Browns lose battle in the trenches

New season, same old story. The offensive line for the Browns continues to be as ineffective as ever and once again proved Sunday to be an Achilles heel for this team. The Bentley injury was ages ago and can no longer be used as an excuse. The line against the Saints was basically non-existent. They couldn’t provide any running lanes for Droughns and Harrison and had Frye running for his life all day long. Will Smith is a great rusher and ate Kevin Schaffer for lunch early on, but last time I checked the Saints were among the worst teams in the league last season when it comes to run defense. You know you have problems when your quarterback outrushes your two running backs combined. Something has to change because if this is a sign of things to come, this offense is in for a long and troubled season.

A defense that was pretty stout against the run during the preseason wasn’t so against McAllister, Bush, and the Saints. The two-headed monster combined for 151 yards on the ground as the Saints’ offensive line handled the Browns defensive line with ease. The defense really clamped down and showed some toughness in the red zone but were easy to pick on between the 20s.

It is said time and time again that to be victorious a team must win the battle up front, something the Browns failed to do on both sides of the ball. The O-line has some leaks and looked as it always has in the past and the D-line was frequently being beaten off the ball. The opener was a perfect example of what happens when a team loses the line battle. As an offense, if you can’t block or protect your quarterback, it results in a minimal rushing attack and your QB running around like a chicken with his head cut off, like what happened with Frye. As a defense, if you fail to control the line of scrimmage, a team runs down your throat and controls the clock while your defense is sucking wind out on the field. Like it or not, the Browns are in the rugged and brutal AFC North, one of the toughest divisions in the league, and it is imperative that they get tougher up front.

You can follow us on Twitter and Facebook for content updates.