Cleveland Browns: 3 Takeaways From Week 16’s Loss To KC


Week 16 did not finish as the Cleveland Browns would have liked, as Cleveland lost 17-13.

The Cleveland Browns road season is over after losing to the Kansas City Chiefs. Cleveland finished with one road win in 2015. Their lone road win happened in Week 5 versus division rival Baltimore Ravens.

Cleveland played Kansas City tough, but the lack of execution on both sides of the ball cost them the game. Kicker Travis Coons would have been perfect kicking field goals going three for three. However, a blocked field goal attempt ruined that goal.

Here are three takeaways from the Browns loss to the Chiefs.

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Why Reward Players Who Have Not Done Anything Or Use A Player Who’s Best Skill Set Is Not As A Receiver?

Wide receiver Dwayne Bowe was a captain in today’s game. If other Browns players had ties to an opponent, they have also been captains. Nothing should be taken away from Bowe with that opportunity– it was well deserved. He was a good player in Kansas City. However, over the last couple of seasons, including this year, Bowe has not been the player he was. Shouldn’t that honor be for players who have made some sort of positive impact with their new team?

Perhaps this game could have been a matchup that would have sparked Bowe to finish the season strong. That was not the case. Bowe did not catch a pass and was only targeted once. On the season, Bowe only has five receptions for 53 yards.

Tight end Gary Barnidge continues to be the main target for Cleveland’s quarterbacks — especially with the lack of talent at the wide receiver position. This week however, Barnidge was not the only tight end to make a play. Jim Dray caught a pass for 18 yards. He was targeted three times.

Watching Dray being involved in the offense was great, but with a lack of play-making ability, how is he still an option on the roster? He is a decent blocker, but as an overall talent at the position, there are many players who are better than Dray. If Dray made the impact that Barnidge has, the tight end position would be secured for the team for years.

Dray is not known as a pass catcher, and this week’s game once again showed the need for multiple playmakers is more than needed. Prior to today, Dray did not catch a pass since Week 9.

Cleveland’s Poor Defense

Though the Browns kept the game close, they continued to display bad defense. Cleveland only gave up 258 yards and 17 points, but unfortunately that was too much to overcome. From the multiple missed tackles to the inability to stop Kansas City’s running game, Cleveland had their chances to limit the Chiefs offense.

Browns linebacker Barkevious Mingo on multiple occasions provided pass rush that would have led to at least one sack. However, in each situation Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith managed to break away from Mingo and the other defenders nearby.

The struggles displayed by Cleveland today is nothing new to the fan base.

How can Cleveland fix their defense? Will there be enough progress made for next week’s season finale versus the Pittsburgh Steelers. If it were not for a couple of runs by Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel, Kansas City would have had more opportunities to make plays against Cleveland’s below average defense.

Manziel’s Play

Manziel kept the Browns in the game due to his aforementioned run plays. He also could have given the game up early too. At halftime, Manziel was only 6/12 for 54 yards and a touchdown. He was lucky to have to those six completions. Manziel finished 13/32 for 132 yards and an interception with 11 carries for 108 yards.

There are many reasons why Manziel did not have much success today and those reasons have been issues since his first day as a Brown. Kansas City did have pressure on him throughout the game and there is not much help for Manziel, but everything goes back to the QB position.

Manziel continues to throw off his back foot, does not set his feet or steps into the pass. He runs around on the field because after his first option is not there, he does not do what is needed. Rather than going through his progression, he takes off.

Sometimes he runs the ball, while other times he scrambles. When he scrambles, he risks even more injury and continues to throw into double and triple coverage. How Manziel did not finish with multiple interceptions is shocking.

It is exciting to watch him run. However, would you want to keep watching Manziel run and make a play out of nothing or would you prefer to have a quarterback who does everything needed to succeed and finishes with wins?

Next: Morocco Brown: Future GM?

Scrambling and throwing the ball everywhere, including times where no one is even in a given area is not a way to succeed.