Cleveland Browns Week 10 defensive takeaways
Browns run defense disappears against a mediocre Lions run game
The Cleveland Browns run defense has been tremendous in 2017. A true surprise entering Week 10 among the NFL’s top-five run defenses. But, in typical Cleveland Browns fashion, when one thing goes right something else must go wrong. The competent offensive play was missing for the first nine weeks while the run defense gave fans something to be hopeful for. However, Week 10’s meeting with the Detroit Lions reversed that logic.
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The Browns gave up 104 rushing yards on 19 carries, good for 5.5 yards per carry. The Lions are not known for their running game and tailbacks Ameer Abdullah and Theo Riddick both were able to rip off 20+ yard carries. The presence of rookie defensive tackle Larry Ogunjobi was sorely missed as he and Danny Shelton have been a force to be reckoned with for opposing running backs.
It is a tad bit worrisome to allow that kind of rushing for a team that doesn’t focus on running the ball like most teams. Though, Detroit’s backs are athletic and versatile enough to throw off the Browns defense and that’s exactly what happened in Sunday’s loss.
It’s something that needs to be cleaned up quickly as next week the Browns host the Jacksonville Jaguars. Rookie Leonard Fournette comes to town as one of the top running backs in the NFL. Not to mention, Fournette is coming off his worst game in his career so the motivation is there for him to play lights out.
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All in all, the Cleveland run defense is still among the best in the NFL and one bad game happens to every team. They were caught off guard by Riddick and Abdullah but it won’t happen again next week. The run defense will continue to be a bright spot in a rather pitch-black season for the Browns and next weeks matchup with Fournette will put them to the test in Cleveland.