Browns New Year’s Resolution No. 2: Sign a (better) defensive tackle
As much heat as the Cleveland defense takes, they’re actually pretty good against the pass. This season, they’re eighth overall in yards surrendered — although they’re one of the worst in taking the ball away. Still, they haven’t been gashed through the air as often as it seemed they would be following the horrific start to the year.
Their real problem, however, has been stopping the run. Entering Week 17, the Browns are 25th in the league in run defense which is why they’re dropped all the way to 16th in yardage and 21st in points given up.
The worst stretch was in Week 4 and Week 5 when they gave up 202 yards in a three-point loss to the Atlanta Falcons and 238 yards in a two-point loss to the Los Angeles Chargers. They were also guilty of giving up 198 to the Ravens in Week 15 and 195 to the Miami Dolphins in Week 10.
It’s really ironic that a team willing to pay two veteran running backs has put no effort into stopping the opponent from running. In fact, they’ve used almost all their resources on pass-rushing defensive tackles such as Taven Bryan and Perrion Winfrey. That has to change in 2023.
Not only do they need a run-stuffing defensive tackle in the draft but they’re also going to need to bring one in during free agency as well — just in case a solid option isn’t there for the choosing. What they can’t do is head into another year without having a decent chance of stopping the run.