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Browns vs. Packers: Analyzing the Snap Counts (Defense)

Looking at the deensive snap counts in the Browns' 31-13 loss to the Packers.

Mike McGinnis

The Browns' defense had a good third quarter, but gave up 14 points in the first quarter as the difficulties on third down defense were apparent early and often. The snap count distributions for the Browns' defenders against the Packers are listed below. [Week 7 offensive snap counts for Cleveland can be found here]

Defensive Line
Desmond Bryant Ahtyba Rubin Phil Taylor John Hughes Ishmaa'ily Kitchen Armonty Bryant
40/71 plays
40/71 plays
34/71 plays
27/71 plays
16/71 plays
8/71 plays

John Hughes: 2 tackles, 2 assists (4 combined).
Ahtyba Rubin:
2 tackles (2 combined).
Desmond Bryant:
1 tackle 13 combined).
Phil Taylor: 1 tackle, 2 assists (3 combined). 1 quarterback hit.
Ishmaa'ily Kitchen: 3 tackles (3 combined).
Armonty Bryant: 1 tackle (1 combined).

Thoughts: If we're looking for some positives here, the defense held the Packers' running game to 3.6 yards per carry, down from their season average of 5.1 yards per carry heading into the game. I still feel that Phil Taylor should be getting more reps, but the past two teams we've faced have done a good job neutralizing the pass rush by getting the ball out quickly.

Inside Linebacker
D'Qwell Jackson Craig Robertson
71/71 plays
71/71 plays

D'Qwell Jackson: 2 tackles, 2 assists (4 combined).
Craig Robertson: 5 tackles (5 combined).

Thoughts: I think defenses have found their new trend to frustrate the Browns: attack their inside linebackers in the passing game. Craig Robertson has now turned in two straight below average games, particularly in coverage. Unfortunately, it comes at a position where the Browns are very thin in terms of proven depth (there is no depth, literally).

Outside Linebacker
Paul Kruger
Jabaal Sheard
Barkevious Mingo
Quentin Groves
50/71 plays
48/71 plays
42/71 plays
2/71 plays

Paul Kruger: 1 tackle, 2 assists (3 combined). 0.5 sacks, 1 quarterback hit.
Barkevious Mingo:
2 tackles (2 combined). 1 quarterback hit.
Jabaal Sheard: 1 quarterback hit.
Quentin Groves: No stats registered.

Thoughts: I'll need to re-watch the film, but the return of Jabaal Sheard didn't have the type of impact on the defense that I was hoping for. Quentin Groves left early in the game with an ankle injury. Paul Kruger finally nothced half of a sack, but also had a 15 yard penalty enforced against him. Barkevious Mingo was held without a sack again.

Joe Haden Buster Skrine Chris Owens
70/71 plays
70/71 plays
50/71 plays

Joe Haden: 3 tackles (3 combined).
Buster Skrine: 2 tackles, 1 assist (3 combined).
Chris Owens: 4 tackles, 1 assist (5 combined). 0.5 sacks, 1 quarterback hit.

Thoughts: In the offensive snap counts, I suggested benching Willis McGahee for Fozzy Whittaker. What's the worst that could happen? If I'm Ray Horton, a change on defense can't really hurt either: I would see what cornerback Leon McFadden has to offer. McFadden struggled during the preseason, but Owens has seemed to be playing it too safe in coverage, and it's be a good time to evaluate if your third-round pick can contribute the rest of the way or not.

T.J. Ward
Tashaun Gipson Johnson Bademosi
71/71 plays
70/71 plays
1/71 plays

T.J. Ward: 9 tackles, 2 assists (11 combined). 1 tackle for loss.
Tashaun Gipson: 7 tackles, 2 assists (9 combined). 1 pass defended.
Johnson Bademosi: No stats registered.

Thoughts: This seemed like a nice rebound performance by the safeties. T.J. Ward led the team in tackles, and Tashaun Gipson delivered a good hit on JerMichael Finley that was deemed to be a personal foul penalty. The Browns seem to be using Ward more on run blitzes lately.