Before the Browns-vs-Chiefs playoff game, everybody was carrying on about how “explosive” the KC receivers were. After the game, Browns’ analysts were complaining that the Browns’ receivers weren’t explosive enough. I guess they didn’t look at the box score, because Rashard Higgins was the best receiver on the field.
Average Yards-per-Catch (4 catches or more):
17.6 – Rashard Higgins (CLE)
14.8 – David Njoku (CLE)
14.5 – Mecole Hardman (KC)
13.8 – Tyreek Hill (KC)
13.6 – Travis Kelce (KC)
04.0 – Darrel Williams (KC)
02.9 – Jarvis Landry (CLE)
Honorable mention for Donovan Peoples-Jones who had 1 catch for 23 yards.
I bring this up because even after a fantastic season, the long knives are already coming out for Rashard Higgins. Idiots think that if only the Browns had Odell Beckham, Jr. to “take the top off the field” they could have beaten KC. Well, I hate to break it to you, but if the flagrant violation of the NFL’s helmet-to-helmet rule perpetrated by Chiefs safety Daniel Sorensen were not ignored by the referees, the Browns would have beaten the Chiefs.
So yes, the Baker-to-Higgins duo is of Super-Bowl caliber.
And we have the analytic evidence that the Baker-to-Odell duo is the very worst in the NFL.
So, what will the Browns do in 2021? They will demote Higgins yet again, and go back to what we know does not work: throwing the ball to OBJ. So, fans need to mobilize and pressure the Browns front-office to not lead us out of The Promised Land and back into the desert.
Do you want to see Baker go back to being a “game manager,” and Browns receivers being chosen for their ability to block for Nick Chubb? Because that was Stefanski’s original scheme when he took over and was saddled with OBJ.
Speaking of which, Higgins also outdueled OBJ during the 2020 regular season by averaging 16.2 yards-per-catch versus OBJ’s 13.9. Higgins might be the most-underrated receiver in the league.
You probably noticed that David Njoku also topped the legendary Tyreek Hill in the stats above. Njoku also exceeded all Browns tight-ends during the regular season by averaging 11.2 yards-per-catch. And yet, he is still #3 on the depth-chart. But if Njoku got the same number of targets as Austin Hooper did, he would have put up the same numbers. In other words, it looks like the Browns overpaid for a tight-end that they didn’t even need.
Higg & Njoku, as original members of the Bake Pack, have proven chemistry with Baker and should be on the field with him as much as possible – regardless of what other celebrity players the Browns may have on the roster.
Back to the game: not only did Daniel Sorensen commit a flagrant violation of the NFL’s helmet-to-helmet rule, but the idiot announcers, Jim Yance & Tony Romo, lauded him for doing so:
The Browns almost scored a touchdown, but instead fumbled the ball out of the endzone for a touchback.pic.twitter.com/J1QRt7rYZM
— Sporting News (@sportingnews) January 17, 2021
Instead of giving the ball to the Chiefs, the refs should have called the penalty, and given the Browns 15 yards and a first down. Sorensen should have been ejected from the game, and the NFL should fine and suspend him. Considering the magnitude of the violation, I would be willing to call it even if KC forfeited a draft-pick to the Browns.