Cleveland Browns: Week 17 report card, loss to Baltimore Ravens

Cleveland Browns Lamar Jackson. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Cleveland Browns Lamar Jackson. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) /

The Voice of the Fan has one more report card to file this season, following the Cleveland Browns Week 17 loss to the Baltimore Ravens.

The Cleveland Browns had a lot riding on the season finale against the Baltimore Ravens, but couldn’t pull it out, losing 26-24.

It was a heartbreaker, as the Browns failed to wrap up just their third winning season since returning to the NFL in 1999.

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Here’s the report card from the Factory’s own Voice of the Fan…

Offensivley, Baker Mayfield started with high throws. He was off target and was intercepted twice by Baltimore in the first half!

The penalties keep piling up on both sides of the ball. The offensive line continued to miss assignments and whoever the coach is next year better get some tackles that can block, not miss assignments and not commit so many penalties.

One pleasant note, Nick Chub passes the 1,000 yard mark. This is huge considering Chubb didn’t even become the regular ball carrier until Week 7.

The end of this game had that Baker magical feel. He had the Browns rolling and the fortunes finally seemed to be going the Browns’ way. But then the drive stalled and the Browns went 0-4 from the Baltimore 39.

Mayfield threw his third interception of the game on a heckuva play from C.J. Mosely.

Baker was 23-of-42 for 396 yards and three touchdowns to go with those three picks.

Our own Nick Dudukovich wrote on how Gregg Williams hue this head coaching chances by not using a timeout there. Don’t know why he didn’t. Certainly couldn’t have hurt.

In the end, the Browns have a quarterback to be excited about heading into 2019. Mayfield made a little history of his own, setting the rookie passing record (27), leaving Peyton Manning and Russell Wilson‘s old mark (26) in the dust.

Grade: B-

The Defense

No adjustments by Gregg Williams on the sidelines as Baltimore continues to run wild on a Browns defense that can’t stop it.

The Ravens use the same play over and over and slice the Browns’ defense wide open.

Cleveland gave up 179 yards rushing in the first half, and they had less than 50.

Williams did make changes and I have to wonder why he didn’t do it earlier in the game? Tony Romo made a point of highlight on the Browns’ defensive line would shift just before the Ravens’ snapped the ball.

Baltimore ended up rushing for 296 yards on the game, so while it was more effective, Cleveland was far from solving the Lamar Jackson quagmire.

I’ll put some of the onus on Myles Garrett and Emmanuel Ogbah here. I’m sure the analytics site will drool over Garrett and I’m not trying to take away that he’s an elite talent. But the focus for the Browns didn’t need to be in the pass rush today, because the Ravens don’t drop back enough.

Cleveland needed to contain the edge. Because they couldn’t, Jackson had a field day going around the outside while Baltimore also got to eat up the interior of the line, as well.

Grade: D The defense is lucky the offense finally figured it out to keep this one close

Special teams

How about a field goal kicker!! Joseph missed a 46- yarder to end the half…and the Browns ended up losing by two.

Can you remember a season that was so plagued by botched field goal kicking and special teams. If I would’ve known it would be like this, I would’ve bout stock in TUMS.

It’s time to find someone with some consistency at kicker.’s Terry Pluto ripped off a bunch of stats earlier today on how Joseph has actually been pretty decent.

I don’t care. Hey, Dorsey. Do better!

Josh Cribbs is still around as an intern/coach. Not sure what his role will be in Cleveland, but I wonder if he receives some kind of shot next season to be a special teams coach. He can’t be worse than Amos Jones.

Additionally, Antonio Callaway handled all three punt returns, and not Jabrill Peppers. Hopefully Callaway becomes a mainstay back there in 2019. Peppers is nothing special at the position.

Grade: D Joseph makes that kick and who knows how this game turns out?

The Refs

Ok, I just finished with the kickers playing so poorly, but officiating took things new a low in 2019. First of all, the Browns should’ve been playing for a playoff in this one, but horrific officiating in Week 2 against the Oakland Raiders cost us. Woulda, coulda, shoulda, I know.

In egregious officiating moments today, the refs blew a Lamar Jackson fumble dead because they ruled he crossed the plane of the goal line. Replay showed he didn’t. If no whistle was blown, Peppers would’ve been off and running on a 93-yard touchdown return.

It would have changed the ENTIRE game.

Betting on games is becoming a reality in more and more states as laws get passed. Not sure how you would be the NFL, though.

Human error from the players is fine. It’ll happen. But to constantly be jobbed by the zebras? No thanks.

Grade: F


What will become of Gregg Williams? We know he’s going to get an interview, as he should.

But hat whole replay snafu and not using a timeout was a terrible look for the veteran sideline warrior.

New names emerge in Browns' coaching search. dark. Next

Grade: B You know a victory in Baltimore was going to be hard to get. It’s not an easy to place to play. Yet, there the Browns, were, in this thing. Williams kept a steady hand on the ship and he has a voice this team responds too.

The guy won more in eight weeks than Hue Jackson did in three years. Let us know what you think!