Cleveland Browns fans are very excited for the 2021 season.
While some may be wary of the preseason hype that is unfamiliar territory, they know the roster is loaded with talented players.
NFL: Are you willing to back the OVER on the Cleveland Browns 2021 Future Season Win Total?
Over: 10.5 (-105)
Under: 10.5 (-115)#Browns #NFLpicks #NFLTwitter pic.twitter.com/FbRLNlxc4N
— SportsGridRadio (@SportsGridRadio) July 4, 2021
They also know that there is room for improvement from 2020.
Here are three concerning stats from the 2020 Browns that need to be addressed in training camp and during the preseason.
State of the 2021 Cleveland Browns (by @adamrank): Can Kevin Stefanski keep good times rolling?https://t.co/3VfDWylSsG pic.twitter.com/ZdtHAXPzYq
— Around The NFL (@AroundTheNFL) June 29, 2021
1. Slow Offensive Starts
The 2020 Browns offense had so many superstars, and they are returning for the 2021 season.
They need to eliminate the slow starts.
Last season, the Browns scored under 10 points in the first quarter of every regular season game except for one.
That was in Week 12 against the Tennessee Titans when the Browns put up 10 points in the first quarter.
The slow offensive starts are somewhat baffling.
If the running game needs to be established, it should happen in the first quarter.
If that is not working, dive into the playbook and get creative.
It is not clear if this stat is a function of execution of plays or the type of plays called in the first quarter of last season’s games.
Either way, it needs to be corrected.
2. Sloppy Defensive Endings
Equally frustrating was how the defense folded in the 4th quarter in 2020.
The Cleveland Browns' secondary was a patchwork unit a season ago, but reworking that group was a primary focus of the team's offseason.
For @ForbesSports, I wrote about how that improved secondary will be a strength of the defense in 2021.#Browns #NFLhttps://t.co/k4Kx5ZGbxH
— Liam Fox (@LiamFoxSports) June 28, 2021
Yes, there were injuries and plenty of player substitutions, but it still was unbelievable how the Browns let teams in the games and then had to go to almost heroic means, like their predecessors the Kardiac Kids, to pull out the wins.
In eight games in 2020, the Browns gave up double-digit points in the 4th quarter.
The worst was the 24 points the Browns spotted to the Dallas Cowboys in Week 4 that made pulling off the win more epic than necessary.
AFC North divisional rivals were able to wrack up late-game points also.
The Bengals scored 14 in the 4th quarter in both of their games with the Browns.
Both the Ravens and Steelers also put up 13 4th quarter points in games with the Browns in 2020.
With the reworked defense, this stat should be an easy one to fix.
New and more talented personnel with hopefully fewer injured players should make this stat go away in 2021.
3. Opposing Quarterbacks Throwing 3 or More TDs
The Browns found it challenging to shut down quarterbacks.
In five games, opposing quarterbacks threw three or more touchdowns in the game.
Perhaps more concerning is that Joe Burrow, who practically carried the Bengals on his back last season, did it to the Browns both times he faced them.
He threw 3 TDs in each game.
Lamar Jackson threw 3 in the Week 1 loss; whereas Dak Prescott threw 4 TDs in the aforementioned Cowboys game that got out of hand.
Finally, Ryan Tannehill threw 3 TDs when the Browns played the Titans.
To be fair, the Browns did shut down Derrick Henry in that game so they took away the run, but they could not manage to keep Tannehill from finding his end zone targets.
Fixing these three troubling stats/behaviors in the 2021 season will be instrumental to the Browns’ success.
Leave a Reply