There are no two ways about it, the Cleveland Browns defense has been bad so far in the 2022 NFL season. A unit that excelled in the second half of last year, has fallen flat this year. A unit that has Myles Garrett, Jadeveon Clowney, Denzel Ward, John Johnson III, Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah and Greg Newsome II has been downright pitiful.
Maybe Deion Jones can be the hero.
Many want to figure out who to blame including lacking player leadership.
It would help if the players on that list would stay healthy or perform up to their physical talents but they have not.
In the end, fans and media are pointing the finger directly at DC Joe Woods. When a defense can’t get stops, are making the same mistakes over and over again and aren’t playing up to what is considered their potential, the coach is going to be on the hot seat.
In the basic counting stats, Woods’ defense has the following rankings:
- 23rd in yards per game
- 19th in passing yards per game
- 24th in rushing yards per game
- 29th in points per game
- Tied for 24th in the league in INTs with two
- Tied for 11th in fumbles recovered with three
- Tied for 26th in total turnovers
- Tied for 23rd in sacks
- 31st in defensive DVOA
Two of the main complaints about Woods’ defense are that he runs too much zone coverage and doesn’t bring enough pressure. In recent weeks, that has started to change with a significant amount of man:
From Weeks 4-6 they have the NFL's 5th most man coverage snaps. There is a shift happening to what many have asked for with this secondary, but it just takes one misstep for man coverage to turn into a 31-yard Hunter Henry touchdown.— Jake Burns (@jake_burns18) October 18, 2022
Live by the risk, and you can die by it. https://t.co/XWNTpatHb4
While fans may still want to see more, the fifth most in the league has to be an acceptable level. Woods has also been bringing a blitz in the top half of the league and is one of the top teams at getting pressure:
#Browns are 12th in the NFL in % of opponent dropbacks facing blitz (5+ man pressures). They are also 4th in the NFL in % of opponent dropbacks with a pressure.— Jake Burns (@jake_burns18) October 18, 2022
So, do with that what you will. They are blitzing & they are getting SOME kind of pressure. The issues sit elsewhere. https://t.co/nhyMZlgirt
While it may not feel like it, because they continue to be bad, Woods has made some adjustments recently, is sending blitzers and is getting pressure. The problem is, as always, the outcome isn’t working.
Woods may be the problem. Jones may be the solution. Based on recent data, more man coverage or more blitzing has not been the solution.
How surprised are you by what the data says about the Browns defense compared to the rest of the league in man coverage and pressure?