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Browns’ defensive snap counts, stats, and notes: Week 17

Cleveland hopes to get some help back at linebacker and cornerback for the postseason.

Pittsburgh Steelers v Cleveland Browns Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images

Below, we analyze the snap counts and stats on defense for the Cleveland Browns’ Week 17 game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Defensive Line

Pos Player Plays % Stats
Pos Player Plays % Stats
DL Olivier Vernon 55 82% 2 tackles (2 combined). 1 sack, 2 TFL, 1 QH.
DL Myles Garrett 52 78% 3 tackles, 1 assist (4 combined). 1 pass defended.
DL Larry Ogunjobi 31 46% 1 tackle, 1 assist (2 combined). 1 QH.
DL Sheldon Richardson 52 78% No stats registered.
DL Adrian Clayborn 36 54% 1 assist (1 combined). 2 QH.
DL Jordan Elliott 16 24% No stats registered.
DL Vincent Taylor 11 16% 2 tackles (2 combined).
DL Porter Gustin 16 24% 1 tackle, 1 assist (2 combined).
  • Olivier Vernon played the most snaps among the defensive line, despite leaving early with what we later learned to be a season-ending Achilles injury. His high snap count makes me believe he was on pace to play every snap prior to the injury.
  • Sheldon Richardson was the Browns’ highest-graded defender by PFF (81.4), even though he didn’t register any stats.
  • Adrian Clayborn had two hits on the quarterback, flashing a good pass rush that perhaps he can remember for next week’s game.
  • Myles Garrett didn’t seem to get too close to Mason Rudolph during the game. Garrett actually dropped into coverage a few times and had one pass defended.

Linebacker

Pos Player Plays % Stats
Pos Player Plays % Stats
LB Jacob Phillips 67 100% 8 tackles, 2 assists (10 combined). 1 TFL, 1 QH.
LB Sione Takitaki 38 57% 2 tackles (2 combined).
LB Mack Wilson 32 48% 1 tackle (1 combined).
  • With B.J. Goodson and Malcolm Smith both down, rookie Jacob Phillips was thrust into the starting lineup and played every single snap. He delivered a pretty solid outing for his first time in that role, showing off his speed as he logged a team-high 10 tackles.
  • Sione Takitaki played 57% of the snaps while Mack Wilson played 48% of the snaps. Cleveland was limited to a three-linebacker rotation.

Cornerback

Pos Player Plays % Stats
Pos Player Plays % Stats
CB Terrance Mitchell 67 100% 5 tackles (5 combined). 1 pass defended.
CB Robert Jackson 67 100% 5 tackles (5 combined). 1 pass defended.
CB M.J. Stewart 63 94% 3 tackles, 1 assist (4 combined). 1 INT, 1 pass defended.
  • Instead of A.J. Green, it was Robert Jackson who was thrust into action at cornerback, playing every snap. Mason Rudolph attacked Robert Jackson throughout the game, and although fans were complaining about Jackson, he had some decent coverage on the throws. Those are plays where you’d see Denzel Ward get his hand in the right spot to knock the passes away.
  • Terrence Mitchell had darn-near perfect coverage on Chase Claypool’s fourth-down touchdown to keep Pittsburgh alive. Claypool is talking trash about the Browns’ secondary now, so I would love nothing more than for someone to make a big play against him.
  • M.J. Stewart was in the right place at the right time for a big interception and a good return.

Safety

Pos Player Plays % Stats
Pos Player Plays % Stats
S Ronnie Harrison 67 100% 5 tackles, 1 assist (6 combined). 1 pass defended.
S Karl Joseph 61 91% 3 tackles, 3 assists (6 combined).
S Sheldrick Redwine 6 9% No stats registered.
  • Welcome back, Ronnie Harrison. Even though the Browns were lucky that he wasn’t flagged for roughing the passer on the interception play, having Harrison back offered a slight sense of stability for part of the secondary.
  • After his best game two weeks ago and his worst game last week, Karl Joseph had a couple of very important sticks in this game to stop Pittsburgh just short of converting a play on third down.