SF-CLE Grades: Barnidge, Crowell propel Browns’ offense

The top takeaways and highest-graded players from the Browns’ 24-10 win over the 49ers.

| 12 months ago
(AP Photo/Scott Audette)

(AP Photo/Scott Audette)

SF-CLE Grades: Barnidge, Crowell propel Browns’ offense


Here are the top takeaways and highest-graded players from the Browns’ 24-10 win over the 49ers.

San Francisco 49ers

– QB Blaine Gabbert (-0.9) had a tough go of things, finishing with a below average passing grade for the third straight week. His numbers weren’t awful, but they didn’t tell the whole story. He struggled mightily under pressure, completing just 3-of-7 passes for 46 yards, but it was the nine sacks that he took that really did it for him, as not all of them were solely the offensive line’s fault. He didn’t throw it away once, instead trying to extend and make plays and failing at that. He completed just one pass over 10 yards that was outside of the numbers on five attempts, and it was for 14 yards in garbage time.

– It was a good game for a couple of 49ers’ defensive linemen, as NT Ian Williams (+5.1) finished with a game-high grade, thanks in part to a strong run defense grade. Williams was everywhere against the run, making four solo stops, and disrupting even more plays. He finished with a +4.7 run defense grade. DE Arik Armstead (+2.8) continued his strong play this season, finishing with a sack, four QB hurries, and the second-highest run defense grade on the defense. Armstead plays limited snaps, but his 15.1 pass rushing productivity is the highest among all 3-4 DE’s in the league.

– It was a mixed bag for the 49ers’ offensive line. LT Joe Staley (+4.8) was the good, allowing just two QB hurries all game and also finishing with a +3.0 run blocking grade. But, C Marcus Martin (-2.7) and RT Erik Pears (-3.3) were the two linemen that struggled the most. Together they combined to allow two sacks, a hit, and five hurries. As a unit, the 49ers allowed seven sacks (two of the nine were unblocked or clean-up sacks), two hits, and 10 hurries. It was not a good day for these guys trying to protect their quarterback.

Top performers:

NT Ian Williams (+5.1)
T Joe Staley (+4.8)
DE Arik Armstead (+2.8)
DE Cornellius Carradine (+2.6)
G Andrew Tiller (+2.2)

 

Cleveland Browns

– It was a pretty good day for QB Johnny Manziel (+1.1) in his latest start, and his passing grade was his highest all season. Manziel was extremely effective throwing deep, minus one terrible, terrible decision to throw across his body and get picked off. But even with that throw, Manziel was six-of-nine for 145 yards and that interception. He was still very jumpy in the pocket, but did hang in there for a little longer and made some good throws. When the 49ers blitzed, Manziel was very good at recognizing it and checking down, finishing five-of-seven for 28 yards and a touchdown against the blitz, and just one sack taken. Aside from that one bad throw, he played a great game, and that could be good news for the Browns going forward.

– The Browns’ cornerback duo of Tramon Williams (+2.2) and Charles Gaines (+0.2) had a great coverage game. The two were targeted a combined 14 times, and allowed just seven catches for 91 yards and no touchdowns. Williams had two pass breakups, and Gaines had one. But the best part of what they did was the 16 yards after the catch that they allowed. A unit that’s been struggling with injuries and poor play at times this season really showed up to play yesterday.

– Two offensive players deserve mention here. TE Gary Barnidge (+3.3) played a great game, catching five passes on seven targets for 84 yards and touchdown. But, even better than that was his run blocking, where he finished with a +2.0 grade—the highest grade on the team. HB Isaiah Crowell (+2.5) also had a big game, finishing with 145 yards on 20 carries and two touchdowns. His two 50+ yard runs were exciting to watch, but even on his other carries, he showed good work, as he finished the game with 99 yards after contact. He also forced two missed tackles on the day.

Top performers:

TE Gary Barnidge (+3.3)
DE Desmond Bryant (+3.2)
T Joe Thomas (+2.8)
HB Isaiah Crowell (+2.5)
CB Tramon Williams (+2.2)

| Analyst

Bryson has been an analyst at Pro Football Focus since 2014, and has also been a contributor to 120 Sports.

  • crosseyedlemon

    So winning a meaningless game against the 49ers is more important than ensuring they retain the first pick in next years draft? As long as the Browns remain this dumb there is little hope for the franchise.

    • Nick Demola

      Yes. Yes it is. If Manziel plays well these last three weeks, even if the Browns lose, it’ll be huge. They won’t have to draft for a QB again and can focus on other needs. If that means they pick 2-4 instead of 1, so be it. This draft isn’t a draft with a clear #1 anyways.

