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

CHirs Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

The Browns' defense didn't have a good day against the Broncos. Peyton Manning was very effective on third-down conversions to prolong drives. Cleveland's defense was thin to begin with, and I'm sure the altitude in Denver didn't help either. The snap count distributions for the Browns' defenders against the Broncos are listed below. [Week 16 offensive snap counts for Cleveland can be found here]

Defensive Tackle
Ahtyba Rubin
Billy Winn John Hughes Phil Taylor
48/82 plays
42/82 plays
42/82 plays
41/82 plays

Ahtyba Rubin: 2 tackles, 1 assist (3 combined). 1 tackle for loss.
John Hughes: 1 tackle, 1 assist (2 combined). 1 pass defended.
Billy Winn: 1 tackle (1 combined). 1 quarterback hit.
Phil Taylor:
1 tackle (1 combined).

Thoughts: The Browns didn't activate Ishmaa'ily Kitchen for the game, but they ended up rotating their defensive tackles in so that each of them saw about the same amount of reps. In particular, Ahtyba Rubin saw much less reps (percentage-wise) than usual.

Defensive End
Jabaal Sheard
Frostee Rucker Juqua Parker
Hall Davis
64/82 plays
47/82 plays
27/82 plays
18/82 plays

Jabaal Sheard: 5 tackles, 2 assists (7 combined).
Frostee Rucker: 2 tackles, 2 assists (4 combined).
Juqua Parker: 1 tackle (1 combined).
Hall Davis: 1 tackle for loss.

Thoughts: Despite the fact that Frostee Rucker came into the game nursing an injury, he ended up playing a higher percentage of snaps than usual. The Browns decided to give the newly-promoted Hall Davis a fair amount of playing time to lessen the load for Jabaal Sheard.

D'Qwell Jackson Craig Robertson Kaluka Maiava Tank Carder L.J. Fort
82/82 plays
72/82 plays
10/82 plays
10/82 plays
2/82 plays

Craig Robertson: 12 tackles, 2 assists (14 combined). 1 tackle for loss.
D'Qwell Jackson:
5 tackles, 3 assists (8 combined). 1 tackle for loss.
Kaluka Maiava: No stats registered.
Tank Carder: No stats registered.
L.J. Fort: No stats registered.

Thoughts: The Browns operated from the nickel package most of the game. The few times they did run their base 4-3 defense, Tank Carder was the starter in place of James-Michael Johnson. I'm assuming L.J. Fort saw two reps in a goal line package. Craig Robertson loaded up on the tackles against Denver.

Joe Haden Buster Skrine Trevin Wade
Sheldon Brown Johnson Bademosi
81/82 plays
80/82 plays
39/82 plays
34/82 plays
1/82 plays

Buster Skrine: 8 tackles, 1 assist (9 combined).
Joe Haden: 3 tackles, 1 assist (4 combined).
Sheldon Brown:
1 tackle (1 combined).
Trevin Wade: 2 tackles (2 combined).
Johnson Bademosi: No stats registered.

Thoughts: The secondary was quite thin without Sheldon Brown for more than half the game and Dimitri Patterson being waived last week. Buster Skrine is not an outside corner. When Brown was still playing, Peyton Manning targeted him with success despite good coverage. Joe Haden was rarely targeted, which was a wise move by Manning.

Usama Young Eric Hagg
81/82 plays
80/82 plays

Usama Young: 3 tackles, 2 assists (5 combined). 1 interception, 1 pass defended.
Eric Hagg: 1 tackle (1 combined).

Thoughts: Besides taking a play or two off, Usama Young and Eric Hagg played the whole game at the starting safety positions. Ray Ventrone didn't get any defensive reps. Young had a nice interception to close out the first half, which, to his credit, gave the offense a chance to make things interesting in the second half.

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 11: Cleveland vs. Dallas
-Week 12: Pittsburgh vs. Cleveland
-Week 13: Cleveland vs. Oakland
-Week 14: Kansas City vs. Cleveland
-Week 15: Washington vs. Cleveland