Cleveland Browns: Grades from home opener vs. Ravens
Defensive Line: C
One aspect of the game the Browns also improved in this week was stopping the run. The Browns limited Baltimore rushers to a total of 80 yards, despite the Ravens making a continued effort to put the ball in the hands of their running backs.
This is mostly a credit to the defensive line, who stepped up and clogged the middle numerous times on Sunday, allowing little to no room for the Ravens on the ground. As hoped for, Danny Shelton had what was likely the best game of his young career. The rest of the defensive line did their job as well stopping the run.
What this position group failed to do however was get consistent pressure on Baltimore quarterback Joe Flacco. Flacco had plenty of time to throw most of the afternoon, and was never sacked. Some of the responsibility for this shortcoming falls on the linebackers, but the defensive line still failed to make Flacco uncomfortable when the Browns didn’t blitz.
Overall, this unit had an average performance. They forced Baltimore into a lot of difficult third down situations, but could never finish the deal with a sack or consistent pressure. With a better defense surrounding them, the results may have been different. But the defensive line could not do it all themselves, even if they did have somewhat of a positive performance on Sunday.