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

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Looking at the defensive snap counts in the Browns' 17-6 win over the Bengals.

Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

The Browns' defense didn't give up a touchdown to the Bengals, which is hard to do against them. The snap count distributions for the Browns' defenders against the Bengals are listed below. [Week 4 offensive snap counts for Cleveland can be found here]

Defensive Line
Desmond Bryant Ahtyba Rubin Phil Taylor John Hughes Ishmaa'ily Kitchen Armonty Bryant
57/68 plays
43/68 plays
33/68 plays
20/68 plays
8/68 plays
5/68 plays

Desmond Bryant: 4 assists (4 combined).
Ahtyba Rubin: 4 tackles (4 combined).
Phil Taylor: 2 tackles (2 combined).
John Hughes: No stats registered.
Ishmaa'ily Kitchen: No stats registered.

Thoughts: The Browns weren't able to generate a lot of pressure on Andy Dalton, but the defensive line continued holding the opposition in check on the ground. The Bengals ran the ball 20 times for 63 yards (3.2 YPC). Rookie DE Armonty Bryant saw some defensive reps for the first time this season with DE Billy Winn out. In his second week back, Ahtyba Rubin's reps increased compared to last week, when he only played 48% of the snaps.

Inside Linebacker
D'Qwell Jackson Craig Robertson
68/68 plays
68/68 plays

D'Qwell Jackson: 7 tackles, 3 assists (10 combined). 1 pass defended.
Craig Robertson: 5 tackles, 4 assists (9 combined). 1 quarterback hit.

Thoughts: For the third straight week, a tipped pass by one of these inside linebackers led to an interception. This time, it was D'Qwell Jackson tipping a pass late that deflected into the arms of Buster Skrine. Both of these guys continue to play solid all around, and we're learning more and more about Jackson's leadership role on the team.

Outside Linebacker
Paul Kruger
Barkevious Mingo
68/68 plays
68/68 plays

Barkevious Mingo: 3 tackles, 1 assist (4 combined). 1 sack, 2 tackles for loss, 1 quarterback hit.
Paul Kruger:
2 assists (2 combined). 1 pass defended.

Thoughts: Wow! I'm surprised that the outside linebackers played every snap of the game. Paul Kruger usually hovers around the 90% mark, but the other position is usually around 75% or so. With Jabaal Sheard and Quentin Groves down to injury, the Browns must not trust Paul Hazel enough in a backup role. Mingo was the best pass rusher on the day, and also helped make sure the Bengals paid for an errant snap by closing in full speed on the running back.

Joe Haden Buster Skrine Chris Owens
68/68 plays
68/68 plays
38/68 plays

Joe Haden: 4 tackles (4 combined). 2 passes defended.
Buster Skrine: 2 tackles (2 combined). 1 interception, 3 passes defended.
Chris Owens: 2 tackles (2 combined). 1 sack, 1 forced fumble, 1 fumble recovery.

Thoughts: The secondary had their best game of the season. Joe Haden finally got the better of A.J. Green for four quarters, and that included several tackles to deny Green of extra yardage. Even Buster Skrine was able to stick with Green at least once on a deep pattern. Skrine also came away with an interception late and several other nice plays. Chris Owens had a corner blitz on a third down that resulted in a sack, strip, and recovery in the same play for him.

T.J. Ward
Tashaun Gipson
68/68 plays
68/68 plays

T.J. Ward: 4 tackles, 1 assist (5 combined).
Tashaun Gipson: 3 tackles, 3 assists (6 combined). 3 passes defended.

Thoughts: This was a stellar game for Tashaun Gipson. He set the tone early on by almost intercepting a bomb to A.J. Green early, and in the fourth quarter, he delivered some nice hits, one of which jarred a would-be catch free from a Bengals tight end.