Vikings’ five extra points: NFL in London won’t happen, Everson Griffen’s sacks always happen
1. Waynes has one of his best games
The Browns faced three third downs in the second quarter of Sundays 33-16 loss to the Vikings at Twickenham Stadium in London. The first two times, they threw at Trae Waynes. Taking advantage of some loose officiating, Waynes muscled receiver Ricardo Louis for two of his game-high three passes defensed. Leading at the time, the Browns went three-and-out each time. On the other third down, the Browns picked on Xavier Rhodes. Louis beat Rhodes for a 37-yard grab to set up a touchdown. No, Waynes isnt as good as Rhodes. But Sunday was a sign that Waynes isnt bad. Yeah, I think it was one of my better games, Waynes said. Im just trying to improve. It was a benefit that they let us play a little bit. But you still have to play your technique. Waynes other pass defense also came on third down.
2. Sorry, London, this wont work
Defensive end Everson Griffen entertained the Brits after Fridays practice and again after the game on Sunday. He said he loves London, loved the hospitality and made everyone laugh with animated stories about how the television in his hotel room popped up at the push of a button. But he got serious when asked if he thinks an NFL franchise in London would work. Honestly and truthfully, I dont think you can have a team here, Griffen said. Thats not up to me. I dont make big bucks to make decisions like that. But having a team here, me, I dont think they could. And hes right. The travel problems alone should nix the possibility. There are obviously a lot of issues, safety Harrison Smith said. Logistical issues. And another thing they need to do is get a better playing field. A football field.
3. Hunters strip set second-half tone
Cleveland won the coin toss, deferred, got an interception and scored from 26 yards on its first running play. Thats not how we play defense, end Danielle Hunter said of Issaiah Crowells touchdown. The Browns led 13-12, got the second-half kickoff and went right back to Crowell over left guard. He gained six yards, but Hunter then turned the game with one of his mighty hands. We knew we had to step it up after the first half, Hunter said. I read my keys and went in for the tackle. I put my hand on the ball. Were all about turnovers, so I just ripped it out. Anthony Harris recovered at the Cleveland 30, leading to a 43-yard field goal and the first of three lead changes in the third quarter. After the 26-yard TD, the Browns had 89 yards on 21 carries (4.2).
4. Treadwells one catch was a big one
Fantasy Footballers probably hated Laquon Treadwells numbers. One catch for 21 yards. The Vikings certainly think more of it because of when it came during a tight battle with a winless team that was playing with desperation. With the Browns leading 13-9 with eight seconds left in the first half, defensive coordinator Gregg Williams got ultra-aggressive. He overloaded the left side of the Vikings offense and blitzed Case Keenum with gusto. The protection held long enough for Keenum to spot and hit Treadwell up the left sideline. Treadwell got out of bounds to set up a 34-yard field goal as the half expired. We were ready for that blitz, Treadwell said. Thats what they do. Its a sign of Gregg Williams. The coaches prepared for it. Case executed it. And we made a play that gave us points and momentum at the half.
5. Griffen ties sack record finally
For a guy that Griffen said should be a guard, Browns left tackle Spencer Drango held his own against the Vikings Pro Bowl end. But Griffen did tie a franchise record by notching a sack in his eighth straight game. His 10th sack of the season came in the closing minutes and tied the streaks of Jim Marshall (1969) and Jared Allen (2011). [Drango] played well, Griffen said. He was worried about my spin the whole game, but I hit him with the spin at the very end. Griffen said the Browns had a good game plan against him that included shallower drops and Drango sitting light to guard against speed rushes. Griffen credited coaches and teammates for his record.