Cleveland Browns: Week 12 defensive takeaways

(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /
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Cleveland Browns
(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /

The Cleveland Browns defense has shown flashes of their potential throughout the 2017 NFL season. However, it is not consistent enough to propel the Browns to their first win of the season.

Defensively speaking, the Cleveland Browns have been impressive and have a true core to build around in future seasons.

Players such as Myles Garrett, Emmanuel Ogbah and Christian Kirksey give a team that is now 1-26 in the last two seasons a ray of sunshine in a rather cold, dark cave. Despite the decent season the Browns defense has displayed, they’re not close to their potential and have struggled being consistent. At least consistent enough to win.

Cincinnati Bengals running back Joe Mixon exploded for 165 yards and a touchdown against Cleveland’s defense on Sunday. The Browns run defense entered the game ranked No. 6 in the NFL but surrendered 157 rushing yards, including 114 to Mixon.

The Browns defense also struggled to make plays without Jamie Collins and Emmanuel Ogbah. In fact, Week 12 was the first week the team went without a turnover all season. Briean Boddy-Calhoun and Joe Schobert both had opportunities at easy interceptions but neither could convert.

It wasn’t all bad, though, for the Browns. It appeared that defensive back Jabrill Peppers was in the mix more often, finally showing his versatility. Peppers isn’t lost 25 yards deep like usual and is making an effort to create plays.

Defensive coordinator Gregg Williams has lined up Peppers in “no-man’s land” preventing him from being the playmaker he was highly touted for coming out of college. So it is refreshing to see the former Michigan star get more opportunities to disrupt plays and make an impact.

Sure, it’s not quite the production fans would like to see yet, but it’s comforting to know he is getting more freedom as the season progresses.