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Week 5 Game Recap: Cleveland Browns 3, San Francisco 49ers 31


What you need to know

Cleveland Browns

After an impressive Week 4 win over the Ravens, the Browns allowed many of their bad habits to pop back up in an ugly loss to the 49ers on Monday night. Cleveland did not take care of the ball, committing four turnovers and committed way too many penalties. The offensive line did not protect Baker Mayfield, allowing him to take four sacks and countless other hits. And Mayfield himself did not play well, lacking his trademark accuracy and holding onto the ball too long. Odell Beckham Jr. was not a factor in the game, unless you count his lost fumble during a fourth-quarter punt return.

San Francisco 49ers

Having been a rare, prime time showcase for the 49ers, most of what you need to know you likely saw with your own eyes. Therefore, three things viewers may not have picked up on are as follows. First, Kyle Shanahan seems to have consolidated his five-man wide receiver committee into a three-man committee comprising Marquise Goodwin, Dante Pettis, and Deebo Samuel. Second, Justin Skule, the injury replacement for left tackle Joe Staley, continues to not be a liability at all. Finally, after Swiss Army knife Kyle Juszczyk left the game with a knee injury, San Francisco used a healthy dose of 12 personnel (i.e., one running back and two tight ends). Given Kyle Shanahan's well-known proclivities, this would suggest more snaps for Levine Toilolo and (especially) Ross Dwelley going forward.

Cleveland Browns

QB Baker Mayfield, 46 offensive snaps, Pass: 8 - 22 - 100 - 0 TD / 2 INT
Mayfield did not play well in the loss. Some of the blame goes to a poor offensive line and some goes to Antonio Callaway, who was partially responsible for both of Mayfield's interceptions. That being said, Mayfield himself gets plenty of blame. He has taken a step back this season from an accuracy standpoint and is not doing a good job navigating the pocket. His first pass of the game was dropped by Odell Beckham Jr. on a short screen to the right. He then followed that with a too-high throw to Ricky Seals-Jones which was initially ruled a completion but was overturned after Kyle Shanahan challenged the ruling. The second possession wasn't much better as Mayfield threw an interception to Richard Sherman. It looked like Antonio Callaway ran the wrong route as he went straight and Mayfield threw the ball as though it would be a dig route. On the third drive, Mayfield threw too high to Beckham, who could have made a leaping grab but wasn't able to hold onto the ball. The fourth drive of the game saw Mayfield get sacked twice in a row, with him losing a fumble on the second sack. His longest completion was a 25-yarder to Jarvis Landry on the right side of the field. In the second quarter, Mayfield threw too high again, this time on an end zone target meant for Antonio Callaway. Mayfield should have had a touchdown on the sixth drive of the half as he hit Callaway with a slightly low pass right at the goal line. Callaway bobbled the target and popped it into the air, where a defender was able to pick it off. The Browns were at least able to move the ball a bit in the first half but they bogged down in the second half. Mayfield led just three scoreless drives after halftime before third-stringer Garrett Gilbert took over for him for the final drive of the game.

RB Nick Chubb, 41 offensive snaps, Rush: 16 - 87 - 0, Rec: 1 - 12 - 0 (1 targets)
Chubb was one of the few bright spots for the Browns on an ugly evening for the offense. The second-year back ran hard and continues to operate as a true, three-down workhorse for Cleveland. While he was unable to find the end zone, Chubb saw a handful of red zone carries. His first came at the San Francisco seven-yard line in the second quarter but he lost five yards. Chubb ripped off the run of the game on the ensuing possession, going for 37 yards down the left side. It was a well-designed play as Baker Mayfield faked a pitch to Odell Beckham before giving the ball to Chubb on an inside handoff. Toward the end of the second quarter, Chubb got another red zone carry from the 49er seven-yard line, this time gaining just one yard after trying to bounce the run outside to the left. In the fourth quarter, Chubb picked up a 15-yard gain on a draw on 3rd-and-22.

WR Odell Beckham, 49 offensive snaps, Pass: 1 - 1 - 20 - 0 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 2 - 15 - 0, Rec: 2 - 27 - 0 (6 targets)
It was a second straight slow outing for the star receiver. He got off on the right foot at he completed a 20-yard pass to Jarvis Landry on the first play of the game. It was all downhill from there as Beckham committed several mistakes. His first target was a drop on a catchable, short screen pass to the right. He was unable to haul in a high pass on the team's third drive. While it wasn't a great pass, it was a catchable ball, especially for someone such as Beckham. On the fourth drive, the Browns got creative in trying to get the ball to Beckham, having him line up in the backfield and take a handoff, which went for four yards. He later saw another carry in the second quarter, this time going for 11 yards on a sweep to the right. On the ensuing drive, Beckham made a catch in the red zone, hauling in a seven-yard grab to get the ball down to the San Francisco seven-yard line. His only other catch was a 20-yard gain on the first drive of the third quarter where he got wide open against the San Francisco zone defense. With the game out of reach, Beckham was surprisingly out there to return a punt in the fourth quarter. He wound up losing a fumble on the return as he was carelessly holding the ball away from his body while trying to reverse field in attempts to make a play. It was a head-scratching decision by the Cleveland coaching staff to allow him to risk an injury on a return in a blowout contest.

