Wow, another heart breaker. I think I lost another 2 years off my life..
1. I think I am close to hating Hackett. I don't like the game plan at all. We score with CJ in space, yet, we never run that type of play again until it is too late.
2. EJ has to be smarter. I never understand why these athletes always think they are indestructible. Didn't RG3's horrific injury open up the eyes of QBs who want to scramble? EJ should have gotten out of bounds when he knew he couldn't score. The extra 3 yards ins't gonna matter. He has to be smart enough to know when to chance it and when to take the smart play. And the fact that their guy admitted that he hit him as hard as he could makes me upset. And I am a bit annoyed that he is making the same foot work mistakes over and over. Coaching anyone? Hello?
3. I blame the D and ST for this loss. If I had to rank it, 50% ST, 40%D and 10%O. Why the love for the O? Simple really. They came into the game with 2 hurt HB's who played their hearts out and played against a really good D in their house. They put up 24 on them in their building, tops so far. I don't know what more you can ask of an offense with 3 of their best weapons hurting (CJ, Fred, Stevie) then to score the most points CLE has given up all year. The D played Okay, but, come on, this was Hoyer and Weeden and there were so many breakdowns in the secondary. This is twice now that we have seen them play down to the level of the QB (Jets being the other one). How can they be so good against Balt and Car and NE and be so bad against the "lesser" QBs like Smith/Hoyer/Weeden? Don't get me started on ST Punting. Powell was cut, so, that's good. Someone needed to be cut on this team and perhaps it will wake them all up.
4. Passing offense was a C. I am mostly ranking this as a B for EJ and a F for Tuel. Tuel was terrible, but, so was Frank Reich when he'd come into a game due to injury. It was a hostile place and I knew we lost as soon as he came in and started the 4th. EJ continues to frustrate me with simple high school mechanical issues. Throwing off his back foot, the ill-attempted jump pass (that we saw Brady do last week with much better results), not being smart with his running. All this is coaching and Hackett and the QB coach aren't cutting it.
5 Rushing O was a B+. CJ and Fred were both hurt. The Cle D is good to great. We have faced nothing but good front 7s for the whole season in NE, Car, Jets, Balt and now CLe. Yet, they gutted almost twice as many yards as they give up on average. That impressed me again. To go into their house with 2 beat up HBs and still get over 100 and keep the D honest enough with the pass was all u could ask for.
6. Passing D was a D. Oh man, they made Hoyer and Weeden look like Brady and Rivers this year. It was bad. When they needed a play, they were no where to be found.
7. Rushing D was a C. Yes, they had a good average, but, when they really needed a stop, the D failed them. And how many third downs did they convert (and if I heard correctly, they were in the bottom 3 for third down conversions) and our D just let them convert so many when it mattered most. It was maddening.
8. ST. I have to split this score. Kicking (kickoffs and FG and PAT) was a solid B+. Carpenter should be our kicker for the year, stick the kid on IR. He was solid on his FG and KOs were deep and well placed. Coverage was good. On Punts F------ they were terrible and mostly responsible for the loss. I don't know if it was ST, the coach, both, the moon, was Satan there, what , but, man they were bad...
9 Coaching was a C. The offensive game plan was maddening again. I don't like Hackett's play calling. He doesn't take advantage of things right. They run when they should pass. They run too much on first downs. They don't use CJ right. The list goes on and on. Defensive plans weren't executed very well. They made Willis look serviceable. They made him look relevant and and he probably went out and is gonna have his 500th baby. Way to go team. Just what we need, more baby Willis's.\
10. Josh Freeman- I don't think we will get him. Unless i am wrong, he has to clear waivers first, meaning that any team who claims him gets him for his salary. So, I assume if multiple teams claim him that he will go to the worse teams first, and I can't see Jacksonville passing on him. But, lets say that he does become a free agent, I think we should go after him. He's better then Tuel. If EJ wins the job next year then he's a great back up, or you have a trade commodity and either way, it's a good signing.
11. Tuel -why is he our primary backup? Typically a vet is the back up when a rookie starts (don't tell me about Wash, do we ever want to be like them? And that trade for RG3 is killing them this year and only time will tell if it was worth it) and how is Tuel learning anything? We need a vet. Period. Tuel should be on the PS. The primary focus of the backup is either the young gun who is learning or the vet who is helping the young gun get experience. The backup has to offer something and Tuel does neither. He can't ever be counted on to come in and lead a team to victory as was evidenced last night. He simply doesn't get enough reps. He needs those reps to grow.