer odds to make the club.

After a couple of ineffective runs by Travis Thomas and an incomplete pass to Efrem Hill, Jason Reda hit a 39-yard field goal to make the score 20-10 Browns.

Lane's Take:
  • Once again, Martin Rucker gets behind the LB and Dorsey hits him for a first down
  • The excitement over Thomas should be minimized a bit, he is not running with authority. He missed a hole to OLG on that would have gone for significant yardage
  • Watching the backup OL closely, James Lee at LT and Isaac Sowells at RT have been serviceable, along with C Lennie Friedman. Morse and Bennett are very inconsistent and lack solid technique

Then, once again, the Browns defensive secondary got burned. Badly.

With Ratliff remaining in the game, he once again hit David Clowney for a 70 yard bomb for a touchdown. Within seconds, the Browns lead was cut down to 20-17.

Lane's Take:

  • Clowney turned James around and Cargile was the primary over the top
  • Cargile showed why he is a special teams player. Cargile came over but Sorensen came out of nowhere
  • James simply bit and got toasted. Here's a little hint.... that right there is why James has fallen behind Jenkins on the depth chart

On the ensuing kick-off, TE A.J. Schable was hit hard and injured, stopping the game as the medical staff attended to what appeared to be a serious injury. Fans and players were relieved tremendously as Schable gave them a thumbs up on his way off the field.

Lane's Take:

  • Excellent return by Gerard Lawson, blocking was very good. While the return was solid, the field was open for him to cut and he did not

After Schable was carried off the field, the Browns self-destructed thanks to a holding penalty and a sack. Dorsey was dumped on first down for negative eleven yards, and Efrem Hill added the holding putting the Browns in a second and thirty-one situation. An incomplete pass and a six-yard run by Thomas didn't dent the long yardage, and the Browns had to punt.
  • Again, the blocking issue rises for Travis Thomas, he played matador on LB Cummings and Dorsey was sacked
  • Thomas has some skill in the running game, but as we viewed is practice sessions, blocking is an issue.
  • Rucker pulled his hands back on a ball that should have been caught, with a defender closing

On the punt, the Jets had their third big-play of the game. After Dave Zastudil punted 43 yards to the Jets 38, Dwight Lowery caught the ball on the left side of the field and got outside on the right side to scamper past coverage for a 62 yard touchdown.

The score gave the Jets at 24-20 lead.

Lane's Take:
  • Jereme Perry blew his containment responsibility, but the backside support was out of position and beaten.

Losing for the first time in the game, the Browns returned to the field behind Ken Dorsey again.

Starting at the 21, once again, Dorsey dropped on first down only to be dumped gracelessly with another sack, courtesy of Thomas Johnson. Dorsey seemingly extracted his team with a twelve-yard pass to Austin Scott, but Brad Cieslak's offensive pass interference penalty put the Browns in an even deeper hole at third-and-26.

Unlike the earlier drive, Dorsey was able to help the Browns climb out, thanks to a brilliant 44-yard pass to WR Paul Hubbard. It was a beautiful sideline catch for Hubbard, who managed to keep both feet in-bounds at the Jets 45.

After a one-yard loss by Thomas, Dorsey saw blitz by the Jets and quickly hit Steve Sanders with an eleven-yard pass to the 35. That was quickly followed by another short pass to Martin Rucker at the 24.

Three plays later, Dorsey extricated himself from a third-and-ten situation with a nice pass to Steve Sanders to the Jets eleven.

And, once again, the Browns got themselves into a hole. A two-yard Thomas run was followed by in incomplete pass to Rucker in the back of the end zone. Delay of game by Dorsey got the team into a third-and-thirteen. Forced again to pass, Dorsey tried to hit Rucker once more and had the ball picked by Dwight Lowery.

Lane's Take:

  • Johnson just split friedman and bennett to sack Dorsey, excellent strength and pursuit
  • Spectacular catch on a deep ball from Dorsey to Hubbard. The rookie simply outran the CB on the play which covered 44-yards and made a diving reception.That reception by Hubbard may be the best reception he has made this summer. His speed and quickness are his strength, and Hubbard came up big on what was a surprisingly long toss by the supposedly noodle-armed Dorsey.
  • WR Steve Sanders showed the strength we talked about in the WR reports on that sideline grab.
  • Rucker: This rookie TE is a threat, his quickness and receiving skills are legiitimate
  • Nice dart to Sanders crossing the middle from Dorsey
  • Ball thrown behind Rucker in tight coverage... slightly behind and the defender tipped the ball
  • Terrible read and even worse throw by Dorsey, as his wounded duck was picked in the end-zone

With the Jets at the Browns 14 after the pick, the still-in-the-game Brett Ratliff took the Jets' offensive reserves to a three-and-out. with a key play being Alex Hall's stop of Ratliff on a quarterback scrable on third and two.

The Browns got good field position after a eight-yard runback by Gerard Lawson.

With less than three minutes left to play, the Browns veteran third-string quarterback immediately hit WR Efrem Hill for sixteen yards. After that Dorsey had a hard time hitting his receivers, missing Steve Sanders (pass broken up by Hank Poteat) and Brad Cieslak. On third-and-ten, Dorsey had a nice screen pass set up but was unable to connect to Jerome Harrison.

Dorsey tried to hit Steve Sanders again on fourth down and was picked off by Poteat, who was called down at the Jets 15.

Lane's Take:

  • Beautiful finger-tip reception by Efram Hill
  • The screen was setup, but the Dorsey pass to harrison was off the mark
  • The Dorsey interception was a pass that should have been caught by Steve Sanders, despite the coverage.

Erik Ainge came in at quarterback after the turnover and with slightly more than two minutes to play. Another good sign for the Browns came on the first play of the drive, as Alex Hall blew up a run behind left guard. The Jets QB didn't get a chance to throw the ball. Three and out of the Jets gave the Browns one last chance from their own 45 with less than a minute left.

After two incompletions, the Browns got some life due to an illegal use of hands penalty on Ahmad Carroll. Dorsey responded by scrambling for sixteen yards,

Another incompletion by Dorsey was negated as Thomas Johnson was called for roughing the passer. Dorsey paid dearly for the fifteen yards the Browns got.

Unfortuntely, the Browns veteran quarterback simply wasn't able to connect with his receivers for a winning score. Attempts to Paul Hubbard and Steve Sanders in the end zone were incomplete.

Once again, a Jets penalty kept the drive alive. this time it was a defensive pass interference call on Dwight Lowery on Martin Rucker.

At this point, the Browns had a first down at the Jets five with fourteen seconds left. Again, the Browns could not hit the winning score. Incomplete passes to Rucker, Hubbard (2) and Steve Sanders ended it.

Dorsey finished the game with missing on his last twelve passes, yet still almost scored against the Jets reserves.

Ah, the joy of fourth quarters of pre-season games. So much weirdness packed into fifteen minutes.

FINAL SCORE: Jets 24, Browns 20

Lane's Final Takes:

  • In this game, you couldn't help but come away impressed with the play of WR Travis Wilson, TE Martin Rucker and the starting cornerbacks.
  • WR Steve Sanders came in and played well in the second-half as did QB Brady Quinn.
  • Defensively, no questions were answered regarding the backup defensive linemen or cornerbacks
  • A.J. Davis was singled out on a couple occasions, and the play of the backup safeties, other than Mike Adams, were exposed. Some of this relates to a lack of pass rush
  • Starting OLB David McMillan was a complete non-factor

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