May 29, 2024

Browns Defense Needs to Get Their Swagger Back, Fast

This season, Cleveland’s defense was well-liked from the start. They had a momentous beginning, but they have since returned to Earth. They had their worst game of the season on Sunday, so they must quickly rediscover who they are.

This season has been quite the roller coaster for the Cleveland Browns defense thus far. This group is best described as feast or famine on a weekly basis.

The defense really shines in the games when they have feasted. Recall the games against Cincinnati, Tennessee, San Francisco, Arizona, and Pittsburgh twice. Despite giving up a total of 33 points over those five games, they were able to completely shut down these teams.

They frequently give up points in the famine-themed games. They allowed 202 points in all between the Pittsburgh, Seattle, Denver, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, and both Baltimore games. This equates to 28.9 points per game on average.

I’m not unaware that the Browns offense frequently put the team in difficult situations, and that some of those games took place in peculiar settings. However, if this Browns team hopes to make the playoffs, it cannot keep happening what we have seen in Denver and Los Angeles.

Do the superior and inferior games have anything in common? Is the Browns defense capable of stopping poor quarterbacks like Clayton Tune, Ryan Tannehill, Kenny Pickett, and an injured Burrow? Do they have trouble traveling? Have their performances been significantly impacted by injuries? Has Jim Scwartz’s aggressive scheme been figured out by opposing offensive coordinators? Have they lost their confidence and swagger?

Even though I’m not sure of the precise solution, I think that each of those factors contributes to the decline this defense has shown.

With the Browns currently sitting at 7-5, the defense needs to figure something out quickly. Next week against the Jaguars, the Browns won’t be returning home with a lopsided victory. Jacksonville is not only winning the AFC South, but they are also playing some of the best football in the entire NFL. They aim to secure the one seed in the AFC.

 

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