The Good, The Bad, The Ugly: Cleveland Browns vs. Carolina Panthers Analysis

The Good, The Bad, The Ugly: Cleveland Browns vs. Carolina Panthers Analysis

Nick Pedone
2 years ago
2 min read
Cleveland Browns' Cade York and Harrison Bryant celebrate game winning kick vs. Panthers

The Cleveland Browns won their first road opener since Bill Belichick was their head coach in 1993, beating the Carolina Panthers 26-24.

Let's take a look at the good, the bad, and the ugly of this game.

The Good: Cade York

The last time the Browns won an opener, Cade York was just three years old. On Sunday, he saved the Browns from one of the most miserable Monday mornings in Cleveland history, nailing a 58-yard game winner.

"Expletives hanging to the ground, that's what I'm gonna say," Browns safety John Johnson III said after the game winning kick.

York was 2-for-2 on extra points and 4-for-4 on field goals. The Browns are going to need that stability from their rookie kicker for the next 10 weeks until Deshaun Watson can return to game action. When the Browns offense stalls out, they will rely on York's leg to secure points when they can.

The Bad: Blown Coverages

Any time an NFL defense gives up just 24 points, you'd venture to say they had a pretty good day. The Browns defense did have a good day, besides a few blown coverages that nearly cost them the game.

Besides a few gigantic chunk plays, the Browns defense showed how talented they can be. Baker Mayfield was sacked four times and intercepted once. There's a ton of promise on that side of the ball.

Defenses always take a few weeks to get completely figured out. That said, hopefully they can correct the miscommunications from Sunday and prevent that from happening multiple times in a game.

The Ugly: Quarterback Play

I feel guilty even including Jacoby Brissett in this category. He did what he needed to do at the end of the game to secure a victory. That's exactly what you want from your quarterback.

But the rest of it, well, was ugly.

Amari Cooper was wide open literally all game. Brissett missed him on two throws that would've been walk-in touchdowns. There was confusion on Cleveland's sideline before every snap. The Browns were penalized nine times, and nearly 10 if the phantom "fake spike" flag would've stood as called on the field, potentially costing the game.

On the other side, Mayfield wasn't much better, and that's the beautiful part of this win for the Browns. Mayfield capitalized on blown coverages and played a decent second half. He had passes batted down, was sacked a bunch, threw a pick, and nearly lost a fumble. It truly was the full Baker Mayfield Experience in just four quarters.

While beating Mayfield is the headline, starting off 1-0 without a starting quarterback was gigantic for the Browns. With weak opponents on deck, Cleveland needed this morale boost to hit their stride against the Jets, Steelers and Falcons.

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