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Assessing the Browns offense mid-way through the season

The Browns are 31st in the NFL in receiving yards and touchdowns


After controlling last Sunday's game against the Seahawks and winning the time possession by 13 minutes, the Browns offense committed an interception in the final minutes of the fourth quarter that ruined any momentum the team had.

Turnovers have been a consistent issue for the Browns offense, as they lead the league with 17 turnovers this season. They have thrown 11 interceptions and lost six fumbles through seven games this season. The Browns' offensive turnovers have led to 38 opponent points this season. 

Throughout the season, GM Andrew Berry, HC Kevin Stefanski, and OC Alex Van Pelt have discussed the need to stop committing turnovers, yet it has yet to happen in games.

"We talked about it in our team meeting on Wednesday (Nov. 1) when the guys came back," Van Pelt said. "Just the importance of the ball. We're terrible at it right now. We just have to be hyper focused and when we're in traffic, whether it be in the pocket or with the ball in our hand down the field, as a runner, we have to make sure we're doing everything we can with our fundamentals and our techniques to take care of the ball."

Another alarming problem the Browns have is the lack of production from their receivers. Only one receiver this season has a touchdown. Only one receiver has had a 100-yard receiving game. And only one receiver has over 300 yards receiving this season.

That receiver is WR Amari Cooper, who has been the consistent catcher on the team. The Browns are 31st in receiving yards and touchdowns. They are 30th in receptions with 134. 

"Obviously, as a receiver group, you want guys to be lighting up the scoreboard, scoring every game, but again, that's just not the way the cookie crumbles," Cooper said. "I think we've done a lot of great things on offense."

The Browns offense has had its fair share of bright spots. They have four receptions for over 40 yards this season, which is tied for eighth in the league. They lead the league in 2-pt conversions with three this season. The Browns are in the top 10 in rushing touchdowns with eight and rushing yards with 1,040.

The success in the run game has been the emergence of RB Jerome Ford, RB Kareem Hunt and RB Pierre Strong Jr. Ford leads the team with 381 rushing yards and has the longest play of the season for the Browns when he took a handoff for 69 yards twice. Hunt has the most rushing touchdowns for the Browns with four after joining the team in Week 3. Strong, who gets the least number of touches, is very productive when he gets a chance. He averages 4.6 yards per carry, which leads the team.

"We weren't running the ball well enough and we're trying to get back to that," LG Joel Bitonio said.  "We kind of have a three headed group with Kareem, Ford and Pierre (Strong) out there and they all kind of do their own thing well. But the last two games, we've run the ball pretty well, and we're trying to keep building on that, but you get used to those guys."

In all, through eight weeks, the Browns know what they must fix and understand what is working. 

"I think we're close," Van Pelt said. "I think we just need a game with a clean slate on the turnover side and we'll feel better."