Rashard Higgins Should Ditch the Ungrateful Browns

In Sunday’s hard-fought battle with the Indianapolis Colts, Rashard Higgins caught more touchdown passes (1) than Browns superstar receivers Odell Beckham Jr. (0) and Jarvis Landry (0) combined.

Hig fans were not surprised. This is what he does.

But if it weren’t for injuries to WR KhaDarel Hodge and WR Jojo Natson, Hig may not have played, or even been active. With Hig being a “healthy scratch” for the previous two games, I was terrified that the Browns would promote somebody from the practice squad instead of starting Hig.

And that could have happened. Because both Hig and David Njoku are being persecuted by the Browns again, just like last year. We all thought that it was that knucklehead Freddie Kitchens who benched Hig and Njoku last year with no reason given. And it seemed that the new head coach wouldn’t be so ridiculous. But he is. How is that possible?

Answer: because coach Stefanski is not calling the shots. Coach Spreadsheet is.

Why do I say that? Because of something that Stefanski said during the post-game love-fest about Hig:

“He was inactive there for a couple games through no fault of his own – that is just how the numbers went…”

Numbers? What numbers? Clearly, Hig should be, at least, the #3 receiver and active for every game. KhaDarel Hodge is a great special-teams player, but what kind of maniac would promote him over Rashard fucking Higgins? Stefanski isn’t that dumb, so when he said “numbers” he must have been referring to the dreaded “analytics.”

So, that explains why both Kitchens and Stefanski have appeared to persecute Hig (and Njoku). It wasn’t their call; it was the doing of Coach Spreadsheet, who also ordered the head-coaches to not reveal their subservience.

But if you were to go through that analytics spreadsheet with a fine-toothed comb, I bet you would find a cell with a buggy formula deep in the bowels that no human has looked at for years. Because even a broken robot could figure out that Hig and Njoku should be playing. For example, both Hig and Njoku have caught all of their targets this season. Both are 4 for 4 with 1 touchdown. Hodge is 3 for 6 with zero TDs. Hell, OBJ barely catches half of his targets.

And we know what Hig & Njoku can do when they do start. They were a big part of Baker smashing all of those records in 2018. We have the film for fuck’s sake.

Unfortunately, Njoku had the right idea when he demanded a trade in the pre-season. Fans were surprised that he did so, but it was the right call, and Hig should exit the Browns too. He’s wasting away under the thumb of a fucking spreadsheet when he could be a starting player at just about any other team. As much as I would hate to see these guys go, I would get to watch them play more if they did.

Browns ownership has recieved kudos this season for hiring Andrew Barry and Kevin Stefanski. Now they have an opportunity to reign in this maniac Coach Spreadsheet, Paul DePodesta. DePo did a good job campaigning for Stefanski, but now he needs to let Stefanski coach the team.

My degree is in computer science, and I am a life-long software developer. So, it’s not like I am anti-technology in football. But what DePo is doing here is infuriating. Rather, it was infuriating, because once fans realize what’s really happening, there are going to be calls for DePo’s head.

At a minimum, DePo should fess up and give reasons why players are benched. Especially fan-favorites.

But I don’t think that is likely to happen. So, enjoy watching Hig & Njoku while you can, because this may be their last season with the ungrateful Browns.

Clash of Titans: Browns vs. Colts

The Browns? Titans? You probably think that I’ve lost my mind. But when it comes to running the ball, the Browns are indeed elite; the very best in the NFL.

The Browns are averaging 204.5 rushing yards per game, which is 24.7 yards better than the second place Patriots. And they are doing it without a running quarterback. Baker Mayfield only has 15 rushing yards versus Cam Newton & Lamar Jackson contributing large chunks to the #2 & #3 ground games.

The Browns have lost the league’s #3 running back, Nick Chubb, for a few games, but since his understudy is also elite, the Browns should be fine. After all, when you pass the baton to Kareem Hunt, things don’t slow down – at all. We already have solid proof of this since Chubb limped off the field in the first quarter on Sunday, and coach Stump’s well-prepared running backs ran roughshod over the hapless Cowboys anyway.

But…the Colts have the NFL’s #1 defense, so Sunday’s game will be a true clash of Titans. If the Browns can run on the Colts, then the Steelers, with their #2 defense, need to start worrying about the Browns coming to town on the 18th. Not that we’re looking past the Colts!

On an unrelated subject…remember when I said that Odell Beckham Jr. was easy to tackle? Take a look at the 00:54 mark of this video where Cowboys linebacker Joe Thomas (#48) knocks OBJ over with one hand. Literally, a love-tap. And Thomas didn’t even bother to put his shoulder down. He was like: “it’s OBJ, where’s my feather?” Then he just knocks him over in the NFL’s most nonchalant tackle ever. OBJ catches with one hand, but also gets tackled with one hand. Kind of ironic, no? In any case, as I have said, OBJ fans should not be surprised if he is, one day, snapped in two. Nonetheless, congratulations to OBJ for his brilliant performance on Sunday – backwards running on that last end-around notwithstanding!

The Browns Are Giving Too Much Respect to the Cowboys

Browns fans seem to think that the game against Dallas on Sunday is one of Cleveland’s tougher match-ups of the season. This trepidation is undoubtedly driven by the looming shadow of the league’s leading passer, Dak Prescott, who has already thrown for 1,188 yards. That’s more than double Baker’s total of 564.

Scary, right? But what about the Cowboys’ defense? Turns out, they stink. The Cowboys have given up 277 passing yards per game, ranking at #28 in the 32-team league. Not only that, but the Browns didn’t have too much trouble defeating Cincinnati and Washington who inexplicably rank #5 & #6 in pass-defense.

Dallas isn’t so hot at ground defense either, ranking at #23. So, while Prescott will undoubtedly tear-up the Brown’s defensive backfield, Baker & Company should be able to answer each and every time.

Given the weakness of the Dallas pass defense, the Browns might want to take the opportunity to work on their passing attack. Here’s an interesting stat that I noticed today: neither of the Browns’ star receivers rank in the top 100 for “yards after catch.” The league leader is Saints running back Alvin Kamara with 283 yards. Jarvis Landry ranks at #100 with 41 yards, and Odell Beckham, Jr. is #106 with 39 yards.

This means that after they catch the ball, they are pretty much tackled immediately. TV announcers rave about OBJ’s “moves” but so far this year, you could knock him over with a feather. The rest of the Brown’s pass-catchers aren’t any better, so all of the team’s receivers, tight-ends, running backs, and full backs should use this opportunity to trample some flimsy Cowboys.