The Cleveland Browns defense was highly celebrated through the first three weeks of the season. Even in the Browns loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers, the defense was great but few teams can overcome their offense giving up two touchdowns.
In Week 4, the Baltimore Ravens destroyed Cleveland in every way including creating 16 first downs, 296 yards and four touchdowns for QB Lamar Jackson.
Part of the Ravens success came from their very diverse offensive formations and personnel. Prior to the AFC North matchup in Week 4, 16 non-linemen have seen snaps on the offensive side of the ball in just three games for the Ravens.
The Browns defense got a week off in Week 5 but Week 6 will see another very diverse offense come into town, the San Francisco 49ers:
Shanny increasing the different ways to use his players in different alignments and formations will make this offense one of the hardest to defend and game plan for https://t.co/H7HJA2knqq pic.twitter.com/1s5DjscfIM— Arjun Menon (@arjunmenon100) October 5, 2023
There are many reasons that a diverse offense makes things difficult on defenses. Primarily, having the ability to move pass catchers all over the field makes matching up difficult and lets the offense dictate coverages.
For the Niners, having players who can motion in and out of formations and keep the ground game going while still being explosive in the passing game has increased drastically this season. The result? Going into Week 5, San Francisco has the second most yards and yards per game plus third in points per game.
The Browns defense will have their work cut out for them against the 49ers next week as they did against the Ravens last week.