Even with everything that went well today, the Cleveland Browns still found a way to lose to the Los Angeles Chargers.
They ran the ball well.
They kept Justin Herbert’s impact to a minimum.
They made some big stops in some big moments.
But they also still missed key kicks, let the Chargers run all over them and turned the ball over when it mattered most.
Now the Browns are 2-3 through five weeks.
The are a few things to be learned from today’s loss and things the Browns need to adjust before they take on the New England Patriots in week 6.
1. Jacoby Brissett is good… until he needs to be great
Jacoby Brissett looked really good today.
He spread the ball around, ran when he needed to and kept the ball out of the defense’s hands… for the most part.
As he did in weeks 2 and 4, Brissett threw an interception today in the final minutes of the game, helping to contribute to a Browns loss.
Jacoby Brissett, who had an incredible scramble earlier to avoid a sack, just threw one right to #CHargers safety Alohi Gilman while trying to get it to Amari Cooper. he also had room to run. Killer turnover in the red zone.
— Daryl Ruiter (@RuiterWrongFAN) October 9, 2022
As much as he finds success in the first 90% of the game, it’s during the last 10% where he needs to find success the most.
And after three big interceptions, it’s become apparent can’t do it.
The good news is that the Browns have a solution to his shortcomings in Deshaun Watson who will be coming off suspension in just six more weeks.
The bad news is that the Browns have to play six more weeks with Brissett and his inability to capitalize in 4th quarter.
If the Browns hope to still be in playoff contention by the time Watson returns, they need to keep Brissett out of those big moments.
2. Something needs to be done about the defense
The Browns have been patient with Joe Woods and his defense.
But after five weeks and today’s loss, the cracks in his defensive plan are becoming clearer.
Chargers 238 on the ground today…were 32nd (last) in the league with 63-64 ypg coming in…Joe Woods gotta go!!
— BDawg (@bearman0142) October 9, 2022
And something needs to be done about it.
He can’t stop the run, he allows wide gaps to form in the secondary and he’s failed to produce any significant number of sacks or turnovers.
The first thing that comes to mind as a solution (especially for fans) is to fire Woods.
Jumping on the Joe Woods has to go train. #Browns
— Craig Fountain (@CraigAFountain) October 9, 2022
As much as that might be an easier decision in the offseason, firing a coordinator in the middle season is difficult.
The Browns might not have an obvious replacement and they might not be able to get a replacement up to speed fast enough.
The other option is allowing Woods to reassess his game plan.
He’s likely made a number of adjustments through the season already.
But now it’s time for an overhaul.
If he can’t figure out something new soon, the Browns will be forced to figure out a new defensive play caller.
3. Nick Chubb might be the best RB in the NFL
For something positive, Nick Chubb is looking better than ever.
He’s had 100+ rushing yards in every game this season and is on pace for over 2000 yards in total.
He also has 7 touchdowns and leads the NFL in broken tackles and 20+ yard runs.
— Kurt Warner (@kurt13warner) October 9, 2022
And with Derrick Henry and Jonathan Taylor having a few slumps so far this season, Chubb might finally be the unanimous best RB in the NFL right now.
Hopefully, he keeps his pace up and helps the Browns find success in week 6.