Browns: 5 players who fell on their faces in the win against the Lions

Nov 21, 2021; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield (6) throws a pass under pressure from Detroit Lions outside linebacker Charles Harris (53) during the first half at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 21, 2021; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield (6) throws a pass under pressure from Detroit Lions outside linebacker Charles Harris (53) during the first half at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports /

These are five (ish) players who looked bad in the win over the Lions.

The Browns defeated the Lions 13-10 to move them to 6-5 on the season, but the way the fanbase is acting you’d think they lost by 40. The Patriots’ loss shook a lot of people, sure, but winning is the only thing that matters in your quest for a title.

The Browns did all they needed to do to win, sure, but that doesn’t mean they looked great in doing so. That’s not the worst thing, while the Lions are winless, many are pointing out that had a few breaks gone their way, they’d have three or four wins this year. They’re not a bad team and they’re playing a lot of teams hard.

That said, Cleveland still should’ve looked much better against them. Penalties and injuries are a huge thing right now, and that’s not helping matters. So let’s look at the five players who fell on their faces against the Lions and then move on to the Ravens.

These are five players who looked bad against the Lions

Baker Mayfield

Baker Mayfield had a bad game. Explaining why he had a bad game seems to make people mad because unless you say “Baker Bad!”, then you’re going to catch guff. The problem with that stance is that Mayfield isn’t bad. We’ve seen what he looks like when he’s healthy and he looks fantastic then. Football fans seem to have a short memory, and they tend to overreact. Mayfield is hurt, and badly. There is credence to the belief that he should sit to heal, as he’s missing some easy passes. When you can’t plant on your foot due to a heel injury and can’t torque your upper body without being in crippling pain due to your fractured and torn-up shoulder, yeah, you’re going to miss.

The only people saying Mayfield is trash are the people with an agenda, who are trying to convince you that they were right all along. Mayfield had great seasons in 2018 and 2020. Mayfield can play in the NFL. He just may be too banged up right now to do just that. Yet, imagine how much better he is banged up than a healthy Case Keenum if Stefanski trusts Mangled Mayfield over a healthy Keenum. That Broncos game shook Stefanski, and he’s clearly hesitant to put Keenum in again.

Demetric Felton

Why do fans actually expect things out of sixth-round picks? Yeah, Demetric Felton is versatile and fast but you know what he’s not? A good NFL football player. Felton is a non-factor as a runner, which is why he gets so few opportunities in games. His 0.7 yards per carry on Sunday is probably the same thing that he does in practice. So why would he get more opportunities? He has no spatial awareness and has no idea how to let offensive lines develop. Don’t do the whole “BuT hE’s A rOoKiE” argument because this is football basics 101. If a running back hits this level and still can’t read an offensive line, then he’s not going to. It’s almost like leaning on sixth-round rookies is somehow a problem for NFL teams and one that the Browns keep making.

Rashard Higgins

Mayfield didn’t play well, that’s a given. Neither did Rashard Higgins. Mayfield was cooking in the second quarter, it was easily the best he looked all game and it was also when the Browns scored all of their points. Higgins didn’t help much in the game and even had two drops. The worst was a sideline drop that color commentator La’Var Arrington pointed out should’ve been caught. Higgins is not playing well this year, and the magic has finally gone away. The Browns will be looking at a brand new receiving corp next year.

Grant Delpit

I wasn’t high on Grant Delpit when he came out of college and then he tore up his ankle. That type of injury is usually a career-ender and while he’s technically a rookie, Delpit has played very poorly. It’s made even worse when you realize how well Andrew Sendejo is playing for the Colts. The Colts are 5-2 in games Sendejo has started. The Browns may have made a mistake parting ways with Sendejo when John Johnson, Delpit, and Ronnie Harrison are playing no better and at times, far worse than Sendejo. Which is disappointing, considering how high I was on Johnson.

Blake Hance and Jedrick Wills

Ok, so technically these are two additions but I’m sticking with the trend for these articles. The Browns have the worst tackle combination right now in the NFL in my opinion. Blake Hance can’t stop guys pass-rushing (PFF grade of 17 against the pass/38.9 overall) and Jedrick Wills can’t move guys off the block (55.0 overall). Neither guy is especially good and this isn’t new for Wills, who had the same issues last year. For Hance, the issue seems to stem more about positional fit than talent. He’s a guard. He’s not quick enough to make up for his lack of length.

The team needs to experiment with Michael Dunn at right tackle until Jack Conklin returns. As for Wills? He was a top-10 pick and will get far more opportunities than the regular player because of it but as of today, it looks like the Browns will need to upgrade that position sooner rather than later. Things could change, sure, but it seems unlikely after nearly two full seasons.

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