Another week of NFL action is in the books and unfortunately for the Cleveland Browns, another 0-2 start means that the team is yet again sitting at the bottom of the AFC. Although the Browns have not looked terrible in their first two games, consecutive losses are something that the team had worked hard to avoid throughout the previous off-season. In the mess that was week two, a few players stood out while a few others made some crucial mistakes. Here are my week two game balls and players that need to be called out for their performance against the Chiefs.
Game Ball #1
My first game ball for week two goes to Peyton Hillis.
Hillis had his second straight strong performance of the season given the opportunities that he has had. Against the Chiefs, Hillis had only eight carries for 35 yards and a touchdown. These may not seem like great numbers but Jerome Harrison had double the amount of rushes for less yards on the day.
Other reasons why Hillis gets my first game ball are his three receptions and his ability to be a reliable receiver for the Browns quarterbacks. Every time the Browns ended up in a manageable third down or short yardage situation Hillis’ number was called.
I look for the Browns to incorporate Hillis more into the system if Harrison continues to struggle.
Game Ball #2
My second game ball of week two goes to Joshua Cribbs.
Cribbs worked hard all off-season to learn the wide receiver position and to become more of an impact player in Mangini’s offensive system. Cribbs made his presence felt against the Chiefs after snagging a 65 yard touchdown catch from Seneca Wallace.
Unfortunately for the Browns, Cribbs was basically a non-factor in the special teams department while Kansas City did a great job of playing around him and limiting his opportunities.
Game Ball #3
Defense has been the one bright factor in what has been a less than impressive opening two weeks for the Browns. Among the defensive players that have made the biggest impact, T.J. Ward has to be near the top.
Ward gets my third game ball for week two because of two simple reasons.
The first reason is that Ward led all of the Browns defensive players on Sunday with eight tackles. The second reason is that Ward is playing football like Cleveland fans expect their players to play. Coming out of the draft, Joe Haden received almost all of the hype and headlines but Ward has let his on the field actions speak for themselves and has become one of the most feared players in Cleveland’s secondary.
Among the players that I feel need to be called out after this weeks loss, Jerome Harrison is definitely near the top of my list.
Harrison’s number was called 16 times over the course of the game as he rushed for only 33 yards. Peyton Hillis managed to gain more yards than Harrison on only half the amount of carries.
In my eyes, that means that Hillis is running harder or that Harrison is simply not finding the holes.
The running game is essential to the Browns success especially when the starting quarterback goes down with an injury early in the year. Wallace was forced to throw 31 times against Kansas City because of the lack of a running game. That only spells trouble as the Browns move forward heading into one of their toughest stretches of the season.
My other player that I feel should be called out after this game is Brian Robiskie
Robiskie is now in his second year and is yet to show anything that can help him be considered as a solid receiver in the National Football League.
During the game with Kansas City, Robiskie only managed to catch one ball for a twelve yard gain. The Browns need more production out of their receivers if they expect to have any success this season and it has to involve every player.
Robiskie needs to raise his level of play or I feel this will be his last season among the ranks of Cleveland Browns wide receivers.
What Do You Think?
Game balls and call outs are two things that are always up for discussion. Certain plays and players make the difference in wins and losses every week in the NFL.
Who gets your game balls and call outs for week two?