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

Wesley Hitt

The Browns' defense was on the field for 90 plays this past Sunday against the Cowboys. It was definitely a mixed day for the defense, as they forced a ton of pressure against a porous offensive line, but saw the secondary fall apart due to depth issues down the stretch.

The snap count distributions for the Browns' defenders against the Cowboys are listed below. This one took awhile to put together, because there were quite a few new players on defense compared to usual. [Week 11 offensive snap counts for Cleveland can be found here]

Defensive Tackle
Ahtyba Rubin
Billy Winn Phil Taylor
John Hughes Ishmaa'ily Kitchen
74/90 plays
49/90 plays
39/90 plays
20/90 plays
2/90 plays

Ahtyba Rubin: 5 tackles, 1 assist (6 combined). 1 sack, 1 tackle for loss, 1 quarterback hit.
John Hughes: 1 tackle (1 combined). 1 sack, 1 tackle for loss, 1 quarterback hit.
Phil Taylor: 2 tackles (2 combined). 1 quarterback hit.
Billy Winn: 1 tackle (1 combined).

Thoughts: It's safe to say that Ahtyba Rubin's calf injury is behind him, otherwise he would not have played so many snaps. I was a little surprised to see Billy Winn come away with more snaps than Phil Taylor, but maybe they are still trying to be a bit cautious with the second-year defensive tackle. All of the defensive tackles seemed active during the game and were getting some hits on Tony Romo.

Defensive End
Jabaal Sheard
Frostee Rucker Juqua Parker
80/90 plays
50/90 plays
46/90 plays

Jabaal Sheard: 2 tackles (2 combined). 1 sack, 1 tackle for loss, 1 quarterback hit.
Frostee Rucker: 3 tackles (3 combined). 1 sack, 1 quarterback hit, 1 forced fumble.
Juqua Parker: 2 tackles (2 combined). 1 sack, 2 tackles for loss, 2 quarterback hits.

Thoughts: The Browns opted to go thinner at the defensive end position again, although I can't confirm whether Billy Winn saw any action at defensive end or not. Jabaal Sheard seemed to have a better game than usual, but again, the Cowboys were really hurting up front. Frostee Rucker and Juqua Parker also came through; everyone joined the sack parade, and Rucker forced what could have been a key fumble in the fourth quarter.

D'Qwell Jackson Craig Robertson Kaluka Maiava James-Michael Johnson L.J. Fort
90/90 plays
53/90 plays
25/90 plays
24/90 plays
1/90 plays
Tank Carder

1/90 plays

Craig Robertson: 4 tackles, 1 assist (5 combined). 1 sack, 1 tackle for loss, 1 quarterback hit, 1 fumble recovery.
D'Qwell Jackson:
5 tackles, 1 assist (6 combined).
James-Michael Johnson: 3 tackles, 1 assist (4 combined).
Kaluka Maiava: 1 tackle, 2 assists (3 combined). 0.5 sacks, 1 quarterback hit.

Thoughts: Special teamer Tank Carder saw his first snap on defense of the season, and rookie L.J. Fort got a rare defensive snap as well. Craig Robertson made a couple of nice plays as the Browns were in the nickel package again this week instead of the base 4-3 defense more times than not.

Sheldon Brown Buster Skrine Trevin Wade Johnson Bademosi
89/90 plays
69/90 plays
65/90 plays
20/90 plays

Sheldon Brown: 9 tackles (9 combined). 1 pass defended.
Buster Skrine: 6 tackles, 2 assists (8 combined). 1 pass defended.
Trevin Wade: 3 tackles, 1 assist (4 combined). 1 pass defended.
Johnson Bademosi: 3 tackles (3 combined). 1 pass defended.

Thoughts: Obviously, whether it was the officials' fault or not, there were too many flags in the secondary. That's the breaks when you are without two of your top cornerbacks, Joe Haden and Dimitri Patterson. I don't want to overhype Johnson Bademosi, but I appreciated his pass breakup on Dez Bryant in overtime, and he wasn't flagged when the Cowboys threw deep at him. It was Bademosi's first defensive snaps of the season. Trevin Wade also saw a ton of snaps, but I don't even recall hearing his name called.

T.J. Ward Tashaun Gipson
Usama Young Eric Hagg
90/90 plays
62/90 plays
27/90 plays
13/90 plays

Eric Hagg: 3 tackles (3 combined).
Usama Young: 2 tackles, 1 assist (3 combined). 0.5 sacks, 1 quarterback hit.
T.J. Ward:
1 tackle, 1 assist (2 combined).
Tashaun Gipson: 1 tackle, 1 assist (2 combined).

Thoughts: Here is the oddity of the week: even though Usama Young started, it was Tashaun Gipson who saw the majority of the snaps in the starting lineup. Even Eric Hagg got quite a few snaps. I didn't think the safeties were attacked as much as the cornerbacks, so it's hard to critique their play at this time.

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
-Week 6: Cincinnati vs. Cleveland
-Week 7: Cleveland vs. Indianapolis
-Week 8: San Diego vs. Cleveland
-Week 9: Baltimore vs. Cleveland