Grades from the 31-17 loss to the Bengals
Cleveland’s linebackers were much like the defensive line in that they were torched all afternoon. Missed tackles plagued this unit, especially when Jeremy Hill ran the ball. Their inability to slow down Hill pretty much cost Cleveland the game. The former LSU Tiger averaged 18.7 yards per carry on nine carries, an absolutely ridiculous stat. A perfect microcosm of the afternoon was Hill’s 74-yard touchdown run, a turning point in the game.
Unfortunately, the linebackers couldn’t help cover the pass either. Cincinnati brought a lot of speed, as well as the ability to run the ball. These two factors combined to bring the linebackers up, and Bengals’ receivers would run right by them.
They also failed to rush the passer. Emmanuel Ogbah had another solid game, with five tackles and two sacks. But as a unit, the linebackers did little to disrupt the Cincinnati quarterback’s rhythm.
The linebackers really didn’t do anything to help the Browns. Even when they knew which running play was coming, they couldn’t stop it. Missed tackles in the open field were especially a problem, but an overall lack of awareness of what was going on seemed evident as well.