Joel Bitonio To Miss Extended Time

The Cleveland Browns starting left guard Joel Bitonio is the latest casualty to hit the club with a mid-foot injury.

Bitonio will be out for an extended amount of time. He sustained the injury in Sunday’s 33-13 loss to the New England Patriots. Although hurt, Bitonio did not miss any of the team’s offensive snaps Sunday.

On Monday, The Browns claimed and were awarded former 2013 No. 7 overall pick Jonathan Cooper off of waivers from the Patriots.

C Cameron Erving could return which would allow John Greco to move back to right guard and Alvin Bailey could slide over to left guard. Cooper, as well as fifth round pick Spencer Drango, could also be called up to fill rolls as well. Erving has missed the last 3 games due to a bruised lung during the team’s Sept. 18 loss to the Ravens.

Kessler to start Sunday against Titans

It looks like the Cleveland Browns rookie QB won’t miss any significant time with his rib/chest injury as he’s cleared to start Sunday against the Tennessee Titans.

NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported Monday that the rookie quarterback is expected to play in Week 6 after leaving Sunday’s game against the New England Patriots with injury.

Browns head coach Hue Jackson said Monday that Kessler was day-to-day and is optimistic he will be able to play. Jackson also stated that Josh McCown (shoulder) returns to practice and there’s a small possibility that McCown could play instead of Kessler.

Kessler underwent testing on Monday and “checked out ok” and that leaves Charlie Whitehurst, who is is also day-to-day, enough time to sit and fully heal his sprained knee suffered in the fourth quarter of the same game.

McCown Hopeful To Play Sunday

Josh McCown Hopeful To Play SundayDuring an interview earlier this afternoon, Cleveland Browns back up QB Josh McCown thinks he has a legitimate shot at starting Sunday against the Tennessee Titans.

“I’m going to practice Wednesday and we’ll see how it plays out … Just getting out there and moving around is exciting to me.”

McCown suffered a broken collarbone in a week 2 loss to the Baltimore Ravens. Before he was injured, he had the Browns in a good position to win in the first quarter of that game being up 20-3, but he was driven into the ground and landed on his left side and broke the collarbone.

Cody Kessler (shoulder,ribs) and Charlie Whitehurst (knee) are still on day-to-day evaluations so there is no clear indication on who gets the starting nod from Hue Jackson. 

Brady, Patriots Dismantle Browns 33-13

The New England Patriots completely stomped the Cleveland Browns in Tom Brady’s first game back 33-13

The Patriot faithful were strong in attendance at First Energy Stadium as almost half of the fans in the stadium were dressed in Patriot gear. The defense showed up as well as they held the Browns on their first drive to a three and out. On his first drive of the season, Patriots Tom Brady drove the team down to the 2-yard line with the help of TE Rob Gronkowski on a 34-yard catch and run play. RB LeGarrette Blount runs the ball in form the 1-yard line to go up 7-0 on the Browns. The Browns answered back with a nice drive of their own by getting down to the Patriots 11-yard line and QB Cody Kessler tosses the ball to a wide open Andrew Hawkins for the touchdown making the score 7-7.

At the tail end of the first quarter, Brady and the Patriots once again drive inside the Browns 10-yard line and found his other TE Martellus Bennett for another touchdown and go up 14-7. The Browns were pinned inside their own 5-yard line and while dropping back, Kessler was hit and drove into the ground on his shoulder while the ball was thrown behind the line of scrimmage and rolled out of the endzone for the safety. Kessler was taken back to the locker room for evaluation after the play. The Patriots scored again as Brady found Bennett for the second time to go up 23-7 and it looked like it was going to be a very long day for the Browns at this point.

Veteran QB Charlie Whitehurst came in to fill in for Kessler and his first pass was a completion for a first down. After that, they couldn’t convert and were forced to punt. Down at the Browns 1-yard line, the Patriots tried to run the ball in and couldn’t get over the stacked front four of the Browns defense and turned the ball over on downs. Not much happened for the rest of the first half and ended with a rare missed FG by Stephen Gostkowski which kept the score 23-7. The Browns defense started to build momentum after the goal line stand but the offense needs to come alive if the Browns were hoping for a second half comeback.

