After all NFL games the fan bases tend to over react to what they saw on the field. Cleveland Browns’ fans, because of the years of losing, have uniquely learned to both Over and Under react to games. Here are a few of each of those for both the Browns and their opponent the Baltimore Ravens.
Overreaction: Billy Cundiff is over his “yips” and will replace Phil Dawson just fine.
Truth: Cundiff did well in his emotional return to Baltimore. He hit the long 51 yard field goal, which looked even better after Justin Tucker’s 2 misses for the Ravens. Cundiff may be just fine but he is bound to miss a “easy” field goal at some time this year. How he bounces back from that will show if he is truly over his miss in the playoffs against the Patriots. Also of note the Browns kept rookie Kicker Brandon Bogotay on the Injured Reserve instead of releasing him injured. Expect the rookie to be counted on next year to be the long term Dawson replacement.
Underreaction: The Ravens will be fine once Harbaugh, Flacco and Rice figure things out.
Truth: The Ravens have not historically had a great offense and often have been able to depend on their defense. Without Ed Reed roaming the Ravens 2nd and 3rd cornerbacks have looked more then suspect, leaving more responsibility on the offense. Flacco is missing Boldin and Pitta more then expected. His other receivers struggle to get open, even against the even worse secondary of the Browns, outside of Joe Haden. Baltimore may struggle this year but their veterans could still get them to playoff contention.
Overreaction: Trent Richardson is only an adequate running back.
Truth: Until Richardson isn’t met behind the line of scrimmage by a defender, or the back of his own linemen, it will be tough to judge Richardson. Even Adrian Peterson has struggled when his line wasn’t solid. With a stronger line, or at least stronger play, Richardson has shown he could carry a lesser QB, like AD does with the Vikings.
Underreaction: Jordan Cameron had another good day and could be a good tight end.
Truth: Last week was the first week Cameron showed much of anything on the field. The Dolphins were not expecting him as the biggest weapon on offense. The Ravens on the other hand had a week to prepare for him and Cameron still excelled. In a week when no other receiver put up NFL worthy stats Cameron still almost cracked 100 yards. While half of it was on the opening play, Cameron still showed the ability to be a star in the league. The return of Josh Gordon could even heighten his play.
Overreaction: Bernard Pierce is better suited to then Ray Rice in the Ravens offense.
Truth: Injury aside Ray Rice has not looked like himself in the first 2 weeks. Pierce played well when subbing, then taking over, for Rice. The Ravens seemed to be alternating possessions between Rice and Pierce. Most running backs say that they need consistent carries to get a feel for the game and make plays. In more important games expect Rice, if not seriously injured, to get more carries and make a greater impact.
Underreaction: Josh Gordon will have a impact on the offense when he returns.
Truth: Gordon could have a huge impact on the offense when he returns. He is able to get separation, is tall and fast and will require more attention then anyone on the Browns team. This will mean Greg Little is not catching passes with 2 and 3 defenders around him. It will mean Devone Bess is placed in the slot with Gordon taking DBs deeper with him. It means less attention to Cameron in the seam and less defenders in the box for Richardson to run.
Overreaction: Josh Gordon will have a impact on the offense when he returns.
Truth: Told you Browns fans uniquely can over and under react to the same thing. Gordon’s impact is likely but the play calling and personnel decisions could limit it. The Browns continue to take Cameron and Richardson out of the game on 3rd downs and red zone plays. In the third and fourth quarter when the team was still winning or only down 1 they abandoned the run. On key third downs they failed to give Weeden any hot route or underneath receivers to deliver the ball to while under pressure. If they continue to make poor personnel choices and limited play calls Gordon’s presence may not be felt, they may even sit him on key plays.
What other Over, Under reactions from either team have you seen since the game ended?