Defensive players that stood out despite Browns loss in Week 4

Browns, Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
Browns, Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports /

The Cleveland Browns defense had some moments to forget in Week 4 but a couple of players still stood out

Where’s the silver lining in a game that was lost by the Cleveland Browns to an Atlanta Falcons team that was less than a powerhouse team in the league? The stars for the Falcons, like Kyle Pitts, Cordarrelle Patterson, and Drake London weren’t very good either. Their quarterback, Marcus Mariota, who threw only seven completed passes, somehow managed to pull out the victory though.

The Browns defense played well for most stages of the game but had stretches of bad football that killed the team’s opportunities for the win. Cleveland allowed the Falcons to run off 15 straight run plays and made very few adjustments along the way in the third and fourth quarters, forgetting how to tackle and being embarrassed as Atlanta took control of the line of scrimmage.

Their secondary forgot about coverage, leaving opponents wide open again late in the game as well and that led to Atlanta taking the late lead. While all of that was frustrating, a couple of defenders did stand out with a positive performance.

Browns Defensive players that shined

Denzel Ward, CB

Denzel Ward got paid a handsome new contract this offseason and it was about time that he stepped up and made a play in this game as he picked off a pass in the second half that led the Browns to score a field goal moments later and take a brief lead in the game.

According to Pro Football Focus (PFF), he was graded at 86.7 and highest ranking amongst the Cleveland defense.

Ward now has 11 interceptions in his career, but he’s never had more than three in any single season. More interceptions like the one he got on Sunday would certainly be nice to help out the team. He’s hurt them in several situations already as he’s logged four penalties, including one on Sunday where he was called for a face mask late in the game.

He’s been out of position on other pass plays as well this year giving up big chunks of yardage. But on Sunday, he had a couple of pass breakups.

Hopefully, the momentum from the interception will be able to spark the five-year veteran and he can be a bigger part of the secondary playing better as we enter an important stretch of games.

Jeremiah Owusu Koramoah, LB

JOK seemed like he was everywhere in this game, especially early. He finished with seven tackles including one for a loss. He’s been a big part of the Browns defense trying to get things turned around. He’s been battling a few injuries, most recently a groin injury but he played in 78 percent of the game.

With teammate, Anthony Walker lost to a season-ending injury recently JOK will have to step up this year. He’s had a decent start to this campaign, but we’ll have to hope he can stay upright and not further injure himself. Groin injuries are very difficult to recover from completely, especially in the middle of a football season.

Cleveland’s front seven were pushed around a lot in the Falcons game, but JOK did what he could to keep the Cleveland defense competitive, but it wasn’t enough. His 47.2 PFF grade for the game was pretty poor but not as bad as his teammate Jacob Phillips, who was filling in for Walker. He scored only 27.3 as the Falcons kept running and passing toward him.

Hopefully next week there are a few more players on defense that shine because only having two this week speaks to the problems this team has with this part of the team. Cleveland was supposed to be able to hang their hat on star-powered defense but none of that has happened. Will things change next week when the Browns welcome the high-powered Los Angeles Chargers to town?