The Cleveland Browns defense has played great so far this year. The switch from Joe Woods to Jim Schwartz as the team’s defensive coordinator is a huge part of that but additions in free agency and the trade for DE Za’Darius Smith has helped Myles Garrett, Grant Delpit, Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah and the entire secondary take a step up in performance.
There have been plenty of stats to go around about the unit but this historical context is eye-popping:
Fewest yards allowed after the first three games since 1970:— Dan Murphy (@DMurph_BrownsPR) September 25, 2023
1. Buccaneers 430 in 1999
2. Lions 431 in 1970
3. @Browns 491 in 2023
4. Oilers 512 in 1976
Devil’s advocate will point out that Schwartz’s unit faced a broken down Joe Burrow, a very limited and injured Matt Canada ran offense and whatever it was that the Tennessee Titans think they are doing on that side of the ball.
It will be interesting as the Browns face better offenses in their next two games (Baltimore Ravens, San Francisco 49ers) how these numbers hold up but third-best yardage given up in over 50 years is something to be celebrated.
Are you surprised by how good, historically, the Browns defense has been? Do you credit them or think its more to do with the offenses that they faced?