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

Looking at the offensive snap counts in the Browns' 23-13 victory over the Raiders.

Ron Schwane-USA TODAY Sports

The Browns' defense is really starting to come around. They are starting to force more turnovers and are holding the opposition to single-digit scoring for most of the game (facing two rookie quarterbacks hasn't hurt, of course). The snap count distributions for the Browns' defenders against the Raiders are listed below. [Week 8 offensive snap counts for Cleveland can be found here]

Defensive Line
Desmond Bryant John Hughes
Ahtyba Rubin
Ishmaa'ily Kitchen Sione Fua
62/82 plays
39/82 plays
25/82 plays
22/82 plays
18/82 plays

Desmond Bryant: 2 tackles, 1 assist (3 combined). 1 tackle for loss.
John Hughes: 3 tackles, 1 assist (4 combined).
Ahtyba Rubin: 1 tackle (1 combined). 1 pass defended.
Ish'maaily Kitchen: 1 tackle, 3 assists (4 combined).
Sione Fua: No stats registered.

Thoughts: Even though the Browns had Ahtyba Rubin back, they were cautious with him and had him split the nose tackle reps with Ishmaa'ily Kitchen. John Hughes suffered a knee injury at the end of the game, which continues to hurt the team's defensive line depth. The run defense was good, holding Oakland to just 71 yards on 22 carries (3.2 YPC).

Inside Linebacker
Karlos Dansby
Craig Robertson Chris Kirksey
82/82 plays
33/82 plays
24/82 plays

Karlos Dansby: 2 tackles, 6 assists (8 combined).
Craig Robertson: 2 tackles, 1 assist (3 combined). 1 pass defended.
Chris Kirksey: 3 tackles, 1 assist (4 combined).

Thoughts: The more I watch Karlos Dansby play, the more I appreciate just how stable of a force he is. Craig Robertson got more reps than Chris Kirksey this week by virtue of how Oakland was lining up, but both of the young inside linebackers made some nice plays.

Outside Linebacker
Jabaal Sheard Paul Kruger Barkevious Mingo Eric Martin
65/82 plays
63/82 plays
51/82 plays
10/82 plays

Jabaal Sheard: 2 tackles, 2 assists (4 combined).
Paul Kruger:
4 tackles, 1 assist (5 combined). 3 sacks, 3 tackles for loss, 2 quarterback hits, 1 pass defended, 1 forced fumble.
Barkevious Mingo: 1 tackle, 1 assist (2 combined). 1 quarterback hit, 1 fumble recovery.
Eric Martin: No stats registered.

Thoughts: The story of the day was Paul Kruger, who after a quiet couple of weeks, notched three sacks against Derek Carr after he had only been sacked four times all season. Barkevious Mingo fell on top of a fumble late and saw an uptick in reps this week. Eric Martin doesn't get credit for any defensive stats, but he had a critical fumble recovery on Travis Benjamin's punt return miscue.

Joe Haden Buster Skrine Justin Gilbert
K'Waun Williams
82/82 plays
80/82 plays
42/82 plays
7/82 plays

Joe Haden: 8 tackles, 1 assist (9 combined). 1 tackle for loss, 2 passes defended, 1 fumble recovery.
Buster Skrine: 5 tackles, 1 assist (6 combined). 1 pass defended.
Justin Gilbert: 3 tackles (3 combined). 2 passes defended.
K'Waun Williams: No stats registered.

Thoughts: Another week, and more passes defended by the Browns' cornerbacks: five this week between Joe Haden, Buster Skrine, and Justin Gilbert. It's good to see Haden getting a bit of his swagger back. K'Waun Williams left the game with an injury, which might have been why Gilbert saw as many reps as he did for the second week in a row.

Tashaun Gipson Donte Whitner Jim Leonhard
82/82 plays
82/82 plays
33/82 plays

Tashaun Gipson: 2 tackles (2 combined). 1 tackle for loss, 1 interception, 1 pass defended.
Donte Whitner: 6 tackles, 2 assists (8 combined). 1 forced fumble.
Jim Leonhard: 1 assist (1 combined).

Thoughts: The biggest surprise on the snap count chart was to see that Jim Leonhard played 40% of the snaps this week in nickel/dime packages. Tashaun Gipson made two great plays again this week, but the big story was the play of Donte Whitner. I've been waiting to see him have a big impact in a game, and we finally saw it this week: he stopped a Raiders' run on 3rd-and-short to force a punt, and also had perhaps the game-saving pop on RB Darren McFadden that led to a fumble at the end of the third quarter.