Cleveland Browns Game Balls vs. Ravens: Who Showed Up and Who Needed To Step Up?

Brian MurtaughAnalyst ISeptember 26, 2010

BALTIMORE - SEPTEMBER 26:  Alex Mack #55 of the Cleveland Browns snaps the ball against the Baltimore Ravens  at M&T Bank Stadium on September 26, 2010 in Baltimore, Maryland. The Ravens defeated the Browns 24-17. (Photo by Larry French/Getty Images)
Larry French/Getty Images

The third week of NFL action is over for the Cleveland Browns and despite another loss, Cleveland made some significant improvements in their style of play. 

After dropping the first two games in miserable fashion to two teams that were supposed to be below average, the Browns upped their intensity in week 3 and almost pulled a major upset. Unfortunately for the Browns, almost doesn't count in the NFL.

Here are my three game balls and two call outs for the Cleveland Browns in week 3:

Game Ball #1: Peyton Hillis

For the second week in a row, Peyton Hillis runs away with my first game ball.

Hillis took this game over for the Browns with an impressive 144 yards on only 22 carries. Hillis is quickly becoming a fan favorite of the Browns faithful as he has been a very bright spot in what has otherwise been a dismal first three weeks. It is also becoming very clear that Hillis is going to remain a gigantic part of the Browns offense after he pulled in seven receptions for 36 yards along with his rushing totals.

Hillis has been using a punishing power style run throughout his first couple of games with the Browns but showed some speed and quickness in Baltimore. Hillis' biggest gain of the day game on a 48 yard strike which set the Browns up for a touchdown later in the drive.

Game Ball #2: Seneca Wallace

Wallace seemed much sharper and better prepared this week in Baltimore than last week against the Chiefs. It is that preparation and quality of play that earns him my second game ball this week.

Wallace connected on 18 of 24 passes Sunday to total 141 yards and one touchdown. Even though the successful running game played a large role in Wallace's success, Wallace showed great mobility and poise as he was flushed out of the pocket on the majority of passing plays Cleveland called.

Wallace's performance surprised a lot of people in week 3 as many expected Baltimore to dominate the Browns' struggling offense. It will be interesting  to see what the Browns do with Wallace as the injury situation with Jake Delhomme continues.

Game Ball #3: Benjamin Watson

Ben Watson showed up in large fashion for the Browns against Baltimore as he roped in five balls for 47 yards and a touchdown.

Watson has remained a significant part of the offense in every game this year as he has become of the quarterbacks' favorite targets.

Watson's grab in Baltimore came at a large crossroads in the game as his touchdown gave Cleveland a 17-14 lead in the third quarter. Unfortunately, Cleveland could not manage to hold the lead but that takes nothing away from Watson's efforts.

Watson and Evan Moore are becoming a very reliable duo for anyone who is behind center for the Browns. If Cleveland is going to start putting up some wins, look for Watson to be an important piece of the puzzle.

Call Outs:

When any team loses, a significant amount of blame is usually put on one of more elements of the team itself. Here are my players that I feel should be called out after the Browns' loss in Baltimore

My first call out needs to go to the entire Cleveland Browns secondary.

I understand Cleveland's secondary unit is relatively young and inexperienced but their is no reason to let any receiver burn you for three touchdowns in one game.

Anquan Boldin is considered by most people to be an elite receiver in this league and the Browns absolutely failed to account for him on nearly every play. Just in case anyone didn't know, Boldin's final line is as follows:

REC: 8 YDS: 142 TD: 3 LG: 34

My second call out goes to offensive Coordinator, Brian Daboll.

I have refused to call out Daboll in recent weeks because I did not feel that it was his fault that the players did not execute, this week however, I beg to differ.

I feel that many people may disagree with my decision to throw Daboll "under the bus" this week but I have some very specific reasons.

My first reason is that Daboll was incredibly lucky that Peyton Hillis had such a good game.

If Hillis would have struggled against Baltimore, the Browns would have had no other option but to let Wallace run for his life and hope for a miracle.

I feel like Daboll should be getting other players like Josh Cribbs and Evan Moore more involved in the offensive scheme to give defenses more looks. I think anyone will eventually realize that the only thing Cleveland can do is pound Hillis down their throats.

My second reason for calling Daboll out is his inabilty to make the right call when the game is on the line. In every game so far this season, the Browns have been in position to win or tie late in the fourth quarter.

In  the fourth quarter in Baltimore, Daboll consistently called on Wallace to dish the ball either to Hillis or Cribbs on every play. None of the Browns other weapons were even considered when their was a chance to come back and win the game.

I call this predictability. Daboll has become sort of one dimensional with his play calling and if the Browns continue to struggle on offense, I would have to think that he may be one of the first people on the hot seat.

Game balls and call outs comments are always open for discussion and taken into consideration in future weeks. Let the bleacher world know what you think and share your opinion below!


The latest in the sports world, emailed daily.