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

Looking at the defensive snap counts in the Browns' 23-7 loss to the Texans.

Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Cleveland's defense was on the field a season high 86 snaps, lost DE Phil Taylor for the season this past week, and lost ILB Karlos Dansby and OLB Jabaal Sheard to injuries during the game. To say that things were rough for the defense would be an understatement, despite facing a first-time quarterback and a rookie running back. The snap count distributions for the Browns' defenders against the Texans are listed below. [Week 11 offensive snap counts for Cleveland can be found here]

Defensive Line
Desmond Bryant Billy Winn Ahtyba Rubin Sione Fua Ishmaa'ily Kitchen
59/86 plays
59/86 plays
39/86 plays
23/86 plays
23/86 plays

Desmond Bryant: 2 tackles, 6 assists (8 combined).
Billy Winn: 1 tackle, 2 assists (3 combined).
Ahtyba Rubin: 1 assist (1 combined).
Ish'maaily Kitchen: 1 tackle, 1 assist (2 combined).
Sione Fua: No stats registered.

Thoughts: This was an embarrassing game by the defensive line as Cleveland was consistently getting blown off the ball. Not having Phil Taylor or John Hughes to defend against the run really shows. It was so bad that I had to actually wonder if signing a free agent defensive lineman off the street could be an option for Cleveland.

Inside Linebacker
Chris Kirksey Craig Robertson Karlos Dansby Tank Carder
69/86 plays
62/86 plays
31/86 plays
6/86 plays

Chris Kirksey: 3 tackles, 6 assists (9 combined). 1 quarterback hit.
Craig Robertson: 4 tackles, 7 assists (11 combined). 1 tackle for loss.
Karlos Dansby: 1 tackle, 3 assists (4 combined).
Tank Carder: No stats registered.

Thoughts: The Browns weren't doing great against the Texans while Karlos Dansby was in the game, but him leaving was the final straw that allowed Houston to really do whatever they so pleased on offense. Chris Kirksey allowed a touchdown to J.J. Watt, but it was a heck of a catch by the defensive lineman. Craig Robertson could have undercut Ryan Mallett's second touchdown, but was picked by the official on the play.

Outside Linebacker
Paul Kruger Barkevious Mingo Jabaal Sheard
73/86 plays
52/86 plays
51/86 plays

Paul Kruger: 1 tackle, 4 assists (5 combined). 1 pass defended.
Barkevious Mingo: 3 tackles, 3 assists (6 combined). 1 tackle for loss.
Jabaal Sheard: 2 tackles, 1 assist (3 combined).

Thoughts: One of the keys to the game was getting pressure in the face of Ryan Mallett, but Cleveland barely even hurried him during the game. Jabaal Sheard left the game with a foot injury. Barkevious Mingo actually made a couple of disrupting defensive plays late in the contest. Paul Kruger nearly picked off a pass in the second half that could have salvaged some hope.

Joe Haden Buster Skrine K'Waun Williams
85/86 plays
79/86 plays
58/86 plays

Joe Haden: 10 tackles, 3 assists (13 combined). 1 interception, 1 pass defended.
Buster Skrine: 4 tackles (4 combined). 1 pass defended.
K'Waun Williams: 4 tackles, 3 assists (7 combined). 1 quarterback hit, 1 pass defended.
Justin Gilbert: No stats registered.

Thoughts: Rookie cornerback Justin Gilbert was back on the bench, seeing zero defensive snaps against the Texans. Maybe the coaching staff thought he'd get burned by Ryan Mallett's arm downfield? Joe Haden made a great interception in the first half, but seeing him with 13 tackles is not ideal because it means the running backs for Houston were getting past the defensive line and linebackers too often.

Donte Whitner Tashaun Gipson Jim Leonhard
86/86 plays
84/86 plays
7/86 plays

Donte Whitner: 5 tackles, 5 assists (10 combined).
Tashaun Gipson: 2 tackles, 5 assists (7 combined).
Jim Leonhard: 1 tackle (1 combined).

Thoughts: There isn't much blame to go toward the secondary this week, as the front seven was the issue. Although Ryan Mallett had a couple of bad throws, he made some nice, strong throws and came through exactly as Houston needed him to. Tashaun Gipson didn't have to miss any games after suffering a concussion last week.