Cleveland Browns: Position grades from an ugly loss to Pittsburgh
Defensive Line: F
Anyone who watched the duration of Sunday’s contest could attest to the fact that Cleveland’s defense was not the major issue. However, this does not excuse the incredibly poor play of the defensive line against an explosive Steelers offense.
Bell was certainly an issue for the Browns’ 3-4 defense, penetrating through holes for small chunks of yardage on every play. Throughout the entire game, the Browns had no tackles for loss on Bell’s 28 carries. They also got no pressure on Roethlisberger, failing to sack him and struggling to force the ball out of his hands.
An especially revealing stat is that of Cleveland’s 62 tackles, their defensive line only made 5. This means that virtually every attempt made by Bell went through the front three and into the second level. The result is evident, as Bell averaged more than five yards a carry.
The defensive line may be large, but all they seem to be doing is taking up space. The leading tackler for the defensive line was Jamie Meder, who was only the ninth-leading tackler on the team. This is a direct reflection of Cleveland’s inability to penetrate and break through to make tackles. This allowed Pittsburgh to control the clock by running the ball consistently, and didn’t make for a fun afternoon by any means.