The middle of the field has been a danger zone for the Browns secondary in recent weeks. This is partially due to the undersized nature of their safeties and cornerbacks, as well as the big targets they have faced recently who have the ability to dominate over the middle. These struggles came to a head against Cincinnati on Sunday, when the Browns surrendered 308 yards through the air. Much of this damage was done in the middle of the field.
To improve this, the Browns must perform better as a unit. The Jets are not particularly deep at the receiving position, which is part of the reason for their struggles. But much like the Patriots and Bengals, New York has big targets which thrive in the middle of the field. Kellen Davis and Brandon Marshall have the ability to dominate the Browns with their superior size and receiving skills.
Tight ends have given the 29th ranked Cleveland passing defense fits so far this season. Fortunately though, this matchup works well for the Browns since the Jets lack depth. If the secondary can shut down Davis and Marshall collectively, they will put themselves in good positions to be able to rush the passer more. This will lead to a domino effect which bodes well for the defense.
Another part of defending the middle of the field more effectively is solid tackling. Missed tackles have led to extra yardage in the past two weeks, yards that demoralize an already struggling defense.