Cleveland Browns: Week 12 defensive takeaways

(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by John Grieshop/Getty Images)
(Photo by John Grieshop/Getty Images) /

Browns run defense put on hold by Joe Mixon

Joe Mixon absolutely dominated the Cleveland Browns on Sunday. Scouts salivated at Mixon’s ability and potential before the 2017 NFL Draft but the rookie was unable to fully unleash at the professional level. Well, until he played the Browns for the second time this season, that is.

Whether it was running the football or coming out of the backfield as a receiver, Mixon carved up the defense throughout the contest. Chunk plays came at ease to the former Oklahoma standout and the Browns defense simply couldn’t adjust.

There is a lot to criticize the Browns for but the run defense was the one part of their game that has been successful. Danny Shelton and Larry Ogunjobi have been terrific preventing running backs from rushing up the middle this season but the Bengals did a great job opening holes up for Mixon to hit hard.

The absence of Ogbah was certainly noticeable on Sunday. The pairing of him and Myles Garrett is special and with Shelton and Ogunjobi inside of them, opposing teams struggle to find answers running the ball.

Without Ogbah, though, it opens up the right side of the field and the Bengals attacked it throughout the game. Garrett saw double and even triple teams at times and Cincinnati did their best to contain the No. 1 pick. They did a good job, but Garrett was able to get a sack and several tackles.

Emmanuel Ogbah and Myles Garrett are both becoming impact players for the Cleveland Browns. Both have great potential but it is clear as day how each benefit one another when playing together and the Browns are learning how impactful they are the hard way.

The run defense is still above average, but before fans crown this defense of being “great” they need to realize the team is allowing too many points on a weekly basis. Sure, the offense has been horrendous and forces the defense on the field all too often. However, opposing teams have consistently had spurts of domination in clock-management situations.

Giving up points before the half has been a killer for this team and the defense won’t be exceeding expectations until they can create more turnovers and limit opponent scoring.