Cleveland Browns vs. Tampa Bay Bucs: 3 big storylines in Week 13

Cleveland Browns, Jacoby Brissett
Cleveland Browns, Jacoby Brissett /
3 of 3
Cleveland Browns
Cleveland Browns, Myles Garrett. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /

No. 1: Will the defense step it up?

The Browns’ defense has been a mess all season and that’s the main reason why the team is where they are right now. The finger-pointing and lack of leadership on that side of the ball have really been one of the main storylines of this bad season for the team.

There’s still time to change that narrative, but the window is closing. Players like Myles Garrett, Grant Delpit, Denzel Ward, and John Johnson all need to stop their critical takes at fellow teammates or their coaches and just play the game they all are supposed to love.

Playing the game of football like any sport oftentimes comes down to heart and effort. We’ve seen many of the same players on this roster perform better in the past. Why is that and why from one week to the next, does that fluctuate so much?

Losing games can pay a toll on players and the Browns have certainly been struggling in this part of the mental game of the NFL. Being more focused on things like tackling and being in the right spot on the defensive play that is called should be a priority for all these defenders.

Week in and week out this unit is getting gutted and giving up huge plays due to whiffed tackles or a simple lack of gap control. When we’ve seen this unit succeed it usually has been because they’re playing together and with more spirit. That’s not been the case though in most games.

With the debut of Deshaun Watson next week and a chance for the team to get a win at home, you would suspect that this defense would be ready and put aside their differences to try to get the win. If they show that as a team on Sunday, then Cleveland will still have a glimmer of hope of finishing the season better than they started.

Cleveland Browns: 5 Bold predictions in Week 13. dark. Next