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

Looking at the defensive snap counts in the Browns' 26-10 loss to the Bills.

Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

Cleveland's defense pitched a shutout in the first half, but mid-way through the third quarter, they gave up a 35-yard completion to the Bills on 4th-and-2, which led to a touchdown on the next play. Cleveland's defense deserved better than the final 26-10 mark would indicate. The snap count distributions for the Browns' defenders against the Bills are listed below. [Week 13 offensive snap counts for Cleveland can be found here]

Defensive Line
Desmond Bryant Ishmaa'ily Kitchen Ahtyba Rubin Billy Winn
Sione Fua
52/65 plays
40/65 plays
39/65 plays
29/65 plays
11/65 plays

Desmond Bryant: 6 tackles, 1 assist (7 combined). 1 sack, 1 tackle for loss, 1 quarterback hit.
Ish'maaily Kitchen: 3 tackles, 5 assists (8 combined).
Ahtyba Rubin: 1 tackle, 2 assists (3 combined).
Billy Winn: 1 tackle, 4 assists (5 combined). 1 pass defended.
Sione Fua: 1 assist (1 combined).

Thoughts: That is a boatload of tackles compared to usual for the defensive line as Desmond Bryant, Ish'maaily Kitchen, Ahtyba Rubin, and Billy Winn combined for 23 of the team's 71 combined tackles. The fact that Kitchen and Rubin both played 60% of the snaps is a little surprising since they both typically play the nose tackle position.

Inside Linebacker
Craig Robertson Chris Kirksey Tank Carder
65/65 plays
42/65 plays
1/65 plays

Craig Robertson: 5 tackles, 6 assists (11 combined). 1 quarterback hit.
Chris Kirksey: 5 tackles, 2 assists (7 combined). 1 tackle for loss.
Tank Carder: No stats registered.

Thoughts: With Karlos Dansby absent again, Craig Robertson manned the middle and did an admirable job. He's been effective enough that the team hasn't had to worry about trying Tank Carder at the position.

Outside Linebacker
Paul Kruger Barkevious Mingo Jabaal Sheard Eric Martin
55/65 plays
46/65 plays
28/65 plays
1/65 plays

Paul Kruger: 4 tackles, 1 assist (5 combined).
Barkevious Mingo: 1 tackle (1 combined).
Jabaal Sheard: 3 tackles, 1 assist (4 combined). 1 tackle for loss.
Eric Martin: No stats registered.

Thoughts: I have to see which linebacker was responsible for leaving TE MarQueis Gray wide open twice, but my early hunch is that it was Barkevious Mingo. The Browns' outside linebackers were unable to get pressure on Kyle Orton often enough, although Buffalo did appear to have gotten away with some holds here and there. Jabaal Sheard's workload increased a little bit this week.

Joe Haden Buster Skrine K'Waun Williams
65/65 plays
64/65 plays
36/65 plays

Joe Haden: 1 tackle (1 combined). 1 interception, 2 passes defended.
Buster Skrine: 5 tackles (5 combined). 1 pass defended.
K'Waun Williams: 2 tackles (2 combined).

Thoughts: Before the game, it was said that Justin Gilbert had been ruled out with a foot injury. The Browns' secondary played very well overall. Joe Haden held Sammy Watkins to just 3 catches for 11 yards and jumped a route on him for an interception. Buster Skrine did give up the 4th-and-2 pass downfield, but Cleveland brought a three-man rush on the play and Orton had time to come back to the other side of the field.

Donte Whitner Jim Leonhard
Jordan Poyer
65/65 plays
65/65 plays
11/65 plays

Donte Whitner: 4 tackles, 2 assists (6 combined). 1 tackle for loss.
Jim Leonhard: 5 tackles (5 combined). 1 interception, 2 passes defended.
Jordan Poyer: No stats registered.

Thoughts: Without Tashaun Gipson in the lineup, the Bills weren't able to exploit the void. In fact, Jim Leonhard even made a nice read in the end zone for an interception. Donte Whitner merely had an average game against his former team.