Cleveland Browns fans knew Sunday's game would be tougher without Deshaun Watson at quarterback, but most didn't expect that. Cleveland's offense took a serious nosedive without its QB1, which had a direct negative impact on the defense and led to an embarrassing 28-3 loss to the Baltimore Ravens in Week 4.
While a lot of things went wrong on Sunday (and some were out of the Browns' control), there are a few members of the team who clearly didn't help.
Browns to Blame for Week 4 Loss vs. Ravens
1. Dorian Thompson-Robinson
It would not have been fair to expect anything spectacular from backup quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson going into his first NFL start. That being said, he clearly wasn't up to the challenge.
The poise the rookie showed in the preseason completely evaporated in his first real game as a pro. He failed to make much happen all afternoon, finishing with a meager 121 yards and a 25.3 passer rating. On the seldom times DTR did have a chance to pick up big gains, he struggled to push the ball down the field, including an ugly overthrow to Amari Cooper in the first quarter.
Decision-making was a serious struggle for the fifth-round pick. The very next play after he failed to hit Cooper long, DTR forced a throw into double coverage that unsurprisingly got tipped and led to his first career interception -- the first of 3 picks on the day.
Not only did he make that clear mistake as a passer, but his inexplicable pitch attempt to Harrison Bryant cost Cleveland another 5 yards and a loss of down since he threw it forward.
Thompson-Robinson looking like, well, a fifth-round rookie isn't his fault. After all, he should've been set up better by the coaching staff (more on them next) to succeed. Still, Sunday's contest could've gone a lot differently if DTR looked more like his preseason self.