Browns Defense Continues To Be A Glaring Concern

browns fans holding up a defense sign
(Photo by Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire)


This was a rough game for the Cleveland Browns.

While the weather absolutely played a factor, this was an ugly game for the Browns.

Especially on the defensive side of the ball, which prior to the game ranked 30th in the league in total defense.


The Defense Was Run Over


There wasn’t a whole lot of offense, as the two teams only combined for 532 yards, but the Browns defense could not get off the field.

They gave up 24 first downs, giving up 8 of those on third-down conversions and another two on fourth-down.

They got pushed around.

While they held Derek Carr to 101 yards passing, the Browns gave up 208 on the ground.

Led by Josh Jacobs with 128 yards, the Raiders just gashed the Browns on the ground with impunity.

It wasn’t that Jon Gruden out-schemed Kevin Stefanski, the Browns just couldn’t keep up with the Raiders’ physical style of play.

The Browns’ linebacking corp were swallowed up by Las Vegas’ offensive lineman and tight ends, and they made their tackles downfield rather than at the line of scrimmage.

The Browns linebackers were also completely run over by the Raiders running backs.

Josh Jacobs and crew did a lot of work after initial contact.

In the clip, Jacobs ran right through Terrance Mitchell, and he wasn’t the only one.

Raiders running backs punished the Browns defense all afternoon.


They Couldn’t Get the Raiders Offense Off Of The Field


This was the killer for the Browns today.

The defense as a whole was gassed midway through the third quarter.

You could see the tell tale signs: hands on hips, the heavy panting, delayed reaction during gameplay.

While there weren’t a lot of numbers, but the numbers here are the most important of the game.

The Raiders had 71 plays, with 37:43 time of possession.

This led to some very long drives.

Every Raiders drive that resulted in a score were 12 plays or more.

The first field goal: 16 plays for 58 yard, 8:18.

Second field goal: 12 plays, 51 yards, 4:02.

The Touchdown: 15 plays, 75 yards, 8:54.

Third field goal: 13 plays, 74 yards, 8:47.

And the Browns couldn’t do anything to stop it.

Kevin Stefanski and Joe Woods rotated players in and out the entire game, with 19 players registering a tackle.


General Lack Of Toughness


The defense just displayed a genuine lack of toughness.

There were plenty of missed assignments (the Henry Ruggs non-TD in the back of the endzone being just a single example) and there is something to be said about field conditions and the weather.

The Browns defense continues to be a glaring concern.

They were routinely pushed around by the Raiders offense, at every level.

This didn’t look like a team that has it in them to get the tough stops, shut down running lanes, and be competitive against the top teams in the AFC.

While the loss was a tough pill to swallow, the Browns still sit at 5-3, putting the franchise in place to take one of the spots in the expanded playoff.

Hopefully, the Browns can just pull something out of this defense.

Otherwise, it’ll be one game and out for their playoff run.

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Browns Defense Continues To Be A Glaring Concern