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Analyzing the Snap Counts in Bengals vs. Browns (Defense)

Jason Miller - Getty Images

The Browns were a little short of defensive players this week. They used three defensive tackles instead of four, and they used four linebackers instead of five. The big news, of course, was the return of CB Joe Haden. For the first time this season, all four starting members of the secondary played every snap of the game together.

The snap count distributions for the Browns' defenders against the Bengals are listed below. [Week 6 offensive snap counts for Cleveland can be found here]

Defensive Tackle
Billy Winn John Hughes
Ishmaa'ily Kitchen
57/71 plays
47/71 plays
28/71 plays

Billy Winn: 1 assist (1 combined). 1 fumble recovery.
John Hughes: 2 assists (2 combined).
Ishmaa'ily Kitchen: 1 tackle, 1 assist (2 combined).

Thoughts: The Browns only went with three defensive tackles this week, which meant more playing time than usual for three rookie defensive tackles. The unit was not graded very effectively by Pro Football Focus this week, but a win is a win. Billy Winn got the big scoop of a loose ball toward the end of the game to seal the deal. Phil Taylor and Ahtyba Rubin could be on their way back in a couple of weeks.

Defensive End
Jabaal Sheard
Frostee Rucker Juqua Parker
Emmanuel Stephens
56/71 plays
40/71 plays
35/71 plays
21/71 plays

Jabaal Sheard: 1 tackle, 1 assist (2 combined). 1 pass defended.
Emmanuel Stephens: 2 tackles (2 combined). 1 sack, 1 forced fumble.
Juqua Parker: 1 tackle, 1 assist (2 combined). 1 sack, 1 tackle for loss, 1 quarterback hit.
Frostee Rucker: 1 tackle, 1 assist (2 combined).

Thoughts: The playing time at defensive end against the Bengals is pretty consistent with what we've seen this season. Once again, Emmanuel Stephens made the most of his opportunity with a huge strip+sack at the end of the game. Frostee Rucker was back to having more snaps than Juqua Parker after a season-low in snap percentage (39%) last week against the Giants.

D'Qwell Jackson Craig Robertson James-Michael Johnson
Kaluka Maiava
71/71 plays
49/71 plays
21/71 plays
21/71 plays

D'Qwell Jackson: 3 tackles, 6 assists (9 combined).
Craig Robertson:
4 tackles, 2 assists (6 combined).
James-Michael Johnson: 1 tackle, 1 assist (2 combined).
Kaluka Maiava: 2 tackles (2 combined).

Thoughts: Thankfully, middle linebacker D'Qwell Jackson didn't miss and reps after sustaining a concussion during last week's game. The Browns operated from the nickel back package more times than not, as you can see Craig Robertson getting more than double the amount of snaps that the 4-3 outside linebackers got. It's hard to say how well James-Michael Johnson did in his debut, but I imagine we'll continue seeing him there after the news of Scott Fujita's neck issue. Is Kaluka Maiava having the quietest season ever? It's like I've never heard his name called once this season.

Joe Haden Sheldon Brown Buster Skrine Trevin Wade
71/71 plays
71/71 plays
48/71 plays
3/71 plays

Buster Skrine: 8 tackles, 2 assists (10 combined).
Joe Haden: 6 tackles, 1 assist (7 combined). 1 interception, 3 passes defended.
Sheldon Brown: 2 tackles (2 combined). 1 interception, 1 touchdown, 3 passes defended.
Trevin Wade: No stats registered.

Thoughts: Look at the effect Joe Haden had with the trickle down effect. The Browns did give up a lot of yardage, but they had three interceptions and helped force a lot of third down stops with good tackling and six passes defended. Buster Skrine handled his role as the third cornerback well.

T.J. Ward Usama Young
71/71 plays
71/71 plays

Usama Young: 2 tackles (2 combined). 1 interception, 1 pass defended.
T.J. Ward:
3 tackles (3 combined).

Thoughts: I'm still lost as to what Usama Young has shown to be our starting safety. Both of our safeties really struggle in pass coverage. Now that Joe Haden is back, I'd like to see Eric Hagg get a few more reps in the lineup again.

History of Snap Counts on Defense:

-Week 1: Philadelphia vs. Cleveland
-Week 2: Cleveland vs. Cincinnati
-Week 3: Buffalo vs. Cleveland
-Week 4: Cleveland vs. Baltimore
-Week 5: Cleveland vs. New York Giants