Cleveland linebackers have not played poorly for the most part in the season’s first three contests. This narrative was reversed however on Sunday, as they failed to stop both the run and the pass of Washington, as the defense could not get off the field all afternoon. Washington torched Cleveland both on the ground and through the air with little known players who had career games.
Primarily, the responsibility of the linebackers is to scout, but also to drop back in coverage to cover tight ends or running backs coming out of the backfield. Jordan Reed, Washington’s tight end, had a monster game for the Redskins, taking advantage of the poor play of the Browns’ linebackers. Reed came in to the game with no touchdown receptions on the season, but came out with two, along with 73 yards on nine receptions.
Along with their inability to assist in stopping Washington’s pass defense, the linebackers had trouble rushing the passer even when sent. The unit accounted for no sacks of Cousins, and the most tackles a Cleveland linebacker recorded was four, from Christian Kirksey. Emmanuel Ogbah chipped in with three tackles, but all other linebackers were quiet. Even Demario Davis, a veteran who has been very productive for the Browns thus far this season, only had one tackle. Joe Schobert also struggled immensely, making just one tackle while missing several other opportunities.