Baltimore Ravens v. Cleveland Browns – Looking at Lardarius Webb’s Unique Abilities in the Ravens’ Nickel Defense

Pick on Lardarius Webb at your own peril, because he’ll pick on you if you do.

The Cleveland Browns and Baltimore Ravens square off tonight in Week 4’s Thursday Night Football on NFL Network. The Ravens are coming off a close victory against the New England Patriots, while the Browns are hoping to rebound after losing to the Buffalo Bills at home last week.

Crucially for the Browns, they are without many key players. Wide Receiver Mohammed Massaquoi was added to a list of absentees this past week. Massaquoi’s loss could be a blessing in disguise for the Browns as Travis Benjamin and Josh Gordon will now be more involved on offense.

Because the Browns have struggled running the ball, and the Ravens excel at shutting down the run, the Browns will likely be tempted to run their offense with multiple receivers more tonight than at any other point this year. The problem for the Browns will be that the Ravens are very comfortable in their nickel defense.

By shifting to three receivers, the Ravens will respond with more defensive backs, however that won’t create a matchup advantage for Trent Richardson inside. A key piece of the Ravens’ nickel defense is cornerback Lardarius Webb. Continue reading

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All-22 Analysis of Brandon Weeden – Who was at Fault for Weeden’s Sacks and Interceptions in Week 3?

How much blame does Brandon Weeden deserve for his rookie struggles so far?

The Cleveland Browns fell to 0-3 after losing to the Buffalo Bills at home this past Sunday. After an improved performance in Week 2, Browns rookie quarterback Brandon Weeden struggled again this week throwing two interceptions and being sacked four times.

Considering that the Browns are widely regarded as one of the worst, if not the worst, teams in the NFL, one must wonder how much can be put on the inexperienced signal-caller’s early struggles.

Weeden doesn’t have the best of receivers and the running game hasn’t impressed early either. However, as a quarterback in this league, never are you afforded the luxury of using excuses to mask your play. Weeden must be scrutinized like the 31 other starting quarterbacks in the NFL, so let’s dive right in. Continue reading

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All-22 Analysis of Mohamed Sanu’s Touchdown Pass to AJ Green for the Cincinnati Bengals v. the Washington Redskins

Mohamed Sanu announced himself in the NFL, not with a touchdown catch but a touchdown pass.

The Wildcat, or at least the mislabeled unit that is commonly referred to as the wildcat, in New York with the Jets has stolen most of the headlines this off-season. During that very off-season however, Mohammed Sanu, a Cincinnati Bengals rookie wide receiver, claimed that he could throw the ball better than Tim Tebow, the Jets’ “Wildcat Quarterback.”

On Sunday in Washington, Sanu backed up his claim with a 73 yard touchdown pass to AJ Green.

Sanu resembled Antwaan Randle El, a former Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver who specialized in throwing the deep ball in trick formations, as he slung the football deep down the field. On first glance, Sanu’s throw appeared to be an outstanding throw that would make any quarterback proud. Continue reading

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All-22 Analysis: Cleveland Browns Really Miss Joe Haden, Secondary can’t Take Advantage of Excellent Defensive Line

How valuable is Joe Haden really to the Cleveland Browns’ defense?

The Cleveland Browns enter Week 3 of the 2012 NFL Regular season hoping for their first victory of the year against the Buffalo Bills. While the Bills have had an up-and-down start to the year, the Browns will feel somewhat aggrieved to be sitting at 0-2 after two tough losses to the Cincinnati Bengals and Philadelphia Eagles.

While the Bills are missing some key players, most notably David Nelson and Fred Jackson, the Browns defense has been decimated by personnel moves. Without even considering the long-term loss of Phil Taylor, the Browns played the majority of last week’s game against the Bengals without either of their original starting cornerbacks.

Young superstar Joe Haden served the first of his four game suspension, while veteran Sheldon Brown appears to have been demoted to a reserve role early on. Instead the Browns were left with Buster Skrine, a 2011 fifth round pick, and Dimitri Patterson, a journeyman veteran who went undrafted in 2005. Continue reading

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All-22 Breakdown: Trent Richardson’s Vision Drastically Improves in Week 2 Against the Cincinnati Bengals

Trent Richardson’s vision let him down in Week 1 against the Philadelphia Eagles, while I still can’t defend his fashion taste, he definitely showed an improvement on the field in Week 2.

For my inaugural post on this blog, I felt it was only fitting to start with another new face in the AFC North: Cleveland Browns rookie Running Back Trent Richardson.

Richardson had a tough start to his professional career, after rarely enduring any tough times in college for Alabama, as he posted only 39 yards on 19 carries in Week 1 against the Philadelphia Eagles. Richardson had missed most of the off-season because of a knee issue so it wasn’t surprising that he showed some rust. Richardson’s struggles against the Eagles were predominantly a result of his poor vision on the day. A breakdown of that game can be found here. Continue reading

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