Well, that was embarrassing.
After falling to Miami 23-10, there are a few areas the Browns have to focus on in order to improve going into week two against their division rival Baltimore Ravens. None is more important than the role of running back Trent Richardson.
Against the Dolphins, Richardson only had 13 carries for a total of 47 yards. He also caught two passes for 30 yards, giving him a total of 77 yards of offense. On the flip side, quarterback Brandon Weeden attempted 53 passes, throwing three interceptions and finishing with a rating of 48.4.
Something is very wrong with this picture.
Head coach Rob Chudzinski tried to explain this discrepancy after the game and failed miserably.
“I think how games go is gonna dictate that sometimes,” Chudzinski said according to ABC News. “We were trying to play from behind, you’re gonna throw the ball a little bit more. If you’re playing with the lead, you’re gonna have a chance to run it a little bit more. As things are happening, you have to adjust to the game as well.”
Anyone watching this game knows that, from the get-go, Richardson needed to be involved more. There is absolutely no excuse for a team to lose by only 13 points and their quarterback end with 53 pass attempts — especially if your quarterback is Weeden.
Richardson is arguably a top-5 running back in the league when healthy and must be utilized as such. Chudzinski would do himself and Browns fans a favor by not abandoning the run in week two. It doesn’t matter if they are down by two touchdowns in the second half. With a great running back, the defense must stay honest. Establishing a run will open up the offense.
To put it simply: If the Browns want to make themselves a one-dimensional team and put the outcome on the shoulders of Weeden, they won’t win a single game this year.