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

Looking at the defensive snap counts in the Browns' 30-0 loss to the Bengals.

Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

The Browns' defense was the complete opposite of spectacular against the Bengals. The secondary was down to CB Pierre Desir seeing his first action of the a starter no the end of the first half. The secondary wasn't the problem, though. Cincinnati ran for 244 yards on the ground, ensuring that QB Andy Dalton didn't have to do a thing (yet he still threw an interception). [Week 15 offensive snap counts for Cleveland can be found here]

Defensive Line
Ahtyba Rubin Billy Winn Desmond Bryant Sione Fua Ishmaa'ily Kitchen
51/74 plays
48/74 plays
46/74 plays
28/74 plays
26/74 plays

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

Thoughts: The defensive line failed to get any push against Cincinnati's offensive line, which is perhaps a testament to how important Phil Taylor could have been for this defense, given the results the last time around. Without question, the defensive line position will be significantly addressed in 2015.

Inside Linebacker
Craig Robertson Chris Kirksey Tank Carder
74/74 plays
69/74 plays
2/74 plays

Craig Robertson: 6 tackles, 4 assists (10 combined). 1 interception, 1 pass defended.
Chris Kirksey: 6 tackles, 2 assists (8 combined). 1 tackle for loss, 1 forced fumble.
Tank Carder: No stats registered.

Thoughts: While I haven't checked in-depth how he played against the run, Robertson had one of the few positive defensive plays of the game, intercepting a pass over the middle by Dalton. Kirksey made a nice stop behind the line of scrimmage on a screen pass early in the game.

Outside Linebacker
Barkevious Mingo Paul Kruger Jabaal Sheard
64/74 plays
50/74 plays
35/74 plays

Barkevious Mingo: 5 tackles, 2 assists (7 combined).
Paul Kruger: 2 tackles (2 combined). 1 sack, 2 tackles for loss, 1 quarterback hit.
Jabaal Sheard: 1 tackle (1 combined). 1 quarterback hit.
Eric Martin: No stats registered.

Thoughts: For the first time in awhile, Kruger did not lead the outside linebacker position in snaps. Mingo had what looked to be a big sack on the first series of the game, but he made contact with the head/neck area of Dalton and drew the flag. I hate bringing up hypothetical when we were so out-classed in a 30-0 blowout, but if Cleveland gets the defensive stop there, you never know if Cincinnati alters their game plan to pass more, which could've at least kept the score closer. Kruger now has ten sacks on the season.

Buster Skrine Pierre Desir
Joe Haden
Justin Gilbert
73/74 plays
39/74 plays
28/74 plays
15/74 plays

Buster Skrine: 1 tackle (1 combined). 1 pass defended.
Pierre Desir: 2 tackles (2 combined).
Joe Haden: 2 tackles (2 combined). 1 pass defended.
Justin Gilbert: 1 tackle (1 combined).

Thoughts: Despite losing Haden and Gilbert early to injuries, the cornerback position was by far the best unit on both sides of the ball Sunday. Haden nearly had an end zone interception while defending A.J. Green in the first quarter. After Haden left, Desir saw his first action of the year and didn't look too bad, even if the Bengals didn't try throwing very much. When they did throw, Skrine was the coverage guy and he held his own.

Donte Whitner Jim Leonhard
Jordan Poyer
74/74 plays
73/74 plays
19/74 plays

Donte Whitner: 3 tackles, 4 assists (7 combined).
Jim Leonhard: 6 tackles (6 combined).
Jordan Poyer: 2 tackles, 2 assists (4 combined).

Thoughts: I guess Whitner couldn't deliver an inspiring pre-game speech this time around. Leonhard was often the first player to contact Jeremy Hill downfield, which is a bad sign for the defense. The veteran safety did have two nice back-to-back tackles late in the game. It's a blowout like this that has to make Leonhard think, "yeah...maybe I will retire after this season after all," not wanting to be a part of this.