Defensive Line: F
For a Washington team with few potent threats on offense, it was shocking to see them move down the field with such ease as they did. When broken down further, the cause of this was the extremely poor play of the defensive line.
Matt Jones led the Redskins with 117 rushing yards and a touchdown, while Chris Thompson chipped in with 24 yards on just three carries. The inability to stop the run against a below-average rushing offense is inexcusable for a team who seeks to model themselves after tough, run-stopping defenses.
To make matters worse, the defensive front had virtually no success rushing the passer. Cousins was able to pick on a young secondary all afternoon not only due to the inexperience and weakness that exists at the second level for the Browns, but also because he seemed to have forever and a day to throw every single play.
The only pressure Cleveland was able to get which did lead to three sacks was when they blitzed, sending multiple defensive backs after Cousins. Obviously though, this led to holes in the secondary which required compensation. When examining the root of the issue, the defensive line’s inability to manufacture pressure without assistance becomes the forefront of the problem. This must change if Cleveland’s defense wishes to see any improvement in the coming weeks.