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Browns' Week 17 Defensive Snap Counts vs. Steelers

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Looking at the defensive snap counts in the Browns' 28-12 loss to the Steelers.

Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Below, we analyze the snap counts on offense for the Cleveland Browns' Week 17 game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Defensive Line

Pos Player Plays % Stats
DL Danny Shelton 28 50% 1 assist (1 combined).
DL Desmond Bryant 28 50% 1 tackle (1 combined).
DL Randy Starks 27 48% 2 tackles (2 combined).
DL Xavier Cooper 25 45% No stats registered.
DL Jamie Meder 15 27% 1 assist (1 combined).
DL John Hughes 7 12% 1 tackle, 1 assist (2 combined).

In the finale, John Hughes and Jamie Meder drew the short stick in terms of playing time. As a whole, the Steelers only had 19 carries for 30 yards (1.9 YPC). The team's improved run defense will not even register as a footnote to fans, but there were some marginal improvements over the past month or so.

Outside Linebacker

Pos Player Plays % Stats
OLB Armonty Bryant Armonty BryantNate Orchard 43 77% 2 tackles, 1 assist (3 combined).
OLB Armonty Bryant Armonty BryantNate Orchard Armonty Bryant Armonty BryantNate OrchardPaul Kruger 29 52% No stats registered.
OLB Cam Johnson
28 50% 2 tackles, 1 assist (3 combined).
OLB Barkevious Mingo 12 21% No stats registered.

I know it's tough to sack Ben Roethlisberger, but for the entire game, the Browns only got 1 quarterback hit on him, and that came from an inside linebacker. The fact that Cam Johnson, promoted from the practice squad this week, played more % snaps in a game than Barkevious Mingo did all year tells you all you need to know about what the coaching staff thought of Mingo.

Inside Linebacker

Pos Player Plays % Stats
ILB Karlos Dansby 54 96% 5 tackle, 2 assists (7 combined). 1 quarterback hit, 1 forced fumble.
ILB Christian Kirksey 34 61% 1 tackle, 1 assist (2 combined).
ILB Craig Robertson 22 39% 3 tackles (3 combined). 1 interception, 1 pass defended, 1 fumble recovery.
ILB Tank Carder 2
4% No stats registered.

The Browns' linebackers did a good job in pass coverage, and Craig Robertson had himself a heck of a game, twice setting the offense up with great field position off of turnovers. Incredibly, his efforts led to zero points off of turnovers, as Austin Davis couldn't convert a fourth down conversion and was intercepted on the other drive.

Safety

Pos Player Plays % Stats
S Tashaun Gipson 54 96% 3 tackles (3 combined).
S Donte Whitner
52 93% 1 tackle (1 combined).
S Jordan Poyer
35 62% 3 tackles (3 combined). 1 interception, 2 passes defended.
S Ibraheim Campbell
2 4% No stats registered.

With the cornerback position thin, the Browns had either Tashaun Gipson or Jordan Poyer playing some cornerback. Poyer looked impressive when he had the ability to jump some routes, but he also allowed Antonio Brown to catch two very well-thrown passes when he was the underneath double coverage defender.

Cornerback

Pos Player Plays % Stats
CB Pierre Desir 56 100% 5 tackles (5 combined).
CB K'Waun Williams 38 68% 4 tackles (4 combined).
CB Johnson Bademosi
25 45% 1 pass defended.

No defensive snaps for Justin Gilbert. Pierre Desir was the only player to see 100% of the snaps on defense, but it was out of necessity. Johnson Bademosi finally broke up a pass, which I was glad to see because there have been so many times where he's had tight coverage yet still allowed a big completion.

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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
  • Week 8: 81 plays
  • Week 9: 67 plays
  • Week 10: 66 plays
  • Week 11: Bye Week
  • Week 12: 59 plays
  • Week 13: 57 plays
  • Week 14: 56 plays
  • Week 15: 71 plays
  • Week 16: 54 plays
  • Week 17: 56 plays