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

Larry French - Getty Images

Week 4's loss to the Baltimore Ravens marked another game in which the Cleveland Browns' defense was on the field for more snaps than the offense. Overall, the Browns' defense seemed to fare better than they had a week earlier against the Bills. They even got some nice pressure against the Ravens. Just look at this nice hit two of our guys had on Joe Flacco:

The snap count distributions for the Browns' defenders against the Ravens are listed below. [Week 4 offensive snap counts for Cleveland can be found here]

Defensive Tackle
Ahtyba Rubin
Billy Winn John Hughes
Ishmaa'ily Kitchen
64/82 plays
51/82 plays
33/82 plays
17/82 plays

Ahtyba Rubin: 6 tackles (6 combined). 1 sack, 1 tackle for loss, 1 quarterback hit.
Billy Winn: 5 tackles (5 combined). 2 tackles for loss, 1 quarterback hit.
John Hughes: 2 tackles (2 combined).
Ishmaa'ily Kitchen: No stats registered.

Thoughts: The Browns were able to work John Hughes into the lineup a bit more than they did against the Bills last week, which gave Ahtyba Rubin and Billy Winn a few more breathers. After not generating any pressure or penetration against Buffalo, the defensive tackles combined for 1 sack, 2 quarterback hits, and 3 tackles for losses.

Defensive End
Jabaal Sheard
Frostee Rucker Juqua Parker
Emmanuel Stephens
61/82 plays
38/82 plays
36/82 plays
29/82 plays

Jabaal Sheard: 4 tackles, 2 assists (6 combined). 1 sack, 2 tackles for loss, 1 quarterback hit.
Frostee Rucker:
1 tackle, 2 assists (3 combined).
Juqua Parker: 1 tackle (1 combined). 1 quarterback hit.
Emmanuel Stephens: 1 assist (1 combined).

Thoughts: The coaching staff decided to give Emmanuel Stephens significantly more reps against the Ravens than he had been having. After seeing 17%, 26%, and 12% of the snaps over the first three games, Stephens' percentage of reps increased to 35%. There weren't any injuries, and my assumption is that Jabaal Sheard's load was lessened. Maybe it helped, because Sheard had his best game of the season. Frostee Rucker and Juqua Parker continued splitting reps. I've yet to really check if Rucker plays at defensive tackle like the defensive coaches indicated he would prior to the season starting; it'd be interesting to see his reps at that position.

D'Qwell Jackson
Craig Robertson Kaluka Maiava
Scott Fujita
L.J. Fort
82/82 plays
44/82 plays
40/82 plays
40/82 plays
2/82 plays

D'Qwell Jackson: 5 tackles, 6 assists (11 combined).
Scott Fujita: 4 tackles, 2 assists (6 tackles). 1 sack, 1 quarterback hit.
Craig Robertson: 2 tackles, 1 assist (3 combined). 1 interception, 1 pass defended.
Kaluka Maiava: 1 tackle, 1 assist (2 combined).
L.J. Fort: 1 assist (1 combined).

Thoughts: The number of reps Craig Robertson is getting emphasizes how often the Browns go to their nickel package. Based on the identical reps for Kaluka Maiava and Scott Fujita, I would assume that the Browns used both of them at outside linebacker any time they ran their normal 4-3 alignment. It'll be interesting to see if they changes with James-Michael Johnson's return looming. L.J. Fort only saw two snaps, but had an assisted tackle. Fort's assist came on the Ravens' first third-quarter drive on the play before Joe Flacco's 1-yard touchdown run.

Sheldon Brown Dimitri Patterson Buster Skrine
Trevin Wade
79/82 plays
78/82 plays
45/82 plays
1/82 plays

Dimitri Patterson: 11 tackles, 0 assists (11 combined). 2 passes defended.
Sheldon Brown:
3 tackles, 1 assist (4 combined).
Buster Skrine:
2 tackles (2 combined). 2 passes defended.
Trevin Wade: No stats registered.

Thoughts: What happened to those rumors that Sheldon Brown was going to lose his starting job? The Ravens don't use as many receiver-heavy sets as the Bills did, which is why Buster Skrine wasn't in the lineup as much. Dimitri Patterson played some tight coverage on Anquan Boldin, but the veteran receiver came away on the winning side of things more times than not. For the second week in a row, Trevin Wade was listed under the "did not play" section, but also listed as having one defensive snap. Go figure.

T.J. Ward Usama Young
Tashaun Gipson Ray Ventrone
82/82 plays
59/82 plays
17/82 plays
4/82 plays

T.J. Ward: 3 tackles (3 combined).
Usama Young: 3 tackles, 1 assist (4 combined). 1 sack, 1 tackle for loss, 1 quarterback hit.
Tashaun Gipson: 1 tackle, 1 assist (2 combined).
Ray Ventrone: No stats registered.

Thoughts: For Eric Hagg to be inactive the second week in a row, the coaching staff must have really felt he would be a long-term liability given his play against the Bengals back in Week 2. Usama Young started again and generated some pressure on a couple of plays. Ray Ventrone also saw a couple of defensive snaps. The Browns' safeties were all banged up after the Ravens game, though, so we may end up seeing Hagg again against the Giants.

History of Snap Counts on Defense:

-Week 1: Philadelphia vs. Cleveland
-Week 2: Cleveland vs. Cincinnati
-Week 3: Buffalo vs. Cleveland