The Patriots weren’t done taking out their anger on the Browns quite yet. Brady hit Bennett for another touchdown early in the third for 37-yards to continue the onslaught of the Browns 30-7. After a nice looking drive put together by Whitehurst, and some helpful penalties against the Patriots,  a throw to RB Duke Johnson Jr. slipped out of his hands right into Patrick Chung and New England took over and stopped a chance of the Browns getting any points. Whitehurst ended up getting his first touchdown at the beginning of the fourth quarter to make the score 30-13 and tried for a two point conversion but failed to convert.

The rest of the game was all Patriots at this point on. The Browns defense, although more impressive than people pictured them to be, couldn’t stop Brady for the first three quarters of the game. They started to pick up the pace at the end of the third but it was too late to rally this team for a miracle comeback. Tom Brady was on the warpath and wanted to show that he hasn’t missed a step in his four game suspension. Charlie Whitehurst showed that he can take over if called upon to start for this team. Although he didn’t score in the game and his interception went out of the hands of Duke Johnson Jr, he made decent throws and drove the team down the field the best he could.

Once again, the Browns come away from this game with more questions than answers. With Kessler looking like he was coming into his own every week he played, him going down with injury throws another wrench in the plan for head coach Hue Jackson. The Browns take on the Tennessee Titans still looking for their first win of the season.

Browns Vs Patriots Preview

Tomorrow is the return of the New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and his first test of the season in down at First Energy Stadium as the Patriots take on the Cleveland Browns.

Brady hasn’t had much trouble when it comes to beating the Browns. In six games against Cleveland, he’s put up 132–198 for 1,541 yards 8TD, 4INT, 85.1 rating while only losing once. The general feeling is that Brady will be playing “pissed” after his four game suspension and he is going to take it out on that young Ray Horton defense. Rookie DE Carl Nassib looks to return to the Browns after breaking his hand in week 1 but things are looking optimistic for a comeback.

The Browns currently lead the league in rushing offense behind the versatile RB duo of Isaiah Crowell and Duke Johnson Jr. with 149.3 YPG, 597 yards, 5.7 YPA, and 4TDs, however, they also have 11 fumbles which is 2nd in the league behind the Patriots who have 12. They also have averaged just 4.2 points during the 2nd half of games through the first four games. QB Cody Kessler continues to look like he’s catching on to the starting role and looks to improve off of his game last week when he recorded his first career passing TD to WR Terrelle Pryor who also recorded his first receiving TD.

While Crowell has the 2nd most rushing yards through 4 games with 394 yards, Patriots RB LeGarrette Blount sits in 3rd with 352 yards.The more impressive stat is he has averaged an insane 6.5 YPC. There’s no doubt that Bill Belichick has begun game planning around limiting Crowell on ground. The Patriots, have been inconsistent against the rush. At times, they haven’t been able to properly tackle players and it has led to extra yards.

Browns head coach Hue Jackson is excited about the match up but still know what the Patriots can do.

“We know we have to throw the ball. There is no question about that. You have to be a balanced team against them. You can’t just do one thing,” Jackson stated. “We have to play a balanced football game. We have to be able to throw the ball. We have to be able to run it. We have to do what we are able to do the way we are able to do it.”

The last time the Patriots came to Cleveland in 2010, the Browns surprisingly upset the juggernaut New England offense 34-14. It was the Patriots second and last loss of that season. We shall see if home field advantage will help the Browns this time around.

NFL Ratings Drop

The NFL is top dog when it comes to TV ratings, but could their days on top be numbered? 

The NFL’s Philadelphia Eagles vs Chicago Bears matchup on Monday night only received an 8.3 overnight rating which is an 11 percent drop from last year’s week two Monday night matchup with the New York Jets and Indianapolis Colts

SportsBusiness Daily also reported that it was the lowest week two Monday night rating since 2009 and possibly further back.

The biggest speculation as to why could be that players have been taking a knee during the national anthem to protest violence against black Americans but others will argue that the Monday night games thus far have lacked bigger stars and fan favorites.

This isn’t cause for concern as the NFL is the most watched televised sporting event in the later part of the year. It is still on top by a large margin but don’t think they haven’t noticed.