CLE-NYJ Grades: Manziel grades low in opener
Here are the top takeaways and highest-graded players from the Browns-Jets game:
– We went into the struggles of QB Johnny Manziel (-2.6) in further detail here. There are times when he flashes potential, but the dependency on his legs is clear. That reliance sometimes leads him into trouble, as it did when he scrambled out of the pocket early and subsequently suffered a strip sack from the blind side. Manziel certainly isn’t ready to carry a team, and the Browns lack the offensive weapons to bail him out.
– Only two of the Browns’ defensive starters graded positively; eight graded below -1.0. The front seven struggled in particular, as the Browns generated just four combined pressures from only two different players. In run defense, no starting member of the front seven graded positively. The complete lack of adequate performers is particularly concerning, considering the Jets are by no means an offensive powerhouse.
– The Browns only defensive player to perform well was ILB Craig Robertson (+2.8). The coaching staff will need to consider giving him more playing time, as he was on the field for just 21 of 60 snaps. Despite recording just a single stop, Robertson was disruptive in run defense (+1.8). He also made a play on his only target in coverage (+1.1 with a pass deflection), which is more than can be said for any of the other Browns players.
ILB Craig Robertson (+2.8)
LT Joe Thomas (+2.3)
RT Mitchell Schwartz (+1.8)
WR Travis Benjamin (+0.9)
TE Gary Barnidge (+0.9)
New York Jets
– If the Jets are to be successful this season, they’ll need to run the ball well. RB Chris Ivory (+1.0) is a talented power back, and when he’s got the kind of holes opened up by the Jets’ interior line in this game, he can gash defenses. The standout was RG Willie Colon (+4.1), who dominated on down blocks, particularly. Free agent acquisition LG James Carpenter (+1.9) recorded his best grade as a run blocker since he entered the league. It’s only one game, but the Jets will be hoping that Carpenter has improved and Colon is experiencing a revival.
– WR Brandon Marshall (+2.0) has the talent to be considered amongst the best receivers in the game, he just doesn’t produce often enough. That talent was on display against the Browns as he dominated CB Joe Haden (-2.6). When Haden was covering him, he caught all five targets for 56 yards and a score, playing a big part in the Jets’ victory. With Erick Decker (+1.2) partnering with him, the Jets have the best pair of wide receivers they have had for a long time.
– While ILB David Harris (+3.2) excelled in this game, his interior partner, ILB Demario Davis (-3.5), struggled. Harris continued his good form that has seen him grade positively in each of his last seven games. He was his usual, dominant self against the run, making four defensive stops in just 26 run snaps. In contrast, Davis failed to make a single stop in the same number of snaps. Davis also graded negatively as a pass rusher and in coverage, unlike his interior partner, who did well in those facets of his play.
RG Willie Colon (+4.1)
ILB David Harris (+3.2)
LE Muhammad Wilkerson (+2.9)
SS Calvin Pryor (+2.8)
LG James Carpenter (+2.1)