Five Quick Things: Browns Lose In Jacksonville Edition

By: T.J. Zuppe

Jaguars Running Back Maurice Jones-Drew

1. Browns unable to survive the late Jaguars surge and fall 24-20. But no one is blaming the defense today. Cleveland forced six big turnovers, including four interceptions, two by safety T.J. Ward. They were also able to get after quarterback David Garrard much better this afternoon, only allowing him to escape the blitz once. Hard to imagine many scenarios where a defense causes such turmoil, forces as many mistakes and yet still loses the football game. The only bone to pick was near the end of the game, on a play in which running back Maurice Jones-Drew caused about 52 missed tackles (slight exaggeration), on his way down to the goal-line. A couple of plays later, Jones-Drew took it in for six and gave the Jaguars the lead for good.

2. The offense was nothing short of offensive in the second half. It starts up front, with the offensive line play. John St. Clair received the start at right tackle and from the very beginning of the game, you could tell an absolute difference. After starting out decently well, the pass protection broke down on several occasions, allowing quarterback Colt McCoy to get drilled on sacks. In the second half, the push they created early was replaced by Jacksonville penetration and running back Peyton Hillis was neutralized.

3. With Hillis a non-factor, we see just how stagnant the offense became. But once again, more so falls on the shoulders of others, including the wide-outs. The receivers were unable to get open, forcing McCoy to hold on to the football for long periods of time. Those resulted in more sacks and caused McCoy to come up limp in the second half. Without any type of down-field threat, the Jaguars loaded the box and completely shutdown Hillis. The big bruising back finished with 48 yards rushing, on 21 carries and 95 yards receiving, including one touchdown.

4. The playcalling was less than stellar. Which is pretty surprising considering how they have mixed it up over the last month of play. But offensive coordinator Brian Daboll was very stale in his selection, in the third and fourth quarters. Even worse was the clock management in the fourth quarter. With the Browns using all timeouts earlier in the final frame, they were put under the gun late. As a result, McCoy was not able to operate the 2-minute drill with the ease we saw last week against the Jets.

Browns Quarterback Colt McCoy

5. McCoy was not quite the same quarterback. However, it was still very encouraging that when the chips were down, he was able to make just enough plays to keep his team in the game, even while hobbled by an ankle injury. He nearly put the Browns in position to score near the end of the game. If not for the timeout situation, who knows what the outcome would have been. He was also a bit lucky earlier in the contest, as he was nearly picked on two separate occasions. McCoy finished with 241 yards through the air, one touchdown and the interception that sealed the win for Jacksonville. His quarterback rating was 85.6.

Photos courtesy of the Associated Press.

Follow T.J. Zuppe on Twitter @TJZuppe

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