|It was that kind of day for quarterback Brandon Weeden and the Browns in a loss to the Buffalo Bills. (US Presswire)|
The Cleveland Browns didn't do anything well Sunday against the Bills. They were particularly bad in the first quarter with three consecutive three-and-outs and a porous pass defense resulting in a 14-0 deficit they could not overcome. After pulling within 17-14, their offense shut down and the defense allowed a long drive that doomed the Browns to their ninth consecutive regular-season loss.
The optimism from their 27-point performance in Cincinnati melted away in a sea of poor run blocking and pass protection, drops by wide receivers and a mediocre performance from QB Brandon Weeden. Weeden remains inaccurate on long throws, which must change. He was drafted because of his superior arm. What good is that arm if he can't hit open receivers deep?
The secondary is a mess. The worst fears about the loss of top CB Joe Haden (suspension) have been realized. The Browns are forced to play one aging cornerback (Sheldon Brown), two veterans who have never earned starting jobs (CB Dimitri Patterson and FS Usama Young), a plethora of kids and one talented strong safety (T.J. Ward) who is proving to be far better against the run than in coverage. And how does the run defense allow third-string Bills RB Tashard Choice 91 rushing yards?
Special teams: C
KR Josh Cribbs remains effective, but it was evident Sunday that he no longer has the burst that allows him to bolt through holes. P Reggie Hodges booted a couple of rare shanks and the punt coverage team allowed a key 33-yard return by Leodis McKelvin. It was far from a scintillating performance all the way around.
The Browns were not ready to play Sunday. They were sluggish offensively and defensively from the beginning, which is disturbing because one focus during the week was getting off to a stronger start. That is a reflection of the coaching. But it's difficult to put too much of the onus on coach Pat Shurmur, offensive coordinator Brad Childress and defensive coordinator Dick Jauron. The game plan seemed sound. Their players simply didn't execute -- and simply might not have the talent to do so effectively.
Stay dialed in on the Cleveland Browns on Twitter at @CBSBrowns throughout the season with on-site updates from CBSSports.com RapidReports correspondent Marty Gitlin.