Cleveland Browns: Week 14 takeaways from the defense
Injuries proving costly for Browns defense
Without the likes of Danny Shelton, Briean Boddy-Calhoun and Jabrill Peppers, the Browns defense didn’t look the same. The youngest team in the league had to play even younger players.
For three quarters, the Browns defense played well despite lacking several key players. Boddy-Calhoun has been the best defensive back by far and Shelton has been fantastic in the run defense. Those two players were clearly missed in crunch time on Sunday.
Packers wideout Davante Adams absolutely crushed Cleveland with his two touchdowns – one to tie the game, forcing overtime. The other sealed the deal on a bubble screen on overtime. It was rather disheartening to witness and there is no doubt Boddy-Calhoun would’ve been shadowing Adams who has clearly been Hundley’s favorite target.
There is no doubt the Browns defense is better than the offense, though recent play can open up the debate. Gregg Williams has quietly been just as bad as Hue Jackson has, though not many are bringing this to light. There are several plays each game that forces fans to scratch their head as to how it was possible to allow. This week was the Jamal Williams touchdown to start the game, with nobody even near him off the snap.
It’s always easy to point the finger at the coach, however. And at 0-13 there is plenty of blame to go around and it starts at the top with Jimmy Haslam. The repeated inconsistencies has created turmoil and fans are receiving a near unwatchable product.
The bottom line is this Cleveland Browns defense is young and has great potential. Though, schematic decisions and inexperience in general certainly are limiting this team. It’s inevitable to have some bad plays with such a young group but those repeated mistakes need to be cleaned up. And for the most part – they’re not.
Missing any player on an 0-13 team is crucial. Sunday’s loss to the Packers easily could’ve and should’ve been a win and with the likes of Shelton and Boddy-Calhoun it likely would’ve happened. But this is the way the cookie crumbles and as the season progresses this defense hasn’t shown much growth as they were expected to.