2. Okoronkwo, Smith each record a sack
In the win over the Ravens, the Browns defense stepped up when it mattered most. Baltimore scored 31 points but 14 of those came on two touchdowns due to turnovers. The first touchdown was when Kyle Hamilton picked off Deshaun Watson and ran it back for a touchdown. The second was when James Proche muffed a punt, giving the Ravens a short field.
Outside of that, they surrendered a long touchdown to Keaton Mitchell and one to Odell Beckham, Jr. As frustrating as those plays were, the defense was solid outside of them. They even scored a touchdown of their own when Greg Newsome returned his first-career interception for a touchdown.
While Newsome got the points, it was Ogbