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Browns defense most efficient through 3 weeks, set apart from rest of NFL

The data and the eye test matchup so far

Tennessee Titans v Cleveland Browns Photo by Lauren Leigh Bacho/Getty Images

The Cleveland Browns defense has been elite. We expect throughout this week we spend a decent amount of time highlighting different ways that DC Jim Schwartz’s group has controlled games and created a hostile environment for other offenses.

The Browns defense is the reason the team won in Week 1, the reason Cleveland should have won in Week 2 and had the offense join in the positive party in Week 3. There are some interesting counting stats, that we will get to later, but it is clear from just watching the games.

The fun thing is that data backs up what we see with our eyeballs, the Browns defense is elite:

Not only does it rank so high in efficiency but the difference between Cleveland’s defense and the next-best team in allowing first downs is mammoth:

A better look at the graphic on the right:

The next closest team at each down is about 50% greater in conversion rates than Cleveland. The league average is more than double what the Browns defense is doing until you get to 4th down (38% to 70%).

As the season rolls on, we will continue to get more data and, with a larger sample size, more validity to that data. For now, Cleveland’s defense shows it on the field and within the data sets used to help us understand just how dominant they have been.

We will share more statistics early this week to help put the Browns start into context.

We know the Browns defense is great but are you surprised by just how much better than the rest of the league it is?