Cleveland Browns: Defensive takeaways from the Week 4 loss

(Photo by Jason Miller /Getty Images)
(Photo by Jason Miller /Getty Images) /
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Cleveland Browns
(Photo by Jason Miller /Getty Images) /

The Cleveland Browns failed to find any rhythm on the defensive side of the ball in the 31-7 loss to Cincinnati Bengals.

It was just several weeks ago when many were calling for Andy Dalton to be benched. Against the Cleveland Browns defense though, Dalton had a career game and delivered the Bengals’ first victory in 2017. He completed 25 of his 30 passes for 286 yards and four touchdowns and the Browns had no answer for the aerial assault.

Both teams entered the game with a winless record making the Battle of Ohio a battle for last place in the AFC North. Each team was scoreless in the first quarter, but Cincinnati made it clear they were better team by putting up 21 points in the second quarter. Cleveland’s offense was not any better as their only score was a garbage time touchdown.

The Cleveland Browns are in the second year of Hue Jackson’s tenure and despite the fact it has been well documented this regime is taking a patient approach to rebuilding the Browns, 1-19 is not ideal for Jackson’s current record.

Gregg Williams provided the defense with a spark initially, but now opposing offenses are dismantling the Browns. Giving up points late in the second half and having no answers for opposing tight ends are recurring problems through four weeks and rookie Jabrill Peppers continues to be stashed away in the defense.

The Browns had a tough schedule starting against the Steelers and Ravens, so starting 0-2 was understandable. However, the Colts and Bengals both were “winnable” games and both teams were levels beyond the Browns. The defense seemed to be a sign of hope earlier but injuries and inconsistent play have derailed those assumptions.