Cleveland Browns: Position grades from loss to Eagles
It’s tough for secondaries in today’s NFL to have solid performances by most fans’ standards. The amount of penalty calls on cornerbacks and safeties attempting to defend passes is increasing in a more receiver friendly league. There are varying degrees of success, but for a secondary to hold its own against any NFL team is an accomplishment that should be recognized.
Cleveland’s secondary made its share of mistakes on Sunday afternoon, but they also were far from the root of the problem which continually resurfaced as the game progressed. The Browns really never had a chance on defense since they couldn’t stop the run and couldn’t sustain a substantial amount of pressure on the quarterback. The problem began up front as the front seven allowed the Eagles to do pretty much whatever they wanted offensively.
This isn’t to excuse the lapses Cleveland did have in their secondary, such as when Tramon Williams was flagged and was later beat for a touchdown pass, but overall, the unit played average.
Joe Haden was mostly solid in coverage on Jordan Matthews, and made some tackles on running backs who escaped the front seven. Jamar Taylor and Jordan Poyer also turned in decent performances, all going under the radar. Ibraheim Cambell and Derrick Kindred each recorded six tackles, tying for a team high on the afternoon, further indicating the decent performance of the secondary.
Of course, the unit will be judged based on the results, and the results do not reflect well on the secondary. Wentz completed 22 of 37 pass attempts and threw for 278 yards and two touchdowns. The Browns were not able to force any turnovers either. There is a lot of room for improvement for the secondary, but from the team’s perspective as a whole, the secondary is among the least of the Browns’ concerns based on Sunday’s performance.
Next: Special Teams