- Call the stat-line for QB Brady Quinn what you will -- 14-36 for 185 yards without throwing a touchdown pass or interception. While those numbers aren't impressive, they don't measure intangibles, which is where the second-year signal-caller performed well.
The Buffalo Bills' defense schemed to confuse Quinn and the Cleveland Browns' offense with a variety of change-up blitz package looks. Basically, the Bills' coaching staff threw the book at Quinn -- blitzes from all angles, cover-two and cover-three looks and multiple stunts.
Quinn, in his second career start and third professional game, handled the pressure reasonably well. He did throw a couple ill-advised passes when a Bills blitz came basically unabated, but in all Quinn managed the game successfully.
The type of scheme Quinn faced against the Bills was far more poised to stop the short to intermediate passing game that Quinn used successfully with against the Denver Broncos a week earlier. Quinn should steadily improve as he gains valuable experience and familiarity with the Browns' starting offensive unit.
- At numerous times throughout the game, the Buffalo defense had a blitzing LB come through the Browns line untouched, and the Browns running back failed to pick up the blitzing defender. Blitz recognition coming from the QB and RBs was not consistent against the Bills. A part of this issue relates to confusion created by the Buffalo front seven and eight as the line slid to protect, and the QB and/or RB did not pickup the call. All involved, from the line call to the QB, must do a better job in this recognition or the overall success of this offense will be minimized.
- WR Braylon Edwards continues to struggle holding onto the football. Edwards had no less than three dropped passes against the Bills and had two others within his grasp. In what is quickly becoming another issue, Edwards appears to become disinterested for periods of time on the playing field -- he does not consistently fight through the defender, gaining positioning and making himself a viable target for the QB.
- RB Jerome Harrison again played a vital role in the game, albeit in a very limited number of opportunities. Harrison's vision and quickness are very good. With Harrison in the backfield, the Browns offense takes on a different look; the defense must respect the ability of the Cleveland rushing attack on cut-back and outside-the-hashes runs as well as Harrison's potential to be a viable option in the passing game.
- The Browns' inability to generate a pass rush continues to haunt them. The OLB's simply do not display the ability to beat linemen off the edge, and the defensive ends are handled far too often to be a threat. Starting NT Shaun Rogers continues to be the lone legitimate threat; now, though, teams are doubling up the linemen and letting his aggressiveness off the point run himself off the play.
- This Browns defense may be the worst tackling unit in the NFL outside of the St. Louis Rams. Defenders find their way into position to make a play, but lack the aggressiveness, fundamentals and attitude to wrap and clean-up a ball carrier. This Browns defense needs to play in an increased physical manner.
- The run defense was again poor against the Bills. The LB's fail to display consistency, and the defensive linemen continue to have issues in maintaining positioning and keeping blockers off the LBs. I fail to see a concerted effort of physical aggressiveness within the ranks of the Browns front seven outside of Rogers and OLB Willie McGinest.
- In an attempt to shore up issues against the pass, the Browns played much more cover defense, which results in players filling passing lanes, as well as having more players playing away from the point of attack. The ability to minimize the Buffalo passing game was successful, but the Bills rushing game gashed the Browns defense, especially due to a great number of missed tackles and blown assignments against the run.
- Special teams, once a staple of this team, is gradually becoming a thorn in the side of this roster. The overall lack of consistency and quality of play from this unit has become an issue. Against the Bills, the kickoff return game was terrible in coverage -- basically due to breakdowns from inexperienced players.