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

Matt Sullivan

The Browns' defense was on the field for 66 plays this past Sunday against the Ravens. They started off the game rough, giving up a touchdown on the Ravens' two opening possessions. They had a great stretch of forcing three-and-outs the rest of the game, but then failed to hold Baltimore in the fourth quarter again.

The snap count distributions for the Browns' defenders against the Ravens are listed below. [Week 9 offensive snap counts for Cleveland can be found here]

Defensive Tackle
Billy Winn John Hughes
Phil Taylor
Ishmaa'ily Kitchen
44/66 plays
34/66 plays
33/66 plays
21/66 plays

John Hughes: 1 tackle, 1 assist (2 combined).
Billy Winn: 1 tackle (1 combined).
Phil Taylor: 1 tackle (1 combined).
Ishmaa'ily Kitchen: 3 assists (3 combined).

Thoughts: It was good to see Phil Taylor back in the mix, and he probably played a little bit more than people expected (I had my projection for him closer to 40 percent, and I thought that was high).

Defensive End
Jabaal Sheard
Frostee Rucker Juqua Parker
57/66 plays
45/66 plays
30/66 plays

Jabaal Sheard: 3 tackles, 5 assists (8 combined). 0.5 sack, 1 quarterback hit.
Frostee Rucker: 4 tackles, 2 assists (6 combined).
Juqua Parker:
2 assists (2 combined). 0.5 sack, 1 quarterback hit.

Thoughts: The Browns decided to go a bit thin at the defensive end position, playing only three guys. That led to a season high in percentage of reps for Frostee Rucker. The team did have Ronnie Cameron active, but they chose not to play him. Jabaal Sheard and Juqua Parker combined for Cleveland's only sack of the game.

D'Qwell Jackson James-Michael Johnson Kaluka Maiava
Craig Robertson
66/66 plays
43/66 plays
43/66 plays
21/66 plays

D'Qwell Jackson: 3 tackles, 6 assists (9 combined).
James-Michael Johnson: 4 tackles, 2 assists (6 combined).
Kaluka Maiava: 3 tackles, 2 assists (5 combined). 2 passes defended.
Craig Robertson: 2 assists (2 combined).

Thoughts: For the second week in a row, the Browns were able to operate out of their 4-3 defense instead of their nickel package, which meant less playing time for Craig Robertson. What is interesting is that in Week 4 when these two teams met, Robertson saw 54 percent of the snaps.

Joe Haden Sheldon Brown Buster Skrine Trevin Wade
66/66 plays
56/66 plays
23/66 plays
1/66 plays

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

Thoughts: You can see Buster Skrine's reduced workload again with the Browns not operating out of the nickel package too frequently. Sheldon Brown wasn't at 100 percent of the reps, which is different than usual for the veteran corner.

T.J. Ward Usama Young
Eric Hagg
66/66 plays
66/66 plays
11/66 plays

T.J. Ward: 3 tackles, 4 assists (7 combined).
Usama Young:
2 tackles, 2 assists (4 combined). 1 pass defended.

Thoughts: I was surprised to see Eric Hagg active ahead of Tashaun Gipson; not only that, but Hagg actually saw a decent amount of reps compared to usual. I wonder if Hagg has started to redeem himself to the coaching staff a bit. Usama Young has been coming close to intercepting a few long passes, but is having them bounce out of his hands.

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