Analysis of Kevin Stefanski’s Questionable Play-Calling: A Critical Review Following Browns’ Loss to Broncos

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Kevin Stefanski
Kevin Stefanski (Credits: USA Today)

Let’s not misunderstand the situation: Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski has admirably guided his team to victories despite numerous injuries this season, earning well-deserved praise. However, in the unpredictable world of week-to-week sports, accolades can quickly turn to scrutiny. Just one week after a hard-fought 13-10 triumph over the Steelers, Stefanski’s strategic prowess seemed to falter in a 29-12 loss to the Broncos.

The matchup against the Broncos presented an ideal scenario for running backs Jerome Ford and Kareem Hunt to capitalize, given Denver’s defense’s vulnerability, allowing 5.5 yards per carry throughout the season. Moreover, with rookie Dorian Thompson-Robinson at quarterback for the second consecutive week, emphasizing the run game to ease his adjustment appeared to be a logical approach.

Kevin Stefanski
Kevin Stefanski (Credits: Dawg Pound Daily)

Initially, the plan worked seamlessly, with Ford averaging an impressive 9.3 yards per carry in the first half and Hunt maintaining over four yards per carry. However, as the second half unfolded and pressure mounted, Stefanski deviated from the successful formula, almost ignoring the ground game.

The first drive after halftime showed some balance, featuring six runs and seven passes, culminating in a two-yard touchdown pass from DTR to tight end Harrison Bryant. Yet, Stefanski’s subsequent decisions appeared to be marked by excessive ambition. The following series began with three consecutive passes, resulting in a brutal hit on Thompson-Robinson, who entered concussion protocol and never returned.

Attempting a double reverse on the next play led to a fumble and a Broncos touchdown. Subsequent offensive series saw a troubling pattern of excessive passing, contributing to a deteriorating situation. Despite having ample time to stage a comeback, Stefanski’s play-calling became increasingly bewildering.

When questioned about his unconventional decisions, Stefanski cited adaptability to the defense’s offerings. However, the statistics tell a different story—20 passes on first down compared to just nine rushes. In total, Thompson-Robinson and backup P.J. Walker attempted 42 passes, nearly doubling the 24 rushing attempts by Cleveland.

This performance against the league’s weakest run defense raises legitimate questions. While one game doesn’t negate Stefanski’s achievements in the previous 11 weeks, it does highlight a glaring flaw in his play-calling. Despite navigating his team to a solid 7-4 record amid a slew of injuries, Stefanski cannot be exempt from criticism. If the Browns aim to make a postseason impact, improvement in his decision-making is imperative.


By Richard

All in one crazy for sports, especially baseball.

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