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4 Downs: What to take away from Browns loss vs. Patriots – Browns Wire

The good in this matchup between the Cleveland Browns and New England Patriots is minimal. The Browns laid an egg and got outclassed by Bill Belichick and his team. With back-to-back weeks against division rivals, the season hangs in the balance with how this team responds after dropping to 2-4 on the year.
For now, we move forward with another edition of 4 Downs as we look to identify what stood out the most from this beatdown at FirstEnergy Stadium. What can we take away from this loss to the Patriots? Is there any hope left in this season that is beginning to look like was punted on from the start?
Cleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett. Mandatory Credit: Scott Galvin-USA TODAY Sports
There is a great deal of anger from the fanbase, and it is being misdirected at All-Pro pass rusher Myles Garrett. On a day when he set the franchise sack record at just 26 years old (and even added a second sack on what was a crucial time at the time), Garrett has become a punching bag.
And it is complete madness as he could not be doing much more than he already is. He is still playing through a mangled shoulder that was sprained in his car accident, and yet is leaving it all on the field for the Browns.
He gets pressure at the rate of a top pass rusher in the league (that he is) and racked up a massive eight pressures against the Patriots alone. He graded out as an elite player on the day according to PFF and was well in the green as a run defender as well.
What more could you want out of a guy getting double-teamed at a rate no other pass rusher is seeing along a defensive line that has no other capable talent next to him at defensive tackle?
Cleveland Browns free safety John Johnson (43) celebrates with defensive back Grant Delpit. (AP Photo/Matt Durisko)
We are six weeks into the season and still seeing the poor play from players who were expected to be significant contributors. Some of these players were drafted with high draft assets, and others are on a big free agent tab, but it is time to start benching underperformers regardless of status.
The biggest offender in this category is former second round pick Grant Delpit. He has been abysmal in coverage, and while he has flashed in run support, has not been worthy of putting in the field in 2022. Unfortunately, Ronnie Harrison has not been better, but maybe it is time to give the undrafted free agent D’Anthony Bell some reps to see what he can do. It is hard for this to go further south.
Linebacker Jacob Phillips is likely out of the starting lineup the moment Deion Jones is activated from Injured Reserve, but we are to the point where Jordan Kunaszyk is worth the look at the second level over the former third rounder.
John Johnson III, a massive free agent add at the time, has been volatile as well. While he graded out well yesterday according to PFF, his effort level has been extremely poor from the third level of the Cleveland defense. As there is an out in his contract after this season if designated as a post-June 1 cut, we are trending towards a situation where Johnson III may not see a third season in the brown and orange.
Now is the time for complete accountability.
Oct 16, 2022; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Cleveland Browns kicker Cade York. Mandatory Credit: Lon Horwedel-USA TODAY Sports
Earlier this week, special teams coordinator Mike Priefer reiterated his confidence in the Browns’ rookie kicker. After missing two kicks against the Los Angeles Chargers a week ago, Cade York rebounded nicely against the Patriots.
The Cleveland offense stunk and could not get into the redzone with as much frequency as they did the first five weeks. York was forced to kick some long field goals and still managed to put points on the board for the Browns. On the day, York went 3-for-3 on field goals with a long of 51 yards. He also knocked one through from 48 and 39 yards out.
Drafted in the fourth round of the 2022 NFL Draft, the leash on York is going to be long given the asset they gave up to get him. However, it is still nice to see him rebound from his first bout of adversity as a professional kicker. We hope he is the cure to the Cleveland kicking woes since the departure of Phil Dawson after the 2012 season.
Oct 16, 2022; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Cleveland Browns quarterback Jacoby Brissett. Mandatory Credit: Lon Horwedel-USA TODAY Sports
This was to be expected. A career-long journeyman spot starter and backup quarterback has begun to play as such over the past two weeks. And yet it still hurts to watch it on TV.
Brissett is not a starting quarterback in this league and has not been asked to be one in recent years. The Browns knew this, we knew this, and yet we still get upset when he does not play like one. His play was unacceptable yesterday, but not completely out of the blue.
To be honest, we are going to see some more rough football out of Brissett. We are also going to see a few more efficient games out of Brissett as well. This is what the Browns signed up for this season when they brought him in to cover the gaps over their first 11 games.
While he played well over the first three games, the regression from Brissett is very real. But it is not completely unexpected.
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The team expects big things from the Cincinnati product.
Berry is keeping all of his options open.
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Christopher Jones
Christopher Jones
Articles: 7580

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