There wasn’t a whole lot to complain about on Sunday, except the special teams.
Letting the Browns have multiple short fields on big returns is ridiculous. I understand it was raining, so conditions were wet and slippery, but Travis Benjamin found enough footing for an 86-yard kick off return that set up the only Browns touchdown of the day. It looked like our special teams was definitely feeling the effects of early injuries. Jarrett Bush, one of our best special teams guys, has been out with a hamstring injury for multiple weeks. Countless other team injuries have hurt our special teams production, but there are no excuses for allowing an 86-yard return on a kickoff.
I don’t think there is anything more ridiculous than the personal fouls that were committed on big plays. Instead of getting off the field on third down, a pass breakup turned into a 15-yard march-off after Tramon Williams decided to body slam a defenseless receiver who didn’t even make the catch.
Johnny Jolly removed his helmet in the field of play after getting gritty with a Browns player on the sideline. It could have been a lot worse for us, as it came on the heels of an onside kick. An egregious personal foul was called on A.J. Hawk for a phantom facemask that resulted in a sack of quarterback Brandon Weeden.
Several BIG plays were brought back by a holding penalty on the offensive line. David Bakhtiari was called on a holding penalty after Aaron Rodgers scrambled to make a play to Jermichael Finley near the sideline. A big Eddie Lacy run was negated due to a holding penalty on Don Barclay. Poor guy, every time he gets to the second level, someone was holding in the backfield. It is just unnecessary and it is often a disappointment that fizzles a drive that had promise.
As if onside kicks aren’t rattling enough. Myles White muffed an onside kick in the fourth quarter that would have given the Browns another chance to score late, had it not been for an offside penalty against the Browns. Close call. It was kicked again, touched by the Browns before it went 10 yards, or it would have been recovered by the Browns a second time.