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

Looking at the defensive snap counts in the Browns' 24-3 victory over the Bengals.

Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Cleveland's defense held the Bengals to without a touchdown for the second time in as many seasons, as QB Andy Dalton had the worst game of his career. The snap count distributions for the Browns' defenders against the Bengals are listed below. [Week 10 offensive snap counts for Cleveland can be found here]

Defensive Line
Desmond Bryant Billy Winn Phil Taylor
Ahtyba Rubin Sione Fua Ishmaa'ily Kitchen
42/67 plays
27/67 plays
23/67 plays
17/67 plays
14/67 plays
10/67 plays

Desmond Bryant: 3 tackles, 3 assists (6 combined). 2 sacks, 2 tackles for loss, 2 quarterback hits.
Billy Winn: 1 tackle (1 combined).
Phil Taylor: 2 tackles, 1 assist (3 combined). 1 pass defended.
Ahtyba Rubin: No stats registered.
Ish'maaily Kitchen: No stats registered.
Sione Fua: No stats registered.

Thoughts: We saw Phil Taylor receive pretty significant reps in his first game back, and he was certainly a force. Desmond Bryant also had his most impactful game of the season, including two straight snaps in which he registered a sack. The Browns need more individual efforts from the defensive line like they had on Thursday.

Inside Linebacker
Karlos Dansby
Chris Kirksey Craig Robertson
64/67 plays
37/67 plays
17/67 plays

Karlos Dansby: 1 tackle, 7 assists (8 combined).
Craig Robertson: 1 tackle, 2 assists (3 combined). 1 interception, 1 pass defended.
Chris Kirksey: 2 tackles, 1 assist (3 combined). 1 tackle for loss, 1 quarterback hit, 1 pass defended.

Thoughts: Even though Craig Robertson made the big play early, showing nice hands on an interception, it was Chris Kirksey who saw most of the playing time this week. Karlos Dansby had a lot of assists.

Outside Linebacker
Paul Kruger Jabaal Sheard Barkevious Mingo Eric Martin
59/67 plays
59/67 plays
28/67 plays
1/67 plays

Paul Kruger: 1 tackle, 1 assist (2 combined). 1 quarterback hit, 1 pass defended.
Jabaal Sheard: 1 tackle, 4 assists (5 combined).
Barkevious Mingo: No stats registered.
Eric Martin: No stats registered.

Thoughts: The stats might not show it, but Jabaal Sheard appeared to have his best game of the season. Barkevious Mingo didn't register any stats. Really, there weren't many stats to go around once Cincinnati stopped running the ball and all of Andy Dalton's passes sailed out of bounds.

Buster Skrine Joe Haden K'Waun Williams
Justin Gilbert
66/67 plays
62/67 plays
45/67 plays
13/67 plays

Joe Haden: 2 tackles, 1 assist (3 combined). 2 passes defended, 1 fumble recovery.
Buster Skrine: 2 tackles, 1 assist (3 combined). 2 interceptions, 3 passes defended.
K'Waun Williams: 1 tackle, 3 assists (4 combined). 2 passes defended.
Justin Gilbert: No stats registered.

Thoughts: After a mistake or two early in the game, Buster Skrine rebounded with two interceptions. Joe Haden shut down A.J. Green again, and for the second time in three weeks, he was on the receiving end of a forced fumble that popped right into his hands. Haden got some plays off at the end of the game once Jason Campbell was at quarterback. K'Waun Williams saw more reps than Justin Gilbert, although that might have been because Gilbert suffered a minor injury during the game.

Tashaun Gipson Donte Whitner Jim Leonhard
Jordan Poyer
64/67 plays
59/67 plays
27/67 plays
3/67 plays

Tashaun Gipson: 1 tackles, 2 assists (3 combined). 1 pass defended, 1 forced fumble.
Donte Whitner: 2 tackles, 2 assists (4 combined). 1 pass defended.
Jim Leonhard: 2 tackles, 1 assist (3 combined).
Jordan Poyer: No stats registered.

Thoughts: The Browns have made a lot of improvements defensively, but the unit that has had the most impactful trickle down effect has been the safety position. Tashaun Gipson missed a gift interception, but it still counts for something that he was in position for it. He also forced a fumble on Jeremy Hill, which helped negate Cincinnati's only serious offensive threat of the game. Donte Whitner continued to be more of a force, and Jim Leonhard seems to be regularly getting around 40% of the snaps per game now.