TEN-CLE Grades: Browns defense causes problems for Mariota

The top takeaways and highest-graded players from the Titans-Browns game.

| 1 year ago
(AP Photo/David Richard)

(AP Photo/David Richard)

TEN-CLE Grades: Browns defense causes problems for Mariota


Here are the top takeaways and highest-graded players from the Titans-Browns game:

Cleveland Browns

– QB Johnny Manziel (-2.7) led the Browns to victory for the first time in his career. The Browns put Manziel in a great position, where he only had to make a couple of plays to win the game; he was able to produce on those moments by moving out of the pocket and delivering two bombs downfield to WR Travis Benjamin (+1.6) for touchdowns. However, Manziel desperately needs to keep the ball secured tightly when being sacked; thankfully for the Browns, they recovered both of the QB’s fumbles, but if this issue reoccurs, they might not be so lucky.

– The Browns defense was able to pressure Titans QB Marcus Mariota (-4.0) all day long. Mariota was the pressured on 41.3 percent of his dropbacks and was sacked seven times. The Browns confused the Tennessee offensive line with multiple zone blitzes that the Titans where unable to pick up on a consistent basis.

– NT Danny Shelton (0.0) was the 12th overall pick in this years draft, and for a rookie, held his own versus the Titans. While he didn’t produce much on the stat sheet (three tackles and one run-stop), he was able to make life difficult for the Titans by using his body to occupy double teams without getting moved out of the hole.

Top performers:

LT Joe Thomas (+3.7)
DL Randy Starks (+2.7)
CB Tramon Williams (+2.4)
DL Jamie Meder (+1.8)
LB Karlos Dansby (+1.7)

Tennessee Titans

– With the Titans behind early, QB Marcus Mariota (-4.0) was asked to drop back 46 times. When Mariota was not under pressure, he produced 179 of his 257 yards and a +2.9 PFF grade; however, on the 19 plays that he was pressured, he only completed 4-of-2 passes with a -5.7 PFF grade. For the Titans to be successful going forward, they need to keep the pocket clean.

– The surprise of the game was the effectiveness of RB Dexter McCluster (+1.0). As a runner, McCluster graded out at +2.1 thanks to 98 yards off of 10 carries. McCluster was able to take advantage of the blocking on the edge, as he gained all of his 98 yards from guard to the edge. The effectiveness of TE Anthony Fasano (+3.0) and RT Jeremiah Poutasi (-1.8 overall, but +1.4 as a run blocker) was vital to the success of McCluster.

– The Titans’ defense didn’t produce the same in Week 2 as Week 1, but NT Al Woods (+1.5) was able to record four stops in the run game, giving him a 18.2 run-stop percentage, the second highest for DT/NTs for the week.

Top performers:

TE Anthony Fasano (+3.0)
TE Craig Stevens (+2.5)
OLB Brian Orakpo (+2.0)
NT Al Woods (+1.5)
LB Avery Williamson (+1.5)

  • William Coffman

    A tale of two quarterbacks: Manziel 5/8 for 173 yds w 2 TDs 0 INT 133.9 QB rating saves game for Browns; Bradford 23/37 for 224 yds 1 TD 2 INT 65.6 QB rating major reason Eagles lose. PFF? Identical -2.7 ratings. Confirmation Bias at work….

    • NP_Truth

      Or perhaps a lack of understanding their methodology on your part. Ball security is important Manziel fumbled twice. Where also is this 5/8 number coming from? He was 8/15. He also forced some throws that could have been interceptions. I would look deeper before jumping to the “bias” card. It is more than just the result of each play that matters.

      • LeBronc

        Hmmm…Manziel fumbles led to NO turnovers…Bradford fumble led to a turnover…Even writer Michael Renner stated of Bradford… ” He had a handful of misses and his forced interception at the goal line was an inexcusable error”. So the writers at PFF say their both -2.7?…I agree with W. Coffman…not the bias part, but the implementation of PFFs scoring system is not completely understood between writers.

        • NP_Truth

          From all I have read about their grading, the result of the play does not matter. The mere fact there was a fumble causes the play to get graded negatively, as it should.

          • Jim Terry

            what if the fumble was the direct result of a LT getting beat clean? where does the subjective placing of fault end?

      • William Coffman

        Thanks for correcting 5/8 to 8/15. No bias card. IMHO PFF is demonstrating obvious confirmation bias with respect to Manziel (graded him low in past, rated him low in offseason, affects current grading) this is extremely common with analysts and pundits in every field. Ignoring what is (133.9 QB rating) in favor of what might have been (possible interception missed, fumbles not recovered by other team) would result in absurdly different results in evaluating any athlete….

