Does anyone have a DeLorean I can borrow? I’m kidding, these games do not count – at least not yet. And besides, the brown-and-orange don’t want to show the Miami Dolphins anything to study for opening day, do they?
The Cleveland Browns came back down to earth last night as they lost to the Indianapolis Colts, 27-6. This game may have been a good thing in the long run because it seemed like Cleveland could do no wrong in the first two games. Saturday night is a game to forget and if you’re not impressed with Andrew Luck by now, you should be.
From offense to defense to special teams, the Browns looked flat and often confused. Brandon Weeden completed just 12 passes and was not in sync with his receivers. Something very noticeable was Weeden’s eyes when in the pocket. They were locked on the targeted receiver most of the time from the start of the play. This was a huge issue last year and must improve this season. There were two throws that should have been picked off by Colts defenders. Another thing that was noticeable was the amount of short check-down passes. I counted at least four on the first drive alone. To give Weeden credit though, almost all of his completions were on the money or only in a spot where his receiver could get it.
But, this is the preseason and there are going to be growing pains. So, let’s try to find some of the positives in this meaningless exhibition football game.
While the offense had its issues, running back Trent Richardson continued to show he is amped up for the 2013 campaign. TRich put up 41 all-purpose yards and averaged 4.4 yards on the ground. If he stays healthy, Richardson is going to be fun to watch this year.
How about new linebacker Paul Kruger? It seemed like every time Luck dropped back to pass, Kruger was on the hunt. This is an awesome sign and exactly why the Browns are paying him 40 million dollars. The same stout effort can be said for Quentin Groves. Playing for Jabaal Sheard, Groves quietly had a nice game showing lots of pressure. But, how about Buster Skrine? Matched up against Reggie Wayne or Darius Heyward-Bey, Skrine held his own and made some nice pass break-ups. Tashaun Gipson had a very nice interception in the red zone to stop a Colts drive.
Shayne Graham is showing is veteran presence and knocking down field goals with ease. The Browns scored six points yesterday and all them belonged to Graham. Making a Phil Dawson-esque 50 yarder in the second half was a nice sign too. With the release of punter TJ Conley earlier this week, Spencer Lanning is the Browns’ punter. This game was an extended audition for the 25-year old and needed to prove he is the guy. After drubbing a two weak punts, Lanning boomed the next two over 60 yards each. He punted seven times and averaged 46.7 per punt, while putting two inside the twenty.
Is it completely back to the drawing board for the Browns? No, not at all. They had a bad game and were outplayed. It happens. The good thing is these games do not count and neither does this Thursday night’s contest with the Chicago Bears. There is no doubt that Coach Chud will have his boys watching the film from the Colts game and correcting mistakes. Relax Browns fans, it is a long season and it hasn’t even started yet.
Ryan Ruiz is the Cleveland Browns Beat Writer for The Inscriber: Digital Magazine. You can follow him on Facebook and Twitter @ryanpruiz24. Ryan is also a Cleveland Browns Correspondent for The SportsFix. Tune in every Friday at noon on www.thesportfix.net.