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Browns’ defensive snap counts, stats, and notes: Week 15

Cleveland’s defense allows its fewest points all season.

Cleveland Browns v New York Giants Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images

Below, we analyze the snap counts and stats on defense for the Cleveland Browns’ Week 15 game against the New York Giants.

Defensive Line

Pos Player Plays % Stats
Pos Player Plays % Stats
DL Olivier Vernon 51 94% 2 tackles, 1 assist (3 combined). 1 TFL, 1 QH.
DL Myles Garrett 49 91% 2 tackles, 2 assists (4 combined). 0.5 sack, 1 QH.
DL Larry Ogunjobi 42 78% 1 tackle, 2 assists (3 combined). 0.5 sack, 1 TFL, 2 QH.
DL Sheldon Richardson 30 56% 1 assist (1 combined).
DL Adrian Clayborn 23 43% 1 assist (1 combined).
DL Jordan Elliott 11 20% No stats registered.
DL Vincent Taylor 6 11% No stats registered.
DL Porter Gustin 5 9% 1 assist (1 combined).
  • When the camera showed Myles Garrett huffing and puffing, I kept thinking to myself, “I wish people would stop looking at that alone and saying, ‘See, he’s struggling from Covid.” Every single game of his career, when the camera shows Garrett in between plays, he is visibly breathing like that.
  • Don’t get me wrong, though — I 100% believe that Garrett’s play and ease of breathing is being impacted by his recovery from Covid right now. Andrew Thomas also deserves a credit for his efforts, but no matter how physically gifted a player like Garrett is, it can’t be easy to get that extra “oomph” needed to sack a quarterback when you can’t breathe. You can see the sigh of relief he had when he got the partial sack in garbage time.
  • The Browns really weren’t able to pressure Colt McCoy very much on the day, which was a tad surprising. At the end of the day, Cleveland only allowed two field goals though.
  • Credit to Sheldon Richardson, who helped stuff a Giants’ run play on 4th-and-1 for a turnover on downs in the first half.
  • Porter Gustin’s snaps are still being kept quite low.

Linebacker

Pos Player Plays % Stats
Pos Player Plays % Stats
LB B.J. Goodson 53 98% 3 tackles, 4 assists (7 combined).
LB Malcolm Smith 32 59% 3 tackles, 1 assist (4 combined).
LB Jacob Phillips 22 41% 3 assists (3 combined).
LB Sione Takitaki 21 39% 1 tackle, 2 assists (3 combined).
  • B.J. Goodson had a solid outing, recording 7 tackles.
  • With Mack Wilson being a healthy scratch, rookie Jacob Phillips played 41% of the snaps.
  • Sione Takitaki is being kept in his role — the team must feel they have a good niche for him and don’t want to disrupt it or put him in a spot he doesn’t excel at.

Cornerback

Pos Player Plays % Stats
Pos Player Plays % Stats
CB Denzel Ward 54 100% 4 tackles, 2 assists (6 combined).
CB Terrance Mitchell 54 100% 1 assist (1 combined). 1 pass defended.
CB Kevin Johnson 32 59% 1 tackle (1 combined). 1 QH, 1 pass defended.
CB M.J. Stewart 1 2% No stats registered.
  • Welcome back, Denzel Ward. These two New York opponents are a great way for Ward to get his feet wet again returning from injury, since he doesn’t have to worry about facing a top QB-WR tandem.
  • Ward’s return also allowed Kevin Johnson to return to his nickelback spot, which helps the defense tremendously.

Safety

Pos Player Plays % Stats
Pos Player Plays % Stats
S Karl Joseph 54 100% 8 tackles, 2 assists (10 combined). 1 TFL, 2 passes defended.
S Sheldrick Redwine 54 100% 4 tackles, 4 assists (8 combined).
  • After the game ended, I noted that this was Karl Joseph’s best game as a member of the Browns by far. He finished with 10 tackles and 2 passes defended. PFF agreed, grading him out as the Browns’ top defender on Sunday with a grade of 78.2.
  • With that said, I have to point out that part of that was helped by the fact that Colt McCoy has the weakest arm in the NFL and allowed Joseph, for example, time to catch up to be able to knock a touchdown pass away.
  • Sheldrick Redwine played the entire game too; there were no snaps for any other safeties.