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

Looking at the defensive snap counts in the Browns' 27-11 loss to the Steelers.

Ron Schwane-USA TODAY Sports

The Browns' defense did not have a good day against the Pittsburgh Steelers, as they didn't even get to Ben Roethlisberger once in a 27-11 loss. 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 Line
Desmond Bryant Ahtyba Rubin Phil Taylor John Hughes Billy Winn Ishmaa'ily Kitchen
44/69 plays
39/69 plays
25/69 plays
21/69 plays
17/69 plays
12/69 plays

Phil Taylor: No stats registered.
Ahtyba Rubin:
1 tackle, 5 assists (6 combined). 1 quarterback hit.
Desmond Bryant: 3 tackles, 1 assist (4 combined).
John Hughes: No stats registered.
Ishmaa'ily Kitchen: 1 tackle, 2 assists (3 combined).
Billy Winn:
2 tackles (2 combined). 1 tackle for loss.

Thoughts: The disappearing act for Desmond Bryant continues. I don't blame our run defense too much for allowing the Steelers to move the chains on that one drive in the second half; by then, I think they were just so demoralized by how the game had unfolded. On the day, the Browns' defense still held Pittsburgh to 2.5 yards per carry and under 100 yards rushing as a team.

Inside Linebacker
D'Qwell Jackson Darius Eubanks
Tank Carder
69/69 plays
30/69 plays
29/69 plays

D'Qwell Jackson: 3 tackles, 6 assists (9 combined). 1 pass defended.
Tank Carder: 4 tackles (4 combined).
Darius Eubanks: 1 tackle, 2 assists (3 combined).

Thoughts: I was somewhat interested in how Tank Carder would play, and then of course, he got injured. None of the linebackers stepped up in general with a big play, both on the inside and the outside.

Outside Linebacker
Jabaal Sheard Paul Kruger
Barkevious Mingo
Eric Martin Paul Hazel
51/69 plays
50/69 plays
34/69 plays
7/69 plays
3/69 plays

Paul Kruger: 2 tackles, 3 assists (5 combined).
Barkevious Mingo:
1 quarterback hit.
Jabaal Sheard: 1 tackle (1 combined).
Paul Hazel: No stats registered.
Eric Martin: 1 tackle (1 combined).

Thoughts: Just like the Lions and the Packers, the Steelers came in with a wise gameplan to neutralize our pass rush with quick passes from Ben Roethlisberger. When we did get pressure, it was because of our scheme, not because of superior individual talent. That is a disappointment, because it's a far cry from what guys like Jabaal Sheard, Paul Kruger, and Barkevious Mingo were doing at the beginning of the year.

Joe Haden Chris Owens Buster Skrine
Leon McFadden
69/69 plays
56/69 plays
55/69 plays
10/69 plays

Joe Haden: 3 tackles (3 combined). 3 passes defended.
Buster Skrine: 3 tackles, 1 assist (4 combined). 1 pass defended.
Chris Owens: 4 tackles, 3 assists (7 combined).
Leon McFadden: No stats registered.

Thoughts: I'm not going to put up a big argument against those who want to say that Antonio Brown "beat" Joe Haden, but I do believe that Haden saw another Steeler coming wide open underneath him and thought about jumping that route, predicting that Roethlisberger would go to him vs. the still-covered Brown. When Haden tried that, Roethlisberger caught him, and Haden just barely missed being able to knock away the pass. The cornerback snap counts were much different this week after Haden. Chris Owens played so much because the Browns were in nickel defense.

T.J. Ward
Tashaun Gipson Jordan Poyer
69/69 plays
66/69 plays
3/69 plays

T.J. Ward: 5 tackles, 4 assists (9 combined). 2 tackles for loss.
Tashaun Gipson: 2 tackles, 5 assist (7 combined).
Jordan Poyer: No stats registered.

Thoughts: It seemed like it was another good performance from T.J. Ward, who was clearly frustrated after the game. While I understand his frustrations, I wish he would be able to channel that emotion toward his teammate during the game. The Browns needed someone to charge them up against the Steelers, but nobody took command of that role. Jordan Poyer saw his first defensive snaps of the season.