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Week 15: Offense Awful In Snowstorm
Weather plays part in first shutout loss in nearly four years.
by Steve Saslow

Here are our position by position grades:

Quarterback:

Trent Edwards couldn't do anything throwing in the snow and wind. He tried using a glove but was very inaccurate with his passes completing just 13 of 33 attempts for 124 yards. He got most of those yards on the final drive after the snow stopped. He couldn't punch it in though so there was no fourth quarter comeback on this day. Grade F: The California boy needs to learn how to play in the snow and quick.

Running Backs:

Marshawn Lynch was the workhorse and had a couple of nice runs but he was also bottled up way too often by what was suppose to be a weak run defense. He finished with 82 yards on just 21 carries. Fred Jackson struggled running the ball but made a nice 21 yard run on a third down screen pass and finished tied for the team lead with 36 receiving yards on two catches. He only had 16 yards on seven carries. Grade C+: Should have given the ball to Lynch more.

Receivers:

Lee Evans had a couple of big catches down the stretch but finished with just four catches for 36 yards. Roscoe Parrish didn't catch a pass. Josh Reed had three catches for 29 yards but couldn't bring another one in. Robert Royal had one catch for nine yards. Michael Gaines dropped a pass that may have went for a touchdown. He caught two balls. Grade F: Were slipping all over the place and not getting opened.

Offensive Line:

Edwards wasn't sacked for the third straight game. The unit gave him all day to throw. The run blocking took a step back as they only had 108 yards with a 3.4 yard per carry. Not going to get it done on a day where they needed to out run the Browns. Grade C: Once again, A for pass protection, D for run blocking.

Defensive Line:

Aaron Schobel was active as he had a sack, four tackles, and two QB hits. He was good at plugging running lanes. Ryan Denney had five tackles while Chris Kelsay had three. Anthony Hargrove had three assists. The three defensive tackles, Jon McCargo, Larry Tripplett, and Kyle Williams combined for six tackles but missed too many as Lewis rumbled for 163 yards. Grade D: Allowed too many holes for Lewis.

Linebackers:

John DiGiorgio was a busy man and had five tackles as well as deflecting a pass. Keith Ellison had four tackles while Angelo Crowell had five tackles. Grade C: Didn't do a good job against the run.

Secondary:

Terrence McGee was beaten for the first completion of the game. Jabari Greer had great coverage on a pass breakup on the first play of the game. He also had solid coverage to force a punt on the opening drive and did a better job than McGee who struggled at times against Braylon Edwards. Donte Whitner did a nice job in one on one coverage against Kellen Winslow holding him to two catches. Bryan Scott did a good job in extended play, he finished with five tackles and did a nice job on Winslow himself. Jim Leonhard had three tackles. Grade B: Did a nice job against the pass.

Special Teams:

Brian Moorman struggled with the elements but still managed to put three punts inside the 20 and took a fake four yards for a first down. He averaged 35.9 yards per punt. One potential punt went over his head for a safety on a bad snap by Ryan Neill. Moorman kicked the free kick after the safety out of bounds to give the Browns the ball at midfield. Rian Lindell did not need to make the trip as he did not attempt a kick all game. Terrence McGee had one return for 18 yards it went for more but it was called back by a holding penalty. Jim Leonhard had two returns of short kickoffs for 32 yards. He also had the only two punt returns for 18 yards. Justin Jenkins did a nice job sliding in the snow to down a punt at the two yard line in the fourth quarter. Grade D: Another down day for this unit.

Coaching:

Dick Jauron made a real gutsy call faking a punt from his own 29 but it worked. Didn't understand the wide receiver sweep by Reed, that play won't work in those conditions. They weren't comfortable attempting a 42 yard field goal attempt and went for in on 4th and 2 and didn't get it. Dawson hit a 49 yard field goal on the same side of the field. Why run it on 4th and 8 and then punt with six minutes to go? A way too conservative game plan even in these conditions as they were too timid. Grade D: Tough loss in tough conditions and had some questionable play calls and decisions.



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