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

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Looking at the defensive snap counts in the Browns' 31-27 victory over the Vikings.

Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sport

The Browns' defense gave up two lengthy drives in the first half, and were victimized by offensive turnovers in the second half. Still, they came through with enough pressure and turnovers to help notch a 31-27 win over the Vikings. The snap count distributions for the Browns' defenders against the Vikings are listed below. [Week 3 offensive snap counts for Cleveland can be found here]

Defensive Line
Desmond Bryant Phil Taylor
Ahtyba Rubin John Hughes Billy Winn Ishmaa'ily Kitchen
62/79 plays
47/79 plays
38/79 plays
30/79 plays
15/79 plays
14/79 plays

Desmond Bryant: 2 tackles, 1 assist (3 combined). 1 sack, 1 tackle for loss, 1 quarterback hit.
John Hughes: 2 tackles, 1 assist (3 combined). 1 sack, 1 tackle for loss, 1 quarterback hit.
Phil Taylor: 1 tackle, 1 assist (2 combined). 1 sack, 1 tackle for loss, 2 quarterback hits.
Billy Winn: 1 tackle, 1 assist (2 combined). 1 sack, 1 tackle for loss, 1 quarterback hit.
Ahtyba Rubin: 1 tackle, 1 assist (2 combined).
Ishmaa'ily Kitchen: 1 assist (1 combined).

Thoughts: Look at all of those hits on the quarterback! What isn't seen in those stats is that the Browns held Adrian Peterson to 85 yards rushing (3.5 YPC). This was the first game that all six defensive linemen were available for a full rotation, as Ahtyba Rubin made his debut. Billy Winn left late with an injury.

Inside Linebacker
D'Qwell Jackson Craig Robertson
78/79 plays
79/79 plays

D'Qwell Jackson: 7 tackles, 3 assists (10 combined). 1 forced fumble.
Craig Robertson: 2 tackles, 2 assists (4 combined). 1 fumble recovery.

Thoughts: This is the second straight week that D'Qwell Jackson forced a fumble and Craig Robertson scooped one up. The two played a handy role in making sure Peterson didn't break free either. We may have to go back and watch what happened on those quarterback runs, though. Robertson also tipped a pass that led to an interception.

Outside Linebacker
Paul Kruger
Barkevious Mingo
Jabaal Sheard
71/79 plays
54/79 plays
34/79 plays

Jabaal Sheard: 2 tackles, 1 assist (3 combined). 1 sack, 1 forced fumble, 1 fumble recovery.
Paul Kruger:
1 tackle, 3 assists (4 combined). 2 quarterback hits.
Barkevious Mingo: 2 tackles, 2 assists (4 combined). 1 sack, 1 tackle for loss, 1 quarterback hit.

Thoughts: I thought Jabaal Sheard was having a monster game before suffering an injury in the third quarter. How big was his sack+strip on Ponder to close out the first half? Barkevious Mingo saw action the rest of the way with Sheard out and made some plays. Paul Kruger was a consistent force once again. I'm a bit surprised Paul Hazel didn't get any rotational reps with Quentin Groves out, but he may next week if Sheard can't go.

Joe Haden Buster Skrine Chris Owens
78/79 plays
78/79 plays
35/79 plays

Joe Haden: 6 tackles, 2 assists (8 combined). 1 pass defended.
Buster Skrine: 4 tackles (4 combined). 2 passes defended.
Chris Owens: 2 tackles (2 combined).

Thoughts: For the third straight week, teams just aren't touching Joe Haden. Buster Skrine made up ground to break up what looked like two sure touchdown passes.

T.J. Ward
Tashaun Gipson Greg Little
78/79 plays
77/79 plays
1/79 plays

T.J. Ward: 6 tackles, 2 assists (8 combined). 1 interception, 1 pass defended.
Tashaun Gipson: 3 tackles, 1 assist (4 combined).

Thoughts: I liked seeing T.J. Ward come up to deliver a couple of good licks to prevent players from getting a first down. He also got the team's only interception of the day after a tipped pass. WR Greg Little supposedly played one defensive snap, and I'm guessing that came on one of the Vikings' final two Hail Mary plays.