September 22, 2003
Bitching About Football
...so if you don't care, you may want to skip today's entry.
I'm not entirely sure where the problem is with Cleveland; it'd probably be easier to see where the problem isn't. Holcomb is consistently throwing off his back foot, making the ball sail, and is overthrowing and getting intercepted as a result. Things actually improved when he hurt his ankle for some reason. Maybe he realized that starting job may not be his the whole season after all.
Bruce Arians is still calling the same five plays all the time. Oh look, they ran again on first down. Gee, Bruce, they'll never be ready for that. Those last drives that won the game against the 49ers weren't so much good play calling by Arians as they were the offensive line stepping up once in a while and giving Holcomb time to make a throw.
There was one other thing that didn't happen (much) on those scoring drives -- they finally stopped getting penalized. I can't be sure, but I think this offense leads the league in penalties by a pretty big margin. False starts, an illegal substitution (thank you, Arians, you incompetent twit), and holding are a way of life on that offense. Sure these guys are inexperienced, but they teach that shit in junior high. That's just flat-out bad coaching, and it's all squarely on Arians again.
Finally, Butch Davis needs to take some of the blame too. Sure, Holcomb eventually won the game, but how did Davis keep him in that long? Eleven quarters with just one touchdown, less than half of his passes completed and only a handful of first downs? I would've put in Couch in the second half, if for no other reason than to change things up. Given how things turned out, that may not have gotten them a win, but you can't just leave an ineffectual quartberack in there and hope you fall into a victory.
Bah. The Bengals played the Steelers pretty hard this week; I just hope they don't manage to embarass the Browns next Sunday.