NFL Playoffs: What Browns Can Learn from the Teams
Dec 28, 2014; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks outside linebacker Bruce Irvin (51) intercepts a deflected pass during the second half against the St. Louis Rams at CenturyLink Field. Seattle defeated St. Louis 20-6. Mandatory Credit: Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports
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One thing is pretty clear: The Cleveland Browns were terrible at stopping the run. Another thing is pretty clear: Teams that make the NFL Playoffs tend to stop the run. Six of the Top 10 teams at stopping the run made the playoffs and no one worse than 23rd, the Packers, made the playoffs. Not so much a Bell curve on that one. Being great at stopping the run is very important to making the NFL Playoffs.
The Strength and Weakness categories are the only subjective pieces of any of the charts today but they tell an interesting story. Most teams in the NFL that make the NFL Playoffs have strong Front 7s. Outside of the Packers and Colts the rest of the teams have their defensive strength in the Front 7, whether that is putting pressure, their linebacking group or their overall depth.
On the other hand there are 4 teams with defensive backs as a whole as their weakness and 3 others whose safety play is the biggest concern. That is the area of the field that the Browns have invested a ton of resources, and some want Buster Skrine re-signed to continue this. While it makes sense in a “passing league” for the Browns to invest in the secondary, their 32nd ranked rush defense and their lines inability to help get pressure is a problem.
So what have we learned about the Cleveland Browns related to the NFL Playoffs teams? We will give a quick rundown of what we think this information should tell the team and how it should impact fans expectations on the next slide.
Next: What Should the Browns Do?