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

Matt Sullivan

My goodness. I don't think I'll ever be able to sift through a stat sheet like this again; it could very well be once in a lifetime that your defense creates eight turnovers. The snap count distributions for the Browns' defenders against the Steelers are listed below. [Week 12 offensive snap counts for Cleveland can be found here]

Defensive Tackle
Ahtyba Rubin
Billy Winn Phil Taylor
John Hughes Ishmaa'ily Kitchen
52/63 plays
30/63 plays
27/63 plays
13/63 plays
2/63 plays

Ahtyba Rubin: 2 tackles (2 combined). 1 forced fumble.
Phil Taylor: 1 tackle (1 combined). 1 sack, 1 tackle for loss, 1 quarterback hit, 1 fumble recovery.
Billy Winn: 2 tackles (2 combined). 1 tackle for loss, 1 interception, 1 pass defended.
John Hughes: 1 tackle (1 combined).
Ishmaa'ily Kitchen: No stats registered.

Thoughts: The defensive line was awesome at plugging up the holes against Pittsburgh, as Dick Jauron went with a near-identical distribution at defensive tackle as he did against the Cowboys. Pittsburgh was held to just 47 yards rushing, with the top three linemen forcing or registering a turnover in some capacity. Props to Billy Winn for always hustling toward the ball; it paid off on his interception. A lot of credit goes to Ahtyba Rubin, too, who forced the first fumble of the game. It's something I complimented Rubin on a few years ago in the preseason.

Defensive End
Jabaal Sheard
Frostee Rucker Juqua Parker
61/63 plays
31/63 plays
34/63 plays

Jabaal Sheard: 2 tackles (2 combined).
Frostee Rucker: 2 tackles, 1 assist (3 combined).
Juqua Parker: 1 tackle (1 combined).1 forced fumble.

Thoughts: The defensive ends may not have been flashy on the stat sheet, but I'm certainly not going to complain. The Steelers didn't attempt a lot of long-lasting pass plays for our guys to rip off sacks, and obviously they didn't allow any big edge runs.

D'Qwell Jackson Kaluka Maiava James-Michael Johnson Craig Robertson L.J. Fort
63/63 plays
31/63 plays
30/63 plays
23/63 plays
1/63 plays
Tank Carder

1/63 plays

D'Qwell Jackson: 3 tackles, 6 assists (9 combined). 1 pass defended, 1 forced fumble, 1 fumble recovery.
Craig Robertson:
2 tackles (2 combined). 1 tackle for loss, 1 fumble recovery.
James-Michael Johnson: 3 tackles, 1 assist (4 combined). 1 tackle for loss.
Kaluka Maiava: 2 tackles, 2 assists (4 combined). 1 forced fumble.
L.J. Fort: No stats registered.
Tank Carder: No stats registered.

Thoughts: The Browns opted to give L.J. Fort and Tank Carder a snap on defense for the second straight week. All of the tackling was found, and up and down the stat sheet you see forced fumbles or recoveries once again. The Browns operated with Kaluka Maiava and James-Michael Johnson in the game together more often than they did the nickel package, based on the rep count.

Joe Haden Sheldon Brown Buster Skrine Trevin Wade
62/63 plays
62/63 plays
32/63 plays
4/63 plays

Joe Haden: 2 tackles, 1 assist (3 combined). 1 interception, 2 passes defended, 1 forced fumble.
Sheldon Brown: 2 tackles, 2 assists (4 combined). 1 tackle for loss, 1 interception, 1 pass defended.
Buster Skrine: 1 tackle, 2 assists (3 combined). 1 fumble recovery.
Trevin Wade: No stats registered.

Thoughts: The snap count rate for Buster Skrine doesn't match Craig Robertson's snap count this week, so I'm a little curious what happened. Maybe the Browns ran some dime packages with only one linebacker in the game (DQ). Joe Haden and Sheldon Brown each missed one play, which I wonder if that was the goal line play that Pittsburgh scored on. Each of the top three cornerbacks had a turnover, which is something you'd hope for against a team starting Charlie Batch under center. Brown had the lone blemish of the unit with a pass interference penalty.

T.J. Ward Tashaun Gipson
Usama Young Eric Hagg
61/63 plays
46/63 plays
18/63 plays
9/63 plays

T.J. Ward: 3 tackles, 1 assist (4 combined). 1 pass defended, 2 forced fumbles.
Usama Young: 1 assist (1 combined). 1 pass defended, 1 fumble recovery.
Tashaun Gipson: 2 tackles (2 combined).
Eric Hagg: 1 tackle (1 combined).

Thoughts: I guess we can officially call Tashaun Gipson the new starting safety, because that's what he was listed as on the stat sheet. T.J. Ward brought his physical A-game (minus the penalties) against Pittsburgh by forcing two fumbles.

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
-Week 10: Cleveland vs. Dallas