Even more so than the quarterback position, defending against the pass has been Cleveland’s biggest weakness this season. Surprisingly, this was not the case on Sunday against the Giants.
The secondary is to be commended as a whole, but special recognition should be given to Briean Boddy-Calhoun, who defended Cruz very well. Cleveland safeties Ed Reynolds and Jamar Taylor also had very good games, making several tackles and giving help over the top against a potent passing attack. Joe Haden had a rocky performance, but played well against Beckham given the circumstances.
Once again, the issue with the Browns’ secondary was more the approach than the actual play. Cleveland defenders gave Giants receivers much too large of a cushion. What they should have done was jam the speedsters at the line of scrimmage, frustrating them and throwing them off balance.
Instead, the Browns were forced to run with them, which will never work out. It worked out about as well as it could have, which still wasn’t nearly well enough. The secondary deserves credit for their efforts, but the scheme is clearly flawed.