Cleveland Browns find their mojo: 5 takeaways from win over 49ers
By Thomas Moore
Dec 13, 2015; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Browns defensive end Desmond Bryant (92) forces a fumble on San Francisco 49ers quarterback Blaine Gabbert (2) during the second quarter at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
After giving up more than 30 points in five consecutive games, the Browns’ defense remembered that they were lining up against quarterback Blaine Gabbert and proceeded to spend 60 minutes making him look like the Gabbert everyone saw in Jacksonville.
The Browns held the 49ers to 221 yards of total offense and limited San Francisco to just two-of-13 on third down. They also sacked Gabbert nine times – the most in a single game since also totaling nine in Week 14 of the 1993 season.
The nine sacks also eclipsed the previous season high of seven against the Tennessee Titans in Week 2. Of course, the Browns only have 10 total sacks in their 11 other games, so while it may not be time to anoint defensive coordinator Jim O’Neil for any coach of the year honors, for one day it was pretty fun to watch.
“That’s a credit to that group and the pass rush plan (defensive line coach) Anthony Weaver put together for those guys and they went out and executed,” head coach Mike Pettine said. “We talked about it all week, there’s nothing like winning. We just wanted to find a way. Just the mental toughness of the men in that room, very easily could have been just ‘let’s shut this down and ride out the month’ and this league’s about winning and I think they set their minds to it.”
Next: Barnidge and Hartline do their thing