      • crosseyedlemon

        The Browns certainly have no shortage of needs to focus on but even if they had a half dozen first round picks they would probably find some way to botch their draft yet again.

        • Circaman

          Ray Farmer would probably have his eyes out for a 5’6″ receiver with that first pick.

    • Jake

      I don’t think one or two positions in the draft order will make or break a team. It’s not a perfectly descending order in talent anyway. Better to have some success and optimism heading into the offseason.

      • crosseyedlemon

        The Browns management has been telling the fans they are looking forward to the next season with optimism for the last 40 years….it’s become an absolute joke.

    • crashby89

      Considering that their biggest need is a good QB then yes. Johnny is looking much improved and this coming QB class is pretty weak especially compared to recent seasons. The best QB in this class would have been behind Bortles, Carr, Teddy and Manziel last year.

      Also this is not the NBA. Too many jobs in both the office and players can be lost by tanking as you seem to think they should do.

      • Tim Edell

        Jared Goff from Cal is a much higher ranked QB prospect then all of those you mentioned except maybe Bortles.

        • crashby89

          According to who? Most seem to agree this group is sub par compared to the last two. Goff or Lynch whichever you prefer would not have passed any of those 4 from 2014 and would have been behind both Winston and Mariota this draft.

          • Tim Edell

            Well Carr was a second rounder and Bridgewater was last pick in the first round. There is a good chance Goff is the first overall pick in this draft.

          • crashby89

            That does not mean anything. If they were in this draft they would be going 1-2. If Goff or Lynch were in the 2014 or 2015 draft they would not be going as high as they will this year. EJ Manuel was taken 16th overall but that does not mean that he was a better prospect than Teddy or Carr, he was simply the best available that year. Same with Goff and Lynch this year. Neither look elite they are just the best available but the NFL is always starved for QB’s.

          • Tim Edell

            PFF has Goff very highly rated.. Let me guess you watched 1 Cal game huh Junior?!??! Bridgewater wouldnt go 1-2 in any draft!!

          • crashby89

            A quote from their mock draft: “Goff is the best quarterback in a class that is deep but lacking in top-end talent.” Lacking top end talent. That includes Goff. Best of a not great bunch. If you cant look at things in context then I can not help you. As far as Goff I have watched every game this season. He has flashes of great play then has times where he just looks terrible. Reminds me a lot of Eli Manning in that regard. I can give you specific examples if you wish.

            Now as far as Teddy you seem to have a very short memory, many places including PFF had him very highly ranked and potentially the first QB in that draft. He fell because of a poor pro day, which is a joke when you look at his tape. PFF had him ranked as a top 10 QB entering the season. So yeah he would have and could have gone 1-2 in his draft and would this one easily.

            If you dont actually have any real arguments and plan on continuing to spout gibberish and insults dont bother replying.

          • Tim Edell

            Teddy didnt slip to the end of the first round because of his pro day junior. Dont belive the media hype as NFL teams never had him rated as high as the media had him. And if you think Teddy would go 1-2 in this draft then your even more ignorant then I thought you were.

          • crashby89

            About the reply I expected, no substance and more insults. Unless you decide to say something of some value I’m done replying. You have yet to talk about anything football related other than a grade given by PFF which immediately says afterward that this class has no top end talent.

            If you wish to discuss actual football or how these guys matched up as prospects I would gladly point you to some great examples. My guess though with how much you are suddenly fixated on Teddy out of the entire group, even though Carr was a lower rated prospect than Teddy and you are ignoring him, is that you are either a Packers or Bears fan and cannot view things objectively due to that. Either way have a good day.

          • Tim Edell

            Buh bye!!!

          • friendship220

            I’ve noticed that NFL fans, when they’re incapable of making an argument just double down on the insults. Bridgewater was, early in the mock draft process before the season, seen by many as the #1 pick. Nobody was talking about Bortles until December. Last year, Winston and Mariota were well known for years prior to the draft as great college QBs who were likely to be top picks. And they’re doing some pretty good stuff this year.

          • crashby89

            Sorry just saw I had a reply here. I agree that the smart thing to do would have been to see what Manziel had this season but it just looked like Pettine never wanted him to play. But this is the Browns and they have the reputation the have for a reason. I agree that spending another first round pick on a QB would be a terrible idea (would be the 3rd since 2012), especially when there is not an elite Andrew Luck, Jameis Winston type QB available.. Worst case scenario is Manziel fails next year but they at least build a better team for the eventual replacement.

