The Drops and Penalties result in a Browns heartbreaking loss to AFC North division rival Pittsburgh
The biggest issue on Sunday to me was the number of dropped passes. Quarterback Baker Mayfield had some passes that could have been placed better and I believe that he knows that. Baker has always been a team player and he is critical about himself but…EVEN more of Bakers passes were catchable and the intended receivers let him down. Another thing that stood out in the game is OBJ finished the game with one catch for SIX yards. Throwing 20-for-31, Mayfield may have had only four incomplete passes that were on him. Five, and I would argue Seven, were on the receiver, tight end and the running backs.
The Specific Drops
Jarvis Landry had two rare drops and a fumble after reception that was a recurring issue in the 2019/2020 season. Rashard “Hollywood” Higgins had a drop, Odell Beckham Jr arguably had a drop, although in his defense, the pass was slightly high and he is dealing with a shoulder injury. Running back D'Ernest Johnson dropped two passes that should of been caught and Austin Hooper dropped what likely would have been a pass that led to a touchdown. In his defense, the pass was a touch high but, it should have been caught, plain and simple. If it hits both hands you need to make the catch! Our Cleveland Browns have too many offensive weapons for them all to shut down simultaneously in a rivalry Division game as important as this. They also had three extra days to prepare for the Steelers game.
The Browns had momentum killing penalties that I argue determined the outcome of the game. There was a personal foul unnecessary roughness call on Ronnie Harrison in the second quarter that offset a holding call on the Pittsburgh Steelers that would have put them out of field goal range. Later in the game, a false start from wide receiver Hollywood Higgins on Pittsburgh's 25-yard-line with two minutes on the clock in a five point game was even more brutal. There’s no excuse for a wide receiver to be called for a false start. That penalty resulted in the Browns offense ending the game on a turnover on downs. The Cleveland Browns Coach had this to say in his post game interview:
“You have to play clean on all sides of the ball the offense, defense and special teams. I don't think we played clean enough. We had some costly ones. Those are little things, and all those little things add up to the big thing. We have to get better in that area,”
-Head Coach Kevin Stefanski
The Browns travel Week 9 to Cincinnati to face the Bengals at 1:00 pm in Paul Brown Stadium. The Battle of Ohio rival Bengals fell short in a 34-31 loss to the New York Jets and backup QB Mike White. The Bengals gave up a season high 511 total yards. The Browns won both matchups last season.