WR Jarvis Landry, 49 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 75 - 0 (6 targets)
Landry wound up leading the Browns in receiving for the second consecutive game. His first catch was a 20-yard completion from Odell Beckham Jr. on a trick play. At the end of the first quarter, he got open in the middle of the field and went for a 25-yard gain. In the second quarter, Landry made a diving 12-yard catch and then had an 18-yard gain down the right sideline. A final first-half target was tipped at the line of scrimmage. Landry was quiet in the second half, dropping a short pass to the right that was slightly high but looked catchable.

WR Antonio Callaway, 21 offensive snaps (3 targets)
Callaway made an unimpressive 2019 debut after serving a four-game suspension to begin the year. On his first target, Callaway appeared to run the wrong route, leading to an interception for Richard Sherman. In the second quarter, he drew an end zone target which was too high to catch. He and Mayfield should have had a touchdown on the sixth drive of the first half as the quarterback hit Callaway with a slightly low pass right at the goal line. Callaway bobbled the target and popped it into the air, where a defender was able to pick it off. He didn't play much after that, losing snaps to Damion Ratley the rest of the way.

TE Demetrius Harris, 27 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 0 - 0 (2 targets)
Harris was quiet in this one, but at least he was targeted after not recording a stat in Week 4. His only catch came behind the line of scrimmage and went for no gain. Later, he drew an end zone target but a defender tipped away the ball on what would have been a challenging, over-the-shoulder grab.


San Francisco 49ers

QB Jimmy Garoppolo, 76 offensive snaps, Pass: 20 - 29 - 181 - 2 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 4 - -3 - 0
With a clear run-based game plan that found success early and often, Garoppolo wasn't tested much in this game. From a game film perspective, he did show improvement on a couple of things that have been mentioned in this space previously. First, as evidenced on both Matt Breida's receiving touchdown and Dante Pettis' dropped would-be touchdown, Garoppolo displayed pinpoint accuracy on in-breaking routes that he's been throwing behind receivers all season. Second, the risks he took throwing into coverage were far less risky than in previous weeks. No lofting it into triple coverage off his back foot; no throwing late and high across the middle; and so on.

RB Tevin Coleman, 26 offensive snaps, Rush: 16 - 97 - 1
Coleman didn't show any signs of being adversely affected by the ankle injury that kept him out of San Francisco's prior two games. On the other hand, he was mostly untouched for the vast majority of his rushing performance, including a 19-yard touchdown run at the end of the first half, a 15-yard run early in the second quarter, and a 15-yard run midway through the third quarter.

RB Matt Breida, 26 offensive snaps, Rush: 11 - 114 - 1, Rec: 3 - 15 - 1 (3 targets)
Although Breida's highlight reel got much of the attention in the aftermath of this game, astute observers will recognize that a) his was basically a two-play performance, and b) the defense didn't come within yards of him on either of said plays. To wit, on Breida's 83-yard touchdown to start the game, blocks by Kyle Juszczyk and George Kittle catapulted him to the second level of the defense, and his 4.39-forty warp drive sent him to the end zone untouched. Similarly, rookie Cleveland linebacker Mack Wilson seemed to get defeated by Breida's presnap shift, as well as his pivot route out of the backfield.

WR Marquise Goodwin, 46 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - 15 - 0, Rec: 3 - 41 - 0 (4 targets)
Despite starting and playing over 60 percent of snaps, Goodwin didn't see his first target until early in the second half. And in a span of five plays, he produced his entire receiving output for the night. His two biggest gains, indeed two of the 49ers' three-biggest pass plays of the game, involved attacking the coverage of injury-replacement backup cornerback T.J. Carrie.

WR Dante Pettis, 48 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 11 - 0 (3 targets)
On the plus side, Pettis logged his own personal best snap percentage for this season, as well as the highest snap percentage among San Francisco wideouts in this game. Unfortunately, he squandered the opportunity for a jog-in touchdown when he dropped a pinpoint-accurate throw from Jimmy Garoppolo on a quick slant inside the Browns' 30-yard line.

WR Deebo Samuel, 35 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 3 - 0 (3 targets)
As per usual, Samuel split time in two-wide receiver sets with Marquise Goodwin and Dante Pettis. His only target of note actually doesn't show up in the box score because it involved a 15-yard reception nullified by penalty. On the play, Samuel caught a wide receiver screen pass at the line of scrimmage, exploded up field, spun out of a tackle, and then ran over another would-be tackler before getting taken down.

TE George Kittle, 73 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - 18 - 0, Rec: 6 - 70 - 1 (8 targets)
Kittle did his usual Kittle things (i.e., being the straw that stirs both the passing game and running game drinks), so let's focus on his 22-yard touchdown catch. It turns out that this was just a blown coverage by safety Morgan Burnett. Cleveland initially lined up in three-deep coverage, but Kyle Juszczyk's presnap shift to slot receiver made Burnett shade towards that side of the field. The problem was that when Juszczyk ran down the seam, Burnett -- for whatever reason -- chose to double-team him with the linebacker instead of covering Kittle, thereby leaving him wide open for the touchdown.