Jason Miller/Getty Images
It's no secret to anyone who regularly reads my columns that I'm not a big fan of Coach Pat Shurmur's offensive play-calling. It's also no secret that his poor play-calling was a big part of the problem for the Browns offense this afternoon.
However, this one cannot be blamed on Shurmur and the coaching staff alone. With very few exceptions, we saw disappointing performances out of the majority of the Browns' offensive players this afternoon.
Let's start with QB Colt McCoy, who had a rough outing for the second game in a row. I personally still have complete faith in McCoy for the future, but these last two games did expose some serious problems in his game that he needs to improve on. McCoy obviously can't be blamed for play-calling issues that affected his numbers this afternoon, but he does need to work on keeping a level head when he's being pressured.
I blame the line more than McCoy for this, because they're the ones allowing him to be pressured excessively, but he does need to learn to help himself if his line can't do their job. Richard Seymour menaced McCoy all afternoon, and he panicked on a number of occasions and made desperate, inaccurate throws. Many fell incomplete, and he was actually very lucky he wasn't intercepted, as the defense had the opportunity to pick him off on at least four separate occasions.
We discussed the running backs earlier, but the receivers have to be mentioned here too. They actually looked a little better this week than they have in the past in some ways, but the number of dropped passes this week was just atrocious. Greg Little did a decent job for this being his first NFL start, but he caught just six of 12 targets. TE Ben Watson caught only three of eight, and Mohamed Massaquoi pulled in three of seven targets.
The blame for some of those incompletions lies with McCoy for poor throws in some instances, but just as many were dropped by the targeted receiver.
And of course, the offensive line remains the biggest liability of all, rivaling only the offensive play-calling as the most costly problem that the Browns just can't seem to kick.
Finally, as much as the Browns offense disappointed this week, you have to tip your helmet to the Oakland defense, which played an excellent game and is clearly an infinitely more talented squad than it appears to be on paper.