Four downs: A look at the Browns final four plays in loss to Rams

LA's defense sniffs out lack of offensive creativity to seal victory

Daryl Ruiter
September 23, 2019 - 11:33 am

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Categories: 

Cleveland, Ohio (92.3 The Fan) – The Browns had their chances Sunday night against the Rams, but they failed to capitalize on a multitude of opportunities.

Head coach Freddie Kitchens stood at the podium after the game and took the blame for their inability to execute when it counted most.

There was more to Sunday’s loss than the final series but trailing by 7 with a first-and-goal from the four, it was an agonizing opportunity lost as the Browns showed they can play with the league’s elite, but their lack of cohesion has them unable to beat them – for now.

Here’s a look at those fateful final four pays from the four-yard line that could’ve extended the game and given the Browns a chance to pull off the upset.

First down – The Browns come out five wide with running back Nick Chubb and tight end Demetrius Harris on the left while Odell Beckham Jr., Jarvis Landry and Damion Ratley lined up on the right with Mayfield in the shotgun. The Rams saw no additional protection for Mayfield, so they sent six on five. Rams safety Nick Scott races into the backfield from Mayfield’s right-side untouched forcing Mayfield to throw early before anyone gets open. The result: pass incomplete to Landry.

Second down – Kitchens adjusts and puts Nick Chubb in the backfield to Mayfield’s left. Tight end Demetrius Harris lines up next to left tackle Greg Robinson tight. Landry goes in motion to the right behind and inside Beckham and Ratley when Mayfield takes the snap. Mayfield rolled right to the short side of the field when Rams outside linebacker Samson Ebukam raised his left hand as Chubb tried to contain him, deflecting Mayfield’s pass, intended for Landry. The result: pass incomplete.

Third down – Kitchens went back to the five-wide formation, this time with Chubb and Beckham lined up on the left and Harris, Landry and Ratley on the right. Mayfield had a clean pocket, but he threw high into double coverage looking for the 6-foot-7 Harris in the back of the end zone. Mayfield failed to see that Landry had the angle on a slant at the goal line for an easy score with a good throw. The result: pass incomplete.

Fourth down – Kitchens finally used one of his three timeouts to set up the final play of the game. When the Browns showed the same formation as first down, the Rams called timeout. Coming out of the timeout the Browns went with the same grouping as third down again. Mayfield is quickly flushed by outside linebacker Donte Fowler Jr., who beat Robinson easily, and Clay Matthews III, who got by right tackle Justin McCray easily, forcing Mayfield to throw off his back foot from the 20 as he backpedaled in Ratley’s direction. Ratley dove for the ball but safety John Johnson III got there first to make a diving interception to seal the victory for Los Angeles. The result: Browns lose 20-13.