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Browns' Week 7 Defensive Snap Counts vs. Rams

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Looking at the defensive snap counts in the Browns' 24-6 loss to the Rams.

Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Below, we analyze the snap counts on defense for the Cleveland Browns' Week 7 game against the St. Louis Rams.

Defensive Line

Pos Player Plays % Stats
DL Randy Starks 27 51% 1 tackle, 1 assist (2 combined). 1 sack, 1 tackle for loss, 2 quarterback hits.
DL Desmond Bryant 26 49% 1 tackle (1 combined). 1 sack, 1 tackle for loss, 1 quarterback hit.
DL Xavier Cooper
26 49% 2 assists (2 combined).
DL Jamie Meder 24 45% 2 tackles, 2 assists (4 combined).
DL Danny Shelton 21 40% No stats registered.
DL John Hughes 21 40% 1 assist (1 combined).

The Browns maintained a near-equal distribution of reps for their defensive linemen, but how necessary is that when there were only 53 snaps the entire game? Why is Jamie Meder on the field for more snaps than your first-round pick, Danny Shelton? Randy Starks and Desmond Bryant each logged sacks, with Starks' sack coming at an opportune time.

Outside Linebacker

Pos Player Plays % Stats
OLB Nate Orchard 34 64% 2 assists (2 combined).
OLB Paul Kruger 23 43% 1 assist (1 combined).
OLB Armonty Bryant
23 43% 2 tackles, 1 assist (3 combined). 1 tackle for loss.
OLB Barkevious Mingo
12 23% 1 pass defended.

Against an offensive line that gives up a lot of hits on their quarterback, Paul Kruger only saw the field for 43% of the snaps, and Barkevious Mingo is still pigeon-holed into a niche role.

Inside Linebacker

Pos Player Plays % Stats
ILB Karlos Dansby 53 100% 5 tackles, 2 assists (7 combined). 1 tackle for loss.
ILB Christian Kirksey 37 70% 5 tackles, 2 assists (7 combined).
ILB Tank Carder 16 30% 1 tackle (1 combined).

I thought Karlos Dansby played another solid game. With Craig Robertson inactive again, Tank Carder continued to see some reps on defense. Robertson is expected back next week and could significantly eat in to Christian Kirksey's reps.

Safety

Pos Player Plays % Stats
S Donte Whitner 53 100% 5 tackles, 1 assist (6 combined). 1 forced fumble.
S Jordan Poyer 49 92% 5 tackles, 5 assists (10 combined). 1 tackle for loss, 1 fumble recovery.

The tackling of the Browns in general was poor at the end of the game on Todd Gurley, but Donte Whitner did force a fumble that was recovered by Jordan Poyer. Poyer led the team in tackles and also at least attempted to deliver a jarring hit on Nick Foles' only deep completion of the game.

Cornerback

Pos Player Plays % Stats
CB Tramon Williams
52 98% 1 assist (1 combined).
CB Pierre Desir 52 98% 1 tackle (1 combined).
CB K'Waun Williams 33 62% 1 assist (1 combined).

The Rams hardly threw to their wide receivers, and the tackling stats above indicate that. Tavon Austin did fake out Tramon Williams pretty hard on a comeback route, and Pierre Desir was victimized on back-to-back plays late in the third quarter to set up the Rams' first touchdown of the game. Hopefully Joe Haden and Tashaun Gipson can make their way back this week.

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Amount of Defensive Plays, By the Week

  • Week 1: 61 plays
  • Week 2: 80 plays
  • Week 3: 71 plays
  • Week 4: 65 plays
  • Week 5: 70 plays*
  • Week 6: 84 plays*
  • Week 7: 53 plays