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

Looking at the defensive snap counts in the Browns' 20-10 loss to the Ravens.

Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

The Browns' defense held the Ravens to just a field goal for three quarters, and even up until near the mid-way point of the fourth quarter, but a couple of deep balls from Joe Flacco turned the tides and helped lead to 17 unanswered. Let's take a look back at the defensive snap counts from Week 17. [Week 17 offensive snap counts for Cleveland can be found here]

Defensive Line
Billy Winn Sione Fua John Hughes Jaime Meder Desmond Bryant
50/67 plays
47/67 plays
42/67 plays
26/67 plays
14/67 plays

Billy Winn: 2 tackles, 1 assist (3 combined). 2 tackles for loss, 1 quarterback hit.
Sione Fua: 1 assist (1 combined).
John Hughes: 2 tackles, 5 assists (7 combined). 1 quarterback hit.
Jamie Meder: 1 tackle (1 combined).
Desmond Bryant: 1 quarterback hit.

Thoughts: Our Week 17 defensive line is always pretty thin, and the veteran Bryant wasn't even utilized to his full capacity for the finale. The returning Hughes seemed to play a factor in stopping the Ravens' running game most of the game, until a couple of big runs in the fourth quarter. Meder will be known as the local kid whose helmet kept coming off.

Inside Linebacker
Karlos Dansby
Craig Robertson Chris Kirksey
67/67 plays
39/67 plays
16/67 plays

Karlos Dansby: 6 tackles, 2 assists (8 combined).
Craig Robertson: 5 tackles, 3 assists (8 combined). 2 tackles for loss.
Chris Kirksey: 1 assist (1 combined).

Thoughts: The Browns could potentially look to upgrade the spot opposite of Dansby next season, but a rotation at the position isn't a weak point, it's merely an average spot on the defense.

Outside Linebacker
Barkevious Mingo Paul Kruger Scott Solomon Jabaal Sheard
46/67 plays
37/67 plays
36/67 plays
19/67 plays

Barkevious Mingo: 1 pass defended.
Paul Kruger: 3 tackles, 2 assists (5 combined). 1 sack, 1 tackle for loss, 1 forced fumble.
Scott Solomon: 3 assists (3 combined).
Jabaal Sheard: No stats registered.

Thoughts: Sheard played through a foot injury at the end of the season, but part of me wonders if his decline in playing time is a sign that he won't return in 2015. Truth be told, he seemed to have very little impact on the defense this year. Kruger had a big strip sack that Baltimore recovered, but if Cleveland would've been able to get the ball, it could've been a scoop-and-score before the end of the half.

Buster Skrine Joe Haden
K'Waun Williams
Pierre Desir
64/67 plays
62/67 plays
24/67 plays
3/67 plays

Buster Skrine: 5 tackles (5 combined).
Joe Haden: 3 tackles, 1 assist (4 combined). 3 passes defended.
K'Waun Williams: 1 tackle (1 combined).
Pierre Desir: No stats registered.

Thoughts: Haden played heroically in the finale, battling both the flu and his shoulder injury. He came away with three passes defended but was beat by the deep ball mid-way through the fourth quarter. Skrine was caught for two touchdowns in the fourth, but neither one was a blown coverage. Williams banged his head on the turf during the game. Desir stepped in briefly and played sound coverage on veteran Steve Smith.

Donte Whitner Jim Leonhard
Jordan Poyer
67/67 plays
63/67 plays
15/67 plays

Donte Whitner: 5 tackles, 1 assist (6 combined). 1 tackle for loss.
Jim Leonhard: 2 tackles, 1 assist (3 combined).
Jordan Poyer: 1 tackle, 1 assist (2 combined).

Thoughts: This was it for Leonhard, supposedly. I tip my cap to him for a solid season at his age. He was a free agent I wanted about five years ago, and when we finally got him this year. So long, Leonhard.