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Browns’ defensive snap counts, stats, and notes: Week 2

Below, we analyze the snap counts and stats on defense for the Cleveland Browns’ Week 2 game against the Cincinnati Bengals.

Defensive Line

Player Plays % Stats
Player Plays % Stats
Myles Garrett 84 91% 3 tackles (3 combined). 1 sack, 2 QH, 1 FF.
Sheldon Richardson 67 73% 4 tackles, 2 assists (6 combined). 1 sack, 2 TFL, 1 QH.
Porter Gustin 63 68% 2 tackles, 2 assists (4 combined). 1 TFL, 1 QH.
Larry Ogunjobi 57 62% 1 assist (1 combined).
Jordan Elliott 34 37% 1 assist (1 combined).
Joe Jackson 31 34% 1 tackle, 2 assists (3 combined). 1 FR.
Vincent Taylor 19 21% 1 QH.
Adrian Clayborn 18 20% 1 tackle, 1 assist (2 combined). 1 sack, 1 TFL, 1 QH.
  • Disclaimer: as we said before the game, the Bengals’ offensive line was terrible.
  • Myles Garrett delivered in Week 2, and the most surprising thing to me was seeing that he played 91% of the snaps. That might not be a lot for a normal game, but Cincinnati ran 92 plays, so that means Garrett was in on 84 snaps. He was the team’s highest-graded player on defense with a grade of 90.1, and obviously, his strip-sack on Burrow to give Cleveland the ball back at the 1 yard line was very important to Cleveland’s win.
  • With Olivier Vernon down for the game, Adrian Clayborn had an early sack before leaving to injury himself. That left Porter Gustin in charge as the other starter for much of the game, and he too delivered — although he did have one facemask penalty.
  • Per PFF, “Jordan Elliott saw a decent bit of playing time with 34 defensive snaps and got home for a couple of pressures.”
  • Sheldon Richardson had a few high-impact plays, including one sack on Joe Burrow in which he was not fooled at all by the rookie’s attempt to spin away from him.
  • Joe Mixon had a very tough time running against Cleveland’s front:

Linebacker

Player Plays % Stats
Player Plays % Stats
B.J. Goodson 92 100% 6 tackles, 1 assist (7 combined). 1 QH, 1 pass defended.
Malcolm Smith 56 61% 5 tackles, 4 assists (9 combined).
Sione Takitaki 41 45% 3 tackles, 2 assists (5 combined).
Tae Davis 1 1% No stats registered.
  • B.J. Goodson played the entire game and had 7 tackles.
  • With rookie Jacob Phillips injured, veteran Malcolm Smith stepped in to play 61% of the snaps and log 9 tackles, second-most on the team in Week 2. Sione Takitaki’s snaps took a hit this week, as he played 45% of the snaps.

Cornerback

Player Plays % Stats
Player Plays % Stats
Denzel Ward 91 99% 2 tackles, 1 assist (3 combined). 3 passes defended.
Terrance Mitchell 91 99% 1 tackle, 1 assist (2 combined). 3 passes defended.
Tavierre Thomas 76 83% 9 tackles (9 combined).
M.J. Stewart 7 8% No stats registered.
  • Denzel Ward and Terrance Mitchell combined to defend six passes. The Ward that I saw against the Bengals is the one who I know will allow this defense to click better eventually, once some more depth comes back at positions like nickelback and linebacker:
  • A.J. Green was targeted 13 times, but had just 3 catches for 29 yards.
  • Tavierre Thomas played 83% of the snaps as the nickelback. Again, I’m not trying to bag on the guy, but we need to get Kevin Johnson back soon, hopefully in Week 3. Thomas had 9 tackles, and also missed on a chance to bring Burrow down from a blitz.

Safety

Player Plays % Stats
Player Plays % Stats
Andrew Sendejo 92 100% 7 tackles, 3 assists (10 combined).
Karl Joseph 86 93% 3 tackles, 3 assists (6 combined). 1 TFL.
Ronnie Harrison 6 7% 1 tackle (1 combined).
  • Andrew Sendejo played the entire game again, while Sheldrick Redwine didn’t play at all on defense. Maybe Sendejo’s reps are here to stay. He had a team-high 10 tackles, but Cleveland again had a tough time covering tight ends.
  • The tight end position combined for 11 catches for 87 yards and 1 touchdown against the Browns’ defense. The biggest issue I see right now is that teams clearly know that the middle of the defense — linebacker, nickelback, and safety — are extreme weaknesses, and they are just going after them repeatedly with success. That negates some of the stronger pieces of Cleveland’s defense.

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