            As for Teddy even after the pro day many had him very high still and a lot of people were shocked he fell as far as he did but it happens, look at Aaron Rodgers.

          • friendship220

            Gloves, too. They talked a lot about how his hands were too small, so he had to wear gloves.

          • friendship220

            The Browns should let their recent expensive 1st rounder (Manziel) fail on the field repeatedly and in an embarrassing manner before thinking about using another top pick on a QB.

            People say Carr is good. Maybe he is, maybe he isn’t. Last year, Carr started every single game, and he started 0-10.

            After Carr went 0-10, what did the Raiders do? Did he sit? No. Since then, he’s been close to .500. Does Manziel have 10 career starts? No? Why not? He was drafted higher than Carr was. I have no idea why they’d want to start a 36 year old, and stick with 36 year old when he was losing over and over again. Unless the plan was to buy an extra year with Manziel. If Manziel started every game this year and completely sucked, there’d be a more legitimate claim that an expensive QB was needed, but Manziel has not had the chance to suck and fail. He’s actually been winning. Manziel has a 2-2 record this year. McCown is 1-7. Davis 0-1. McCown has a record like McGloins on the Raiders, Davis looks like Flynn, and Manziel looks like Pryor. You have Manziel and Pryor, who, if the Browns wanted to get value from, the Browns could get a lot of value from at WR, QB, RB. Pryor probably has a bigger arm than Manziel. Manziel at QB, taking the snaps, a threat to run, Pryor in the backfield, or split, basically able to run, throw, catch or block on any given play. That offense, with whatever else you want to put around it will be effective enough so that you can focus on defense with the draft, or, just avoid picking one of the QBs. I’d take Logan Thomas off the Dolphins practice squad if you want another QB.

            Farmer was quoted in the WSJ September 9 about the necessity of using top picks for QB. I wouldn’t think he’d be using the 1 on a QB.

          • trsteve1

            Hopefully Farmer has nothing to do with the 2016 draft.
            *fingers crossed*

          • friendship220

            Winston and Mariota were above the class before and the class after. We knew that Winston and Mariota were likely to be great over a year before the draft. The year before that, the Bortles year, Bridgewater was going #1 in some early mock drafts and Bortles was nowhere to be seen until around this time. This year, we haven’t been talking about Goff or Lynch for a long time. Cook is someone who we’ve been talking about, like Bridgewater. Cardale Jones was a first rounder a few months ago. Winston and Mariota have looked better than Bortles, Manziel, Bridgewater and Carr did last year.

    • MosesZD

      You play to win. Once you stop playing to win, the team rots from within and yet another house cleaning is needed as players get ‘comfortable’ in losing. So the Browns have enough troubles on their own, they don’t need to intentionally make things worse by fostering a ‘give up, because it doesn’t matter’ attitude.

    • trsteve1

      Why exactly do the Browns need the number 1? Who is it that you think they should pick that they couldn’t get at pick 2-5?

  • Jake

    AGAIN the SF coaching staff continues to ignore the OL problems and AGAIN Pears and Martin are the two worst players on the field and end up putting the offense in situations they can’t get out of. There are guys on the street and maybe guys on the bench that could muster up a better effort. I don’t want to hear about communication and knowing the playbook, etc., cause that obviously hasn’t helped these two.

  • trsteve1

    Ok. First a caveat, I am a Browns fan.

    Let’s look at things as objectively as possible. Yes, Manziel is 2-2 which is the most wins of any of the QBs on the roster for this season. However, Manziel has by far faced the two worst teams on the Browns schedule (you could perhaps argue that San Diego is one of the worst teams, but they were healthy when the Browns played them and actually playing fairly well). Manziel could go in any direction as far as I’m concerned. I hated the pick, but am willing to be proven wrong.

    HOWEVER.. and this is important regarding the number 1 pick. This Browns team is probably going 0-3 in their last 3 games..(maybe 1-2, as the Chiefs are good, but not elite).. So, the Browns should finish in the 3-4 win range and no better. The only teams that have a chance at a record that bad are the Titans, Chargers, 49ers, Lions, and Cowboys. Assuming the Browns determine that Manziel is not the answer, the only team likely out of that group to take a QB in the top 5 picks is the 9ers.. (note, the 9ers have the Lions on their remaining schedule, so that crosses one of those teams off the list for 4 wins, someone has to win, right?)

    So, why do the Browns need to have the Number 1? Unless they really covet someone like Bosa, I think they will be just fine in the 3-4 range if that’s where they end up.

    This was more of a ramble than cohesive thought, my apologies…