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

Looking at the defensive snap counts in the Browns' 31-10 victory over the Steelers.

Jason Miller

The Browns' defense allowed their fewest points of the season by far, holding Pittsburgh to just 10 points, 7 of which came on a garbage touchdown in the late moments of the game. The snap count distributions for the Browns' defenders against the Steelers are listed below. [Week 6 offensive snap counts for Cleveland can be found here]

Defensive Line
Desmond Bryant John Hughes
Ishmaa'ily Kitchen
Armonty Bryant
60/78 plays
60/78 plays
42/78 plays
6/78 plays

Desmond Bryant: 2 tackles, 1 assist (3 combined). 1 sack, 1 tackle for loss, 2 quarterback hits.
John Hughes: 1 assist (1 combined). 1 pass defended.
Ish'maaily Kitchen: 1 tackle, 5 assists (6 combined). 1 quarterback hit.
Armonty Bryant: 1 tackle, 1 assist (2 combined).

Thoughts: With Armonty Bryant being lost to a torn ACL early in the game and Phil Taylor, Billy Winn, and Ahtyba Rubin all inactive, the Browns were down to three defensive linemen most of the game. John Hughes and Ish'maaily Kitchen did a fine job, considering they've both seen hardly any action this season.

Inside Linebacker
Karlos Dansby
Chris Kirksey Craig Robertson
78/78 plays
64/78 plays
14/78 plays

Karlos Dansby: 5 tackles, 6 assists (11 combined). 1 sack, 2 tackles for loss, 1 quarterback hit.
Chris Kirksey: 2 tackles, 3 assists (5 combined). 1 pass defended.
Craig Robertson: 3 tackles (3 combined). 1 tackle for loss.

Thoughts: The veteran Karlos Dansby seemed to play some plays in coverage, and although I haven't reviewed the film yet, I didn't recognize the same glaring mistakes from Chris Kirksey this week.

Outside Linebacker
Jabaal Sheard Paul Kruger Barkevious Mingo Eric Martin
56/78 plays
53/78 plays
28/78 plays
19/78 plays

Jabaal Sheard: 1 tackle, 2 assists (3 combined). 1 quarterback hit.
Paul Kruger:
2 tackles (2 combined).
Barkevious Mingo: 1 tackle (1 combined).
Eric Martin: 2 assists (2 combined).

Thoughts: It looked like Paul Kruger was getting bit by runs to the outside runs at several junctures of the game, but he deserves a lot of credit for playing through his injury. In fact, he still saw more reps than Barkevious Mingo. Eric Martin did take in a couple of reps, though.

Joe Haden Buster Skrine K'Waun Williams Justin Gilbert
78/78 plays
77/78 plays
35/78 plays
29/78 plays

Joe Haden: 3 tackles, 1 assist (4 combined). 2 passes defended.
Buster Skrine: 3 tackles (3 combined). 1 interception, 4 passes defended.
K'Waun Williams: 1 tackle (1 combined). 2 passes defended.
Justin Gilbert: 3 tackles (3 combined).

Thoughts: The secondary did the job against Pittsburgh's receivers. How about this for a nice stat: 8 passes defended by the team's top three corners! Buster Skrine had a good day in particular, and the officials weren't as ticky tack as they usually are. K'Waun Williams left late with a concussion, leading to extra reps for Justin Gilbert.

Tashaun Gipson Donte Whitner Jim Leonhard
78/78 plays
75/78 plays
7/78 plays

Donte Whitner: 4 tackles, 4 assists (8 combined). 1 tackle for loss.
Tashaun Gipson: 4 tackles, 5 assists (9 combined). 1 tackle for loss.
Jim Leonhard: 1 assist (1 combined).

Thoughts: The safeties appeared to play their best games of the season. I remember a great individual effort by Tashaun Gipson on Le'Veon Bell in particular, and Donte Whitner played more like the guy I was hoping to see when he was signed.