Browns vs. Ravens: Full Roster Report Card Grades for the Browns
On the positive side, most of the Cleveland Browns’ grades won’t be as bad as Week 1. Unfortunately, after losing a winnable division game, the grades still will not be all that great either.
While the defense dominated and kept the Browns in the game, once again the offense let them down. The return of wide receiver Josh Gordon next week may give the offense a boost, but for now it is abysmal.
Sunday also marked the debut of sixth overall pick Barkevious Mingo. How did his addition factor into the grade for the outside linebackers?
Let’s find out as we grade every position in the Browns' 14-6 loss to the Baltimore Ravens.
Brandon Weeden: C+
This was a much better performance from Brandon Weeden. He still has plenty of room to improve, but he made good decisions and got rid of the ball quickly.
Even though he was under pressure all game long and was sacked five times, his throws were much less panicked. While there were throws he should want back, like the missed pass to Chris Ogbonnaya in the second half, he was overall pretty decent.
He finished 21-of-33 for 227 yards and did not turn the ball over.
Trent Richardson and Chris Ogbonnaya: C-
After only getting 15 touches in Week 1, Richardson did a little more damage with his 23 touches in Week 2. He rushed for 58 yards and caught five passes for 21 yards.
This is still a far cry from the production of a third overall draft pick. He has yet to make a huge play in either the running or passing game, and the Browns desperately need it.
Chris Ogbonnaya once again struggled run blocking on third downs. While the coaching staff may evaluate him as the better blocker, the difference between him and Richardson cannot be that much.
The Browns need to start keeping Richardson in on third down so they have another weapon to try to extend drives.
Greg Little, Travis Benjamin and Davone Bess: D
I gave the receiving corps a D for drops. Once again, Cleveland's receivers struggled to create separation, and when they did, they dropped too many passes.
Greg Little had three more drops and seems to have regressed back to his rookie form.
This group has produced just 243 total yards through two games. Anquan Boldin led the league with 208 receiving yards in Week 1 alone. They desperately need Josh Gordon to return from suspension next week.
Jordan Cameron: A-
You have to give Jordan Cameron credit because he has been literally the team’s only offensive weapon. Cameron caught five passes for 95 yards, giving him 203 yards and a touchdown on the season.
While his run blocking still needs to improve, his main job in Norv Turner’s offense is to exploit mismatches, and he has done that to perfection.
He has quickly developed into Weeden’s favorite target.
Joe Thomas, John Greco, Alex Mack, Oniel Cousins and Mitchell Schwartz: D+
The effort from the offensive line was slightly better than Week 1 but still just bad enough to almost get the quarterback killed. After allowing five more sacks and 12 more QB hits to Baltimore, the line has now allowed 11 sacks and 28 QB hits in just two weeks.
Those are staggering numbers.
Oniel Cousins and Mitchell Schwartz struggled on the right side again and made it tough for Weeden to ever get comfortable. Shawn Lauvao, who might return next week, can’t get back soon enough. Hopefully he creates a little more chemistry within the offensive line.
Phil Taylor, Billy Winn, John Hughes and Desmond Bryant: B-
The defensive front once again dominated the game early and would not allow the Ravens to get anything going offensively. This unit combined for 15 tackles, a half of a sack and one QB hit.
It did a great job of limiting Ray Rice and the running game until the fourth quarter. Just like in Week 1, eventually the defense ran out of steam from spending the entire second half on the field.
This unit’s grade was knocked down a little bit because of Phil Taylor’s lack of composure early in the game. While I like Taylor’s fire and attitude, he gave the Ravens a free first down on their opening drive. This team is not good enough to be giving away downs.
Quentin Groves, Paul Kruger, Jabaal Sheard and Barkevious Mingo: A-
While everyone focuses on Mingo’s NFL debut and the sack he got on his first snap, I will focus on a second straight week of dominating play.
Even after losing Quentin Groves to a sprained ankle early, the outside linebackers played fantastic. I thought their pass coverage was even better than in Week 1, and they still created pressure on Joe Flacco all game long.
This unit combined for 14 tackles, one-and-a-half sacks and a QB hit. Not a bad day.
Craig Robertson and D’Qwell Jackson: A-
Craig Robertson and D'Qwell Jackson backed up their phenomenal opening game with an even better Week 2. A huge part of the team stifling the run so well has been this unit.
In a 3-4 defense, the inside linebackers have to be able to make plays in the run game, and these two have. They combined for 15 tackles and held the Ravens to just one run of more than 10 yards.
Their pass defense was stellar as well, limiting Baltimore’s tight ends to two catches for 26 yards.
Buster Skrine, Chris Owens and Joe Haden: C
This unit was better but still not great. After Buster Skrine and Chris Owens were abused in Week 1, Ray Horton tried moving Joe Haden to different sides of the defense so they couldn’t target one particular defensive back.
While Torrey Smith had a good game, catching seven passes for 85 yards, the rest of the Ravens’ receivers were held in check.
Chris Owens still missed a big tackle on Flacco’s touchdown pass in the fourth quarter. This has been a problem for him through both games.
Tashaun Gipson and T.J. Ward: B
Even with Horton sending blitzes on almost every play, the safeties did not get beaten for any deep balls. They also combined for 12 tackles.
This position is very tough to evaluate without the coaches film, but at first glance, the Browns’ safeties played very well. This is especially good news since T.J. Ward was playing with an injured shoulder.
Billy Cundiff, Spencer Lanning, Travis Benjamin, Bobby Rainey and Coverage Units: C+
I am sure Billy Cundiff was very happy with his return to Baltimore after making both of his field-goal attempts. Spencer Lanning was solid in the punting game, and the coverage units gave up two decent returns but nothing major.
The highlight of this unit was once again Travis Benjamin. He had a 31-yard return, giving the Browns great field position. If Bobby Rainey would stop bringing the ball out of the end zone on kickoffs, this unit's grade might actually rise.