After being shut out in the first half of their Week 15 game with the Raiders, the Browns finally got some traction in the third quarter in the form of Nick Chubb running over left tackle. For the day, the Browns had:
Left Side Carries: 10 for 63 yards & a TD.
Up the middle carries: 9 for 31 yards.
Right Side Carries: 4 for -3 yards.
Too see how well running left was working, watch Chubb rampage for 30 yards and a TD in two plays at the 8:05 mark of this video. If the TD play was run from the Browns’ 20-yard line, it would have been an 80-yard run, and the stats above would have been even more lopsided.
So, running left was fantastic. Running up the middle was okay. And running right was dogshit. But when it came time to salt away the game, what did play-caller Alex Van Pelt do? He called for more dogshit. He sent Chubb into the black hole of the right side, and he gained zero yards. The Browns then punted, and the game was lost.
While it is true that the Browns ran left on the first two downs of that final series, and gained 7 yards, they could have tried it a third time. Would that have been too predictable? Maybe. But one thing we know in the NFL is that if something is working, you just keep on doing it until the opposing team puts a stop to it. The Raiders were playing like baby seals on the left side, and the Browns should have clubbed them one more time.
Even so, if Van Pelt didn’t want to run left again, why would he run right? Why would he run a play that had netted negative yardage on the day? When literally any other play would have been a better choice?
Perhaps it was because Van Pelt didn’t have running-backs Coach Stump Mitchell to advise him. Or Stump’s assistant, Coach Ryan Cordell, who was yet another COVID-19 hysteria casualty. So, Callie Brownson was the running-backs coach for the game. The Browns are collaborative when it comes to play calling, so we will likely never know who recommended the run-right call, but somebody really fucked up.
Note: I used to think that coaches were looking at plays on their tablets. Turns out, they are watching Seinfeld re-runs. A chimpanzee could have seen how running left was working like a charm.
Note: can the Browns beat the Packers on Christmas? If they were at full strength, they would have a chance. But half the Browns are still in COVID-19 jail, we don’t know who will call the plays, or run the plays, and the poachers have taken the entire Cheetah Package. Joe Woods’ defense, which has only given up 10,16,22,16 points over the last four games is poised to be mowed down by Aaron Rodgers. Let’s see if Woods can pull another rabbit out of his hat.