Cleveland Browns: Week 12 defensive takeaways

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

When opportunities struck, Browns couldn’t convert turnovers

Quarterback DeShone Kizer played well against the Bengals and didn’t turn the ball over once. Even with the inability to score touchdowns and a missed field goal, the Browns still found themselves in the game. It’s instances like this where a turnover shifts momentum and sparks the team heading down the stretch.

Briean Boddy-Calhoun had a pass thrown right to him but lost his balance and was unable to reel it in. He wasn’t the only to drop what should have been an interception as linebacker Joe Schobert did as well. When they happen, you applaud that they disrupted the play and the offense was unable to convert positive yardage.

In hindsight, you begin to wonder what the game would look like had Boddy-Calhoun picked off Andy Dalton.

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It becomes speculation, nonetheless, but the fact remains the Browns were in the game until late without forcing a turnover. That is as bright as it has gotten for this team in 2017.

The offense didn’t turn the ball over for the first time in 2017 while the defense didn’t force a turnover for the first time in 2017.

It’s been repeated throughout 2017 that Cleveland’s best chance of winning is if the defense creates turnovers and the offense limits them.

Well, Kizer and company held onto the ball but the defense could not pull through.

To blame the defense is nonsense, and that is not the point. The offense’s lack of touchdowns makes it nearly impossible to win games in the NFL. However, the Browns defense has built a reputation and identity and they did not live up to it in a winnable game against the Cincinnati Bengals.

At the end of the day, the Cleveland Browns will win a football game when the defense plays great and the offense plays slightly above average. That didn’t happen on Sunday, but the Browns have another opportunity next week as they take on the Los Angeles Chargers.

Remember, the Browns first and only win came against this Chargers team last season so expect them to come out swinging this go around. If Cleveland wants to win next week, the defense will need to force turnovers and convert on opportunities they failed to against the Bengals.