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Browns’ defensive snap counts, stats, and PFF notes: Week 8

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The Browns’ defense gave a great effort early, but several penalties in the second half against the secondary changed the game.

Minnesota Vikings vs Cleveland Brown Photo by Alex Pantling/Getty Images

Below, we analyze the snap counts and stats on defense for the Cleveland Browns' Week 8 game against the Minnesota Vikings.

Defensive Line

Pos Player Plays % Stats
Pos Player Plays % Stats
DL Emmanuel Ogbah 67 79% 1 pass defended. 1 blocked FG.
DL Carl Nassib 57 67% 3 tackles (3 combined). 1 sack, 1 TFL, 1 QH, 2 passes defended.
DL Danny Shelton 47 55% 2 tackles (2 combined). 1 TFL, 1 QH.
DL Caleb Brantley 47 55% 2 tackles (2 combined).
DL Nate Orchard 46 54% 1 QH.
DL T.Y. McGill 26 31% 1 tackle (1 combined). 1 QH.
DL Jamie Meder 23 27% No stats registered.

Notes:

  • We knew this Browns defensive line wasn’t going to get a lot of pressure without Myles Garrett available, and some wondered whether the run defense would be up-to-par without Trevon Coley and Larry Ogunjobi. The team delivered another great effort against the run, holding Minnesota to 34 rushes for 88 yards (2.6 YPC).
  • Early on in the game, we saw the Browns’ defensive line make some big plays via tipped passes. Carl Nassib had one that led to an interception for a linebacker. He had another one that disrupted a screen pass. Emmanuel Ogbah got his paw on a pass to stop another screen pass. Ogbah also blocked an extra point, but oddly didn’t have any tackles.
  • Unfortunately, as the game went on, I have to imagine this group (and the defense in general) wore out a little. Minnesota controlled the time of possession 38:00 to 22:00, and Minnesota ran 85 plays vs. the Browns’ 59 plays. That has to take a toll.
  • PFF had nothing but praise for T.Y. McGill:

McGill’s (87.2 overall grade) pass rushing productivity (pressure created per snap, weighted toward sacks) led all Week 8 defensive tackles, as he had three total pressures in just seven pass rush snaps and added one run stop in 16 run snaps.

Linebacker

Pos Player Plays % Stats
Pos Player Plays % Stats
LB Christian Kirksey 85 100% 7 tackles, 1 assist (8 combined). 1 TFL, 1 pass defended.
LB Joe Schobert 85 100% 11 tackles (11 combined). 1 INT, 1 pass defended, 1 FF.
LB Jamie Collins 84 99% 7 tackles (7 combined). 3 TFL, 1 QH.
LB James Burgess 8 9% 1 tackle (1 combined). 1 pass defended.

Notes:

  • Joe Schobert had a good week for the second game in a row, grading to an 83.2 by PFF. He finished with a team-high 11 tackles, including 5 stops against the run. He was the benefactor of Nassib’s early tipped pass for an interception, and also forced a fumble (which unfortunately landed out of bounds).
  • The Browns were in the Vikings’ backfield quite a bit, and Jamie Collins led that charge with three tackles for losses. As a team, the Browns had 10 tackles for losses.
  • Returning from injury, James Burgess only played 8 snaps, but managed to defend a pass and log a tackle.

Cornerback

Pos Player Plays % Stats
Pos Player Plays % Stats
CB Jamar Taylor 84 99% 5 tackles, 1 assist (6 combined). 2 passes defended.
CB Briean Boddy-Calhoun 72 85% 6 tackles (6 combined). 1 pass defended.
CB Mike Jordan 52 61% 2 tackles (2 combined). 1 pass defended.
CB Reggie Porter 1 1% No stats registered.

Notes:

  • This was a tough game to judge the Browns’ cornerbacks. I thought they did a respectable job and defended quite a few passes, but you can only do so much when there is no pass rush and your safety help is 30 yards deep. That allowed Adam Thielen to consistently find a soft spot in zone coverage.
  • Cleveland was also victimized by several second half penalties, including two on Briean Boddy-Calhoun and one on Jamar Taylor, both of which contributed significantly to Minnesota building a two-touchdown lead instead of, perhaps, having to settle for field goals. I thought the first call on Boddy-Calhoun was crap, and really ended up changing the game. Because of it, though, he graded unfavorably (36.1) by PFF for the first time this season.

Safety

Pos Player Plays % Stats
Pos Player Plays % Stats
S Ibraheim Campbell 68 80% 7 tackles (7 combined). 1 TFL.
S Derrick Kindred 65 76% 4 tackles (4 combined). 3 TFL.
S Kai Nacua 18 21% No stats registered.

Notes:

  • Kai Nacua made his debut on defense, playing 18 snaps.
  • Derrick Kindred continued playing well near the line of scrimmage, registering 3 tackles for losses. I thought Ibraheim Campbell made a nice play coming up from the safety spot to stop a run that had just gotten past the second level early on.

Lastly, PFF had a general defensive note about the Browns’ blitz rate against the Vikings:

The Browns defense faced more passing plays on Sunday (50) than they have all season. Cleveland, who led the league by blitzing 45% of the time, did so on just 32% of pass plays against the Vikings, their second lowest blitz rate this year. Vikings QB Case Keenum had a 109.7 passer rating when not blitzed, including two touchdowns and a 71.4% completion percentage.

After the bye, hopefully the Browns can build on their defensive improvements with the likely returns of Myles Garrett, Trevon Coley, Larry Ogunjobi, Jason McCourty, and Jabrill Peppers.