Browns-Chargers: Report Card

TSX offers their take on how the Browns did last Sunday. Do you agree with these grades?

The Browns continue to struggle with injuries. Defensive end C.J. Mosley will be out for the season after breaking his ankle in Sunday's 30-23 loss to San Diego.

Mosley's injury comes one week after the Browns lost nose tackle Shaun Rogers for the season. That's two-thirds of a defensive line.

The same day that the Browns lost Rogers, they lost safety Brodney Pool for the season with a concussion. Previously they had lost both of their starting inside linebackers, Eric Barton and D'Qwell Jackson.

None of this helps, of course. Good teams cannot afford injuries, much less a 1-11 team like the Browns.

But oddly enough, the Browns had one of their better efforts against the run in the loss to San Diego, giving up just 91 yards rushing.

It's pretty emblematic of this Browns season, which has had very little go according to form.


--Brady Quinn remains on the yo-yo. Quinn had a good game against San Diego, which followed a bad game against Cincinnati, which followed a good game against Detroit.

Quinn threw for 271 yards and three touchdowns with no interceptions. Two of the TDs came late when the game was decided, but Quinn looked comfortable and confident against a playoff team.

"I think we grow week to week and progress," Quinn said. "I know you guys don't think so, but we do. I can see it."

--S Abram Elam was taken to school by San Diego's Antonio Gates. Elam had a tough day trying to cover Gates, who finished with a career-high 167 yards in receptions. Among his catches were two acrobatic ones when sandwiched between two Browns players. But there were other times when Gates simply beat coverage.

"He was as on as I've ever seen him," Chargers QB Philip Rivers said of Gates. "And that's saying a lot."

--TE Evan Moore came off the practice squad to have a big game with six catches for 80 yards. If Moore is for real, he provides QB Brady Quinn with something he's lacked all season -- a dependable tight end who can catch passes.

--RB Jerome Harrison saw increased playing time due to the injury to Jamal Lewis, and had a pretty good game with 97 rushing and receiving yards. Harrison gets lost sometimes, but it's games like this one that make people think he should have a role.

--WR Brian Robiskie was active for the first time in three games, and he showed he should continue to be active. Robiskie's first catch was for a first down, and it brought a standing ovation. He finished with four catches for 69 yards, including a 43-yard catch-and-run.

--WR Mohamed Massaquoi again found the end zone, catching an 11-yard score from Brady Quinn on the first drive of the game. The touchdown was Massaquoi's second of the season, and his second TD in three games.

--LB Kamerion Wimbley did not practice until Friday due to a sore knee, but he played and got a sack, which gives him 6.5 for the season. That's a team high, and Wimbley's highest sack total since 2006.


PASSING OFFENSE: A -- The Browns tried a lot of different things in the passing game and were successful on many of them. Brady Quinn ran an effective no-huddle offense, and he threw the ball all over the field. In games when the Browns seem to have given Quinn a complete game plan, he's responded fairy well. Against the Chargers, he threw for 271 yards and three touchdowns and wasn't intercepted.

RUSHING OFFENSE: C -- Nothing spectacular, but solid. Jerome Harrison and Chris Jennings combined for 63 yards, and Josh Cribbs ran four times for 38 yards from the Wildcat. The Browns were without Jamal Lewis for the first time this season, but they had a decent semblance of a running game totaling 115 yards on 22 carries.

PASS DEFENSE: F -- The complete inability of the secondary to stop TE Antonio Gates cost the Browns a chance at a victory. Gates abused the secondary with big catch after big catch, two of them coming between two Browns defenders. Gates was the prime beneficiary of a big game from Philip Rivers, who threw for 373 yards.

RUSH DEFENSE: B -- The Browns actually held the Chargers under 100 yards rushing, a major feat for this run defense. LaDainian Tomlinson passed Jim Brown on the all-time rushing list, but he averaged just 3.2 yards on his 20 carries. Darren Sproles never came close to breaking a big run, his forte. This Sunday might have been the Browns' best in run defense.

SPECIAL TEAMS: B -- Phil Dawson missed a field goal, and Josh Cribbs had no big returns. There was little to be excited about regarding the special teams effort, but there also was little to be critical about.

COACHING: D -- The Browns were competitive for one half, but in the third quarter they were dominated in ways not usually seen. The Chargers gained 208 yards that quarter, the Browns 10. It's not the first time an opponent has come out after halftime and dominated the Browns, which indicates that either the adjustments the Browns are making at halftime are not working, or the Browns are not making adjustments while the other team is. San Diego had the ball for more than 12 minutes in the third quarter and put the game away then. The Browns' late scores only made the final score more respectable.

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