      • eldaveablo

        Do two fumbles outweigh two long touchdown passes? I can think of one ball that maybe gets intercepted, but that’s it. DId you watch the game? Giving him a -2.4 is a joke.

    • jojomellon

      Why are you citing baseline stats and arbitrary numbers like QBR? THE WHOLE POINT OF PFF is to disregard such misleading stats like QBR and completion percentage and to grade the plays individually. It’s like you’re missing the whole point of this site. Manziel threw 2 nice passes. And the rest of his day was pretty awful. He still cant stand in a clean pocket and get rid of the ball quickly. He fumbles like a drunken Kurt Warner circa 2002 and still thinks he can improvise like he did at A&M. Quit being a homer. Manziel has a LONG way to go before he’s even a replacement level QB in the NFL. Maybe sign up for the actual site so you can read WHY he has the grade he has.

      • William Coffman

        Thanks for your opinion. You needn’t shout with all caps. I was about to sign up for PFF last week until I noticed it assigned Travis Benjamin a 0.9 for going 3/3 for 89 yards and a TD while assigning Roddy While a 2.4 for going 4/8 for 84 yds and no TDs, at which point I became too perplexed with the scoring to sign and began reading other complaints regarding inconsistent scoring on PFF, which are of course everywhere. As your your opinion on Manziel, we shall see. He is doing a much better job staying in the pocket. I certainly make no apologies for being a Cleveland Browns fan.

        • jojomellon

          No, you were never about to sign up. You’re to cheap. A special teamer catching a few lucky deep balls does not a good WR score make. AGain, you seem to not understand the whole point of this site so it makes me curious why you even read it. Homers for every team are like you and bitch about their favorite players not having high enough grades. There’s a reason why beat writers all over the country and announcers all cite PFF. You not understand their grades doesn’t mean their system is flawed. All it means is that you’re a homer who cant see the forest for the trees when it comes to the below average players who make up your team’s roster. By the way, I am a Browns fan. Again, sign up for the premium site and their grades are pretty easy to understand. You don’t realize there is more to a receiver’s game than his numbers? You’re lost. About Manziel, no it’s not ‘we shall see’. We HAVE seen, through two weeks, a player who still clearly can’t function as an NFL QB. Of course he’s looked better than last year. Literally spiking the ball every snap would have been more effective then Manziel running around like a chicken with its head cut off. Go watch a competent NFL QB and tell me Manziel is anything close.

          • William Coffman

            1) You are very, very rude. 2) What you call a “homer,” I call a football fan. 3) Certain pundits cite PFF. Others don’t. 4) You have no basis to assume that I am cheap, and even less to assume that I lie to strangers for no reason. I like the depth charts on PFF. This was enough to make me consider subscribing. Since I don’t play fantasy football, there is not much other reason to do so. 4) Manziel functioned quite competently this week, and has generally functioned competently this year; blaming Manziel for the NYJ game is unreasonable and most writers indicated they found his play much improved. 5) You have no basis for assuming Manziel will not become a reliable NFL quarterback at this point. None. Again, aren’t you the guy who thinks Peyton Manning is the worst QB in the league? Why should anybody care about what you think about any QB?

          • jojomellon

            No actually there’s an enormous difference between being a football fan and being some drunken redneck who thinks that every player on his favorite team is an all star. You can find accurate depth charts anywhere on the internet, or, even know them yourself as I, and several other football fans do. What does fantasy football have ANYTHING to do with PFF? Again, improving upon 2014 still does not make Manziel good. ANYTHING would have been an improvement on not even knowing the playbook and looking like pretty much the worst quarterback to ever fool his way into an NFL game. Quit citing his improvement as some sort of sign that he is a competent QB. I never said Manziel would never become an average NFL QB. So that’s pure fantasy or simple lack of reading comprehension on your part. I said that he’s not good right now, and really isn’t showing any signs that he ever will. If you want to pretend that I DID say that, let’s run with it. There actually are several statistics and signs to predict that Manziel will never amount to a hill of beans as a pro QB. There’d be more of an onus on one saying that he will than there is to say he won’t. He spent 10+ weeks backing up Brian Hoyer and NEVER LEARNED THE PLAYBOOK, self admittedly. Name me another rookie QB so irresponsible that he didn’t even learn the playbook. I’d bet JaMarcus Russell had a better knowledge of his playbook that JFF had last year. Then when pressed into game action against Cinci, all he did was fail to move the ball whatsoever and produced one of the lowest graded games on record. Zero signs of competence. Show me one positive sign he has shown. He threw 2 lucky touchdowns against the second worst team in the NFL last year yesterday, one of which was a fluke play where he had to buy time with his legs because he misread the defense. Good plays. But the rest of the day he was 6-13. Meaning he still sucks at passing, failing to find open receivers quickly while in the pocket, only succeeding when he can buy time to roll out and limit his number of reads while letting receivers improvise beyond their drawn up routes. You are seriously crowing about a QB going 6-13 against the second worst team in the league???? You’re nuts.

