Dud: Jermaine Whitehead
Most of the Cleveland Browns defense played well on Sunday night and helped make life difficult for the Rams offense. However, Browns safety Jermaine Whitehead made several errors that bailed out the Rams.
Whitehead struggled in coverage, allowing a touchdown to Cooper Kupp, who did whatever he wanted to do Sunday. Whitehead hit Kupp off the line of scrimmage to disrupt his route, but did not trail Kupp following the jam, giving Goff a wide open throw for the touchdown. Whitehead was also called for a defensive holding penalty during the Rams second drive, but it was declined.
The Browns safety also made a boneheaded penalty late in the game during a critical situation. As Goff scrambled to attempt to get a first down, Whitehead lowered his shoulder into Goff’s upper body after Goff was already tackled and on the ground. The penalty put the Rams inside the Browns 30-yard line and in range for a field goal that forced the Browns to need a touchdown to tie the game.
Whitehead has struggled mightily in the first three games after earning the playing time with a strong camp and preseason. His aggressiveness leads him to make bad plays, causing him to allow chunk plays. His performance on Sunday night was one of the lone bad spots on the defense and cost the Browns points on multiple occasions.