Dud: Clean Tackles
The Cleveland Browns defense has been frustrating for much of their first two weeks of the season. After being burnt all day by the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday, they were better on Week 2 but they weren’t perfect. And the biggest issue they had was their inability to make clean tackles.
There were several players who were guilty but it seemed as though the linebackers really stood out. Sione Takitaki started out strong in this game but then had a couple of missed tackles on the Bengals first touchdown drive — he was also burnt by Joe Mixon on a passing route as well. He wasn’t alone with those struggles though as Terrance Mitchell and B.J. Goodson were joining him as well with some missed tackles — especially on that drive.
Other tackles that weren’t clean included Andrew Sendejo being carried for another yard or two by Mixon early in the game, which continued his frustrating start to the season that included him being in on coverage for Joe Burrow’s first career touchdown and a penalty for leading with the helmet in the third quarter.
Tavierre Thomas also missed on what looked to be a sure sack when he came in on the blitz and another sack was negated when Porter Gustin was flagged for a facemask on Joe Burrow. It just wasn’t clean by any means.
Heading into the year, we all knew the defense was going to be an issue and the injuries they suffered on that side of the ball have only made things worse. Joe Woods is a good defensive coach but there’s only so much he can do. Cleveland needs to get to full health because adding Mack Wilson, Jacob Phillips, Greedy Williams, and Kevin Johnson could make a huge difference.