            I am not citing opinions here, just facts. Peyton Manning, through the first two weeks of the season, HAS been the worst QB in the league. How well you played from 1998-2014 has no bearing on how well you play this season. Manning has been the worst QB through the first two weeks, yes. As this site has agreed and has several other observers who know football have agreed. Where is the problem there? I’m not saying that he IS THE WORST QB IN THE NFL, as that would seem to include his lifetime body of work as well as a prediction of how he’ll do the rest of the season. And one would assume given that history that he will get a bit better. But through the first two weeks, yes, he’s been the worst. Who is disputing that? Have you watched the All-22 of his games? Have you seen the ducks he’s been throwing? Chad Pennington after 2 shoulder surgeries had superior arm strength. Learn how to read, as your lack of comprehension is what is leading to you misunderstanding what I’ve been saying. Also learn how PFF grades, as you clearly are still comparing players based on STATZ, rather than play by play grades based on All-22 film and what the actual play call is.

          • http://segofficial.com Brandon Segave

            Calm down… I take it you must be on the staff of at least a Division I college program with your untouchable football IQ. I know. It’s okay.

            I giggled when you called @williamcoffman:disqus “to cheap”. I believe you meant “too cheap”. We’ll let that one slide. How can one deduce a person’s financial habits and status from a few posts on PFF? Again, I must be underestimating you. Not only are you a highly paid consultant to the best football minds in America, you’re also a financial wizard. Can I hire you?

            What I don’t understand is why you are defending PFF like you founded the site. There is absolutely no perfect way to evaluate a player, and to suggest otherwise is foolish. This is not to say PFF doesn’t do an excellent job grading players. But we’ll leave you here as you curse those who disagree, with your millions from DI and NFL consulting, to pout. Enjoy!

          • William Coffman

            1) I disagree with your cultural slur and think it says a great deal about you, including why you think condescending to others about football builds your self-image. 2) The PFF depth charts provide information about player quality, not just lists of who plays where. They give an excellent snapshot of teams 3) PFF advertises its value to FF players 4) I am a Browns fan, so the only relevant issue with respect to Manziel is whether he becomes a reliable NFL QB. There is every reason to believe that he will at this point.
            5) Two bad games are not a sufficient sample to assume Manning is no longer a good quarterback. 6) You are much too heavily invested in football unless you are working for a football team.

          • jojomellon

            Again, you cant read. No one is saying Manning is no longer a good qb. The observation was that he has been the worst qb through the first two weeks. He has. Whats your problem?

          • LeBronc

            ” What does fantasy football have ANYTHING to do with PFF?”
            JoJo, this has to be the dumbest most inaccurate comment I have ever read on this site. Use your hot air for something more important…here’s an idea.

      • eldaveablo

        I like how you mention arbitrary numbers like QBR, and then justify your position by hurling insults. Insults that show you clearly didn’t even watch the game.

    • NP_Truth

      I did not mean for this to become a shouting match; however, I do feel you are slightly missing the point. I also graded Manziel “poorly” in the past (I gave him a 3rd round grade coming out of college) and his play last year was not great.

      He is still struggling, there are a number of facets of his play he needs to work on to become a viable NFL starter.

      • William Coffman

        I totally agree there are a number of facets of his play he needs to work on to become a viable NFL starter. I am delighted he appears to have his head in the game this year, and since he has an NFL arm, and is mobile, I am more confident he may become a reliable NFL QB. Thank you for your respectful tone.

        • NP_Truth

          It is not a problem. Any intellectual discussion should have respect.

  • Jason Williams

    “completed 4-of-2 passes”

    neat trick!

    • http://www.flickr.com/johnathonshell Johnathon Shell

      Kid’s going be great putting up those numbers under pressure.

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  • cfrs15

    Travis Benjamin?

    • https://twitter.com/MALACHiOFCOURSE Malachi

      +1.6