It is no secret that the Cleveland Browns enter the offseason with the offense as the top priority.
The offense struggled this season to put points on the board.
Through the last 8 games of the season, they scored 24 points or less in each game.
Only in 3 of the games did the Browns score more than 20 points.
In the other 5 games, they scored 14 points twice, 10 points twice, and 7 points once.
That is not going to get the job done in the NFL.
As part of the offseason evaluation, here are three suggestions on how the Browns can improve the offense in 2022.
1. Stay Committed To The Run
And yes #Browns @Browms fans #BrownsTwitter I asked the question to the Haslams on Twitter. Why is Nick Chubb being run so little in the last 8 games. Kevin Stefanski needs to own up and answer. He hasn’t changed the play calling. Period. He hopes the same plays will win
— RicMtheGM Brownie (Gnome) (@RicMTheGM) January 4, 2022
There were games when the Browns came out and aggressively ran the ball.
Then, they inexplicably seemed to abandon that game plan.
Also, once again Kevin Stefanski's play calling leaves a lot to be desired. Baker Mayfield is playing like garbage, but instead of leaning on the ground game and one of the best backs in the NFL they're throwing it. Makes no sense. Nick Chubb has only 12 carries in this game.
— AUTiger7222 (@AUTiger7222) December 25, 2021
It is a good idea to change the game plan when it is not working, but there were instances when Nick Chubb was running the ball down the opposing teams’ throats and then moved to the sideline for indefinite amounts of time when the team changed to a more pass-heavy game plan.
Sometimes it seemed as though there were two game plans, and the process of weaving them together was not subtle.
Here is the bottom line.
With Chubb and hopefully a healthy Kareem Hunt in 2022, the plan should always be run first.
Mix in play-action and screen passes to keep the defense guessing, but the Browns bread and butter should be the running game.
@Browns Can someone ask Stefanski why he thinks it’s a good idea to not run Nick Chubb when he averages 5.8 yards per carry? The play calling has been atrocious all year long!!
— Brenty (@BPacheco18) January 4, 2022
2. Get The Fullback Involved More
The Browns have talented fullbacks on the roster.
Yet they are not used as often as they could be.
Whether it is as a blocker, runner, or pass catcher, the fullback is a versatile position that can offer a lot of benefits to an offense.
Janovich’s touchdown was a rushing one, and Stanton’s was a receiving one.
— P.J. ZIEGLER (@PJFOX8) September 19, 2021
— Sir Yacht🛥 (@SirYacht_) January 26, 2022
The Browns use fullbacks most often on special teams and most notoriously on the hands’ team for onside kicks.
Expanding the use of the players in this position could put more points on the board.
3. Identify A Deep Threat WR1
Despite being a run-first offense, there does need to be a deep threat legitimate WR1 on the roster.
Acquiring a WR1 either through the draft or free agency that fits with the overall offensive scheme will definitely be an offseason priority.
Injuries were an issue in 2021; however, there still needs to be that player that draws double coverage and has good chemistry with the quarterback.
The entire group of wide receivers for the Browns caught a grand total of 7 touchdowns all of this year. SEVEN!
To put that into perspective, Davante caught 11 himself.
Davante, Cobb, Lazard, and MVS caught 27 combined.
— Nate St. Pierre (@NateStPierre) January 21, 2022
All of the above suggestions will work, but the other piece of the offensive puzzle that must be in place in 2022 is healthy players.
There were countless injuries last season so the offense may have only been 100% healthy in Week 1 against the Kansas City Chiefs.
After that, it went downhill fast.
— CLVLND🟧⬜️🟫 (@JBurghardt12) January 11, 2022
It is still unclear if the strength and conditioning segment of the organization is equipped as necessary with the people, equipment, and procedures to keep the players healthy during the season.
Of course, that needs to be evaluated also for the entire team.