Browns vs. Jaguars: Offense Drops the Ball for Cleveland

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Browns vs. Jaguars: Offense Drops the Ball for Cleveland
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Well I guess the Brian Daboll honeymoon is over. 

How can a team pick off the AFC's QB-rating leader three times, force two fumbles and still lose? 

You can ask Brian Daboll and his Bill Belichick-era conservative play-calling that failed to capitalize on the Jaguar's miscues. You can also look at Phil Dawson for missing two long field goals that may have been the difference.  

The last time an NFL team was plus-five in turnovers and lost was Oct. 8, 2007, when Buffalo was edged by Dallas 25-24. No team has ever won a game when their wide receivers can't catch and when they fail to protect the QB, as the Browns failed to do on both ends.    

If there were two big concerns going into the game, the first was that teams were going to start stacking the box for Peyton Hillis, daring Colt McCoy to win the game throwing the ball. 

I can understand that Daboll may have wanted to pound the ball to try and set up play-action downfield, but continuing to rely too heavily on Hillis will make the Cleveland Browns more predictable and easier to game-plan for.    

My second major concern was the Browns trying to account for and contain Jacksonville running back Maurice Jones-Drew, who had a key 75-yard run off of a screen play to set up the eventual game-winning touchdown for the Jaguars. Jones-Drew would finish with 133 yards rushing and 87 yards receiving.  

Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Daboll's game-calling has seemingly regressed and become more conservative. He didn't give McCoy much freedom to execute and make plays, though it didn't help that the Browns were missing WR Joshua Cribbs and briefly lost Benjamin Watson during the game.  

Make no mistake, this loss is on the offense for failing to take advantage of six turnovers, only getting 10 points. Not good at all.  

The defense kept the Browns in this game and minus some porous tackling, such as the 75-yard screen pass to Jones-Drew, the Browns were not only in this game but it felt as if they should have been winning 35-10.  

A 24-20 loss on the road after your defense gets you six turnovers should be used as a snapshot by Browns president Mike Holmgren and GM Tom Heckert to draft wide receiver, defensive line, linebacker and running back. Period.  

The Browns offensive line didn't give McCoy a chance to move the ball, and while McCoy played another fine game, highlighted by his 13-yard TD pass reception to Peyton Hillis, the offense went cold and stagnant in the second half. The Jaguars simply overran the Browns offensive line, and McCoy was sacked six times.  

The Browns need to draft or sign a top-line wide receiver for McCoy to throw to, they must draft edge rushers to get more pressure on opposing quarterbacks and while Cleveland was able to sack Garrard two times, they also let him escape and make plays out of the pocket.  

And after watching today's game, they will need to draft better tackling linebackers, as once again their lack of fundamentals was exposed in the open field.  

The final suggestion is that the Mike Bell trade for Jerome Harrison is looking like a joke. The Cleveland Browns offense runs through Hillis, and once teams key on him, the offense stalls. Even though Hardesty will be back next year, you cannot help but be concerned about his history of injuries.  

McCoy has continued to look impressive, but you couldn't help but notice that he got a case of "happy feet" and seem a little harried at times. McCoy finished with 247 yards passing and one touchdown, along with one interception.  

In a game in which the Browns defense played at its peak, it would be the Browns offense that would drop the ball in this one.

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