Grading The Positions From The Falcons vs. Browns Game

CLEVELAND - OCTOBER 10: Running back Peyton Hillis #40 of the Cleveland Browns is hit by linebackers Curtis Lofton #50 and Mike Peterson #53 of the Atlanta Falcons at Cleveland Browns Stadium on October 10, 2010 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Matt Sullivan/Getty Images)

Which players earned passing or failing grades for the Cleveland Browns in their 20-10 loss to the Atlanta Falcons?

It's time for another edition of "Grading the Positions" as we take a look back at this past Sunday's game when the Atlanta Falcons defeated the Cleveland Browns by a final score of 20-10. What I'll do in this feature is give a "Pass" or "Fail" grade to each positional unit. The grades focus on the unit's performance for that particular week.

PASS

FAIL

OFFENSE

  • QB (PASS & FAIL): This might be the only time I ever give a "Pass" and a "Fail" for the same position, but it is definitely appropriate here considering how the game went down. Seneca Wallace played the first half and was outstanding before going down with an ankle injury. He earned the passing grade. Then, Jake Delhomme played the second half and earned a failing grade with two interceptions, several other near-interceptions, and a QB-center exchange that prevented a possible touchdown for Peyton Hillis.
  • RB (PASS): Although Peyton Hillis' production on the ground was limited, he was playing hurt the whole game and still tried to tough things out. His one-handed touchdown grab in which he stretched out for showed heart, and he kept his head together despite an early fumble.
  • WR (FAIL): It was good to see Mohamed Massaquoi get some receptions, but he couldn't get both feet in on a possible touchdown catch in the first half. In Brian Robiskie's return game, he had no impact besides a pointless catch for five yards late. Joshua Cribbs couldn't haul in a deep pass from Jake Delhomme in the third quarter.
  • TE (PASS): Ben Watson, Robert Royal, and Evan Moore each had receptions and did their jobs when given the opportunity. It's hard to complain about this unit, although they only had an average game.
  • OL (FAIL): Joe Thomas had his worst game as a pro, as he was dominated by defensive end John Abraham. Thomas gave up two sacks, including the one that caused Wallace to suffer a high ankle sprain and leave the game.

DEFENSE

  • DL (PASS): For the second week in a row, Kenyon Coleman scooped in a fumble recovery. Although Michael Turner had a lot of rushing yards, many of those came on a 55-yard carry that the linebackers were responsible for. One question does remain though: where is Shaun Rogers, who didn't record a stat?
  • LB (PASS): The linebackers continued to make some big plays. Scott Fujita forced a fumble early in the third quarter. Marcus Benard sacked Matt Ryan early on. Matt Roth led the team in tackles, generated pressure, and covered Tony Gonzalez. Even Eric Barton shot in for a nice one-on-one tackle at one point.
  • DB (PASS): The only blemish for the secondary was Roddy White's long touchdown pass over Sheldon Brown. Overall, the coverage was very good -- Matt Ryan was only 6-of-18 for 75 yards in the first half. Eric Wright finally ended his two-week struggle, having good coverage and making several key tackles.

SPECIAL TEAMS

  • ST (PASS): While teams still kick away from Joshua Cribbs, the special teams unit continues to excel. Joe Haden helped stop a Reggie Hodges punt at the one yard line, T.J. Ward blocked a Matt Bryant field goal, and the kick coverage units didn't allow any room for returns.

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