The Browns Need to Fire Joe Woods
Another week of Cleveland Browns football has come and gone. With that, it has brought another week of disappointment from the Browns’ defense. More importantly, it has displayed the necessity for the Browns to fire defensive coordinator Joe Woods to an even greater degree.
Browns fans have been pushing for them to fire Woods all season. Sunday’s game against the Chargers was the last straw.
In a heartbreaking 30-28 loss, the Browns managed to give up 238 rushing yards to the Chargers. Coming into Sunday’s game, the Chargers had the worst rushing attack in all of football. How could a defense with players like Myles Garrett on the line concede that many rushing yards to that bad of a rushing team? The answer for fans is clear: Joe Woods.
Woods has continuously failed a Browns defense that has talent. While it is unfair to put the blame solely on Woods, it has become increasingly obvious that this is a problem in play calling and communication, not in a lack of talent.
Cleveland currently sits at 2-3. Without the mistakes that have been made defensively and the fourth-quarter meltdowns, the Browns could realistically be sitting well above .500. Aside from Jacoby Brissett making a few questionable decisions late in games, the offense has done their part to win. Their rushing attack is among the best in the NFL behind Nick Chubb, who has looked better than ever. The offensive line has allowed Brissett plenty of time as they are among the lowest statistically in allowed sacks.
The Browns are losing games simply because their defense is underachieving. They rank among the lowest in yards allowed, turnovers forced, and opponent completion percentage. All of Cleveland’s losses have been decided by three points or less, illustrating Woods’ inability to seal late-game victories with the defense.
In situations where it has been obvious their opponent would run, Woods has called plays dropping guys deep into pass coverage. Then in situations where the pass is obvious, receivers would become wide-open deep down the field due to miscommunications from the secondary. Nothing has been more embarrassing this season for Browns fans than watching the defense single-handedly lose games.
The worst display so far of Woods’ inability to run the defense came in their game against the Jets. Not only was it the worst display of defense for the Browns this season, but also quite possibly out of any team. Woods and the defense allowed the Jets to score 14 points in about two minutes. Their secondary was absolutely shredded by 37-year-old Joe Flacco. It looked as if they had no idea the Jets were even going to throw the ball down by 13.
The worst part is the Browns have a chance to be a playoff team by the time Deshaun Watson returns. They have also recently acquired Pro Bowl linebacker, Deion Jones, from the Falcons in a trade. While this is a talent upgrade to the defense, it will prove pointless if Woods cannot utilize the talent correctly. Their talent was highly praised in training camp previews this offseason, both offensively and defensively.
The Browns are a good team with a roster full of young talent. They have the opportunity to make the playoffs in what has been a lackluster AFC North thus far. The only factor holding them back from winning games is the defense under Joe Woods. If the Browns do not fire Joe Woods soon, they may be in for a long season.
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