Cleveland Browns: Grades from loss vs. Dolphins
Defensive Line: B
It was an interesting afternoon for the defensive line, to say the least. Overall, their performance was solid, as young players stepped up to fill voids at certain points in the game and played well collectively.
Nose tackle Danny Shelton continued to make strides on Sunday, playing one of the better games of his career in stopping the run. A slew of five different Miami running backs were held to a total of 113 yards on 24 carries, mostly due to the stout play of the defensive line. Even the plays which did go for large chunks of yardage were mostly runs to the outside, often plays the defensive line has little direct responsibility in.
The one problem was, and continues to be, Cleveland can simply not get much pressure on the quarterback. Even against a below average offensive line without their starting center, the Browns struggled to get pressure without blitzing. The few occasions when they were able to pressure Miami quarterback Ryan Tannehill, he had trouble getting the ball to his intended receiver. In fact, Tannehill’s three turnovers were each direct reflections on the success of the defensive line’s pass rush in each play.
Though there were points at which Cleveland’s defensive line found the quarterback, they failed to much more often than they were able to. This was partially the case for Tannehill’s impressive game through the air. Still however, the young Cleveland defensive line showed fans many positives, which hopefully can be translated into more rewarded success in the future.