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Browns’ defensive snap counts, stats, and notes: Week 1

The rookie, JOK, only plays 38% of the defensive snaps.

NFL: Cleveland Browns at Kansas City Chiefs Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Below, we analyze the snap counts and stats on defense for the Cleveland Browns’ Week 1 game against the Kansas City Chiefs.

Defensive Line

Pos Player Plays % Stats
Pos Player Plays % Stats
DL Myles Garrett 50 77% 2 tackles, 2 assists (4 combined). 1 sack, 1 TFL, 3 QH.
DL Jadeveon Clowney 50 77% 2 tackles, 1 assist (3 combined). 1 TFL.
DL Malik McDowell 45 69% 2 tackles, 1 assist (3 combined). 1 TFL.
DL Malik Jackson 43 66% 2 tackles, 1 assist (3 combined). 1 QH, 1 pass defended.
DL Jordan Elliott 27 42% 1 QH.
DL Takk McKinley 24 37% 2 tackles (2 combined). 1 TFL, 1 QH.
DL Andrew Billings 11 17% No stats registered.
DL Joe Jackson 10 15% 1 tackle (1 combined). 1 sack, 1 TFL, 1 QH.
  • I know fans want to see Myles Garrett rack up sack after sack each week, but the Chiefs aren’t dumb and they gameplan for those things. Still, you like to see at least one really high-impact play from Garrett, and that came near the end of the game when he sacked QB Patrick Mahomes to give the offense one more shot at a comeback.
  • Jadeveon Clowney made a nice play to stop WR Tyreek Hill around the edge for a big loss. He and Garrett each played 77% of the snaps.
  • The Browns went through with starting DT Malik McDowell over DT Andrew Billings, and McDowell proceeded to crush his lineman on the first play of the game to force a tackle for a loss on the running back. McDowell received a defensive grade of 82.7 from PFF, which is great considering this was the first NFL game he’s ever played in.
  • I liked what I saw from DT Malik Jackson too. He helped against the run, got a hurt on Mahomes, and also knocked a pass down.

Linebacker

Pos Player Plays % Stats
Pos Player Plays % Stats
LB Anthony Walker 62 95% 8 tackles, 2 assists (10 combined).
LB Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah 25 38% 1 tackle, 1 assist (2 combined).
LB Sione Takitaki 22 34% 1 assist (1 combined).
LB Mack Wilson 22 34% 2 tackles, 2 assists (4 combined).
LB Malcolm Smith 17 26% 1 assist (1 combined).
  • The linebacker play in Week 1 was very mediocre. They’ll look better as the competition gets weaker, but it was just like last year: they are kind of “there,” but not making much of an impact.
  • PFF liked the sound play that LB Anthony Walker and LB Mack Wilson displayed against the run, but pointed out that they both struggled to cover the Chiefs’ top two weapons in the middle of the field — that’s why WR Tyreek Hill and TE Travis Kelce were always so open. Walker graded to a 59.6 from PFF, while Wilsn graded to a 40.5.
  • I was hoping to see some more snaps from rookie LB Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, who was in for 38% of the plays. He actually was the team’s top-graded linebacker with a 69.5, although I felt like he was a little lost on some plays where he was asked to bring pressure. We’ll see if JOK receives more playing time as the season goes on, or if they play to stick with the rotational percentage of reps.

Cornerback

Pos Player Plays % Stats
Pos Player Plays % Stats
CB Greg Newsome 63 97% 1 tackle (1 combined).
CB Denzel Ward 63 97% 4 tackles, 2 assists (6 combined). 1 pass defended.
CB Troy Hill 43 66% 1 tackle, 1 assist (2 combined).
CB Greedy Williams 8 12% 1 tackle (1 combined).
  • It was an average day for CB Denzel Ward and CB Greg Newsome; it didn’t seem like Newsome played too much, even though I knew he was out there.
  • CB Greedy Williams played just 8 snaps, but PFF gave him terrible grade while he was in the game. Hopefully this unit, with CB Troy Hill included, can relax but play confidently against their next opponent.

Safety

Pos Player Plays % Stats
Pos Player Plays % Stats
S John Johnson 60 92% 4 tackles, 1 assist (5 combined). 1 pass defended.
S M.J. Stewart 60 92% 3 tackles, 1 assist (4 combined).
S Richard LeCounte 5 8% No stats registered.
S Ronnie Harrison 5 8% 1 tackle, 1 assist (2 combined).
  • Even though I don’t particularly blame S John Johnson for the 75-yard touchdown that the team gave up, it still stings a bit to think about our big defensive free agent signing not coming through in such a big moment.
  • After the ejection to S Ronnie Harrison, Cleveland went ahead and filled the position with converted-cornerback M.J. Stewart instead of rookie Richard LeCounte. Stewart did a fair job, but hopefully Harrison can return to action this week without further consequence.