CLEVELAND, Ohio – Scribbles in my notebook as the Browns trail the Jets, 13-3, at the half.
1. While there was a lot of pregame talk about the Browns missing two offensive linemen and four receivers, it also was the defense that had problems. That was especially true in pass coverage.
2. The Jets’ first TD came on a 43-yard pass from receiver Jamison Crowder to fellow receiver Braxton Berrios. The Browns defense was fooled and Berrios was wide open. It was a a blown coverage.
3. New York’s next TD on an 11-yard TD pass from Sam Darnold to Chris Herndon. Herndon was wide open in the end zone when it seemed Denzel Ward and Karl Joseph became confused and neither followed him into the end zone.
4. It was a rough day for Nick Harris, making his first NFL start at right guard. He gave up a sack. He also seemed to be overwhelmed on a few other plays. Mayfield was sacked twice in the first half. He also was hurried often. This is the most pressure he faced since the Browns lost 38-7 in Pittsburgh on Oct. 18.
5. This game shows what a good job rookie Jedrick Wills was doing at left tackle. He missed the game due to a non-COVID illness. Kendall Lamm started at left tackle and struggled. He also gave up a sack. Baker Mayfield was sacked three times.
6. The Browns had zero yards rushing in the first quarter. That’s right…ZERO. Nick Chubb carried the ball four times, couldn’t gain a yard. At the half, Chubb had 6 yards in eight carries. Kareem Hunt had one carry, minus-2 yards. So that adds up to 4 yards in nine carries.
7. The Jets came into the game ranked No. 30 vs. the run, so it wasn’t as if the Browns were facing an excellent defense. The offensive line was being overwhelmed.
8. I thought this could be a good day for Hunt. For most of the half, he was not a part of the offense. He dropped a pass. Another throw to him was low and behind the running back. And he had the one carry for minus-2. Finally, in the last minute of the half, he caught a pass for 8 yards. He needs to be a focal point in the second half.
9. The Browns came out throwing to tight ends. Austin Hooper, who had five catches for 54 yards. Fellow tight end Harrison Bryant caught three passes for 37 yards. Wide receivers caught only one pass, a 6-yarder to rookie Ja’Marcus Bradley.
10. I was a little weary of hearing the TV people talking about how the Browns had to delay their flight Saturday by 4 1/2 hours as they worked out the COVID-19 issues. Look, it’s a charter flight. They didn’t travel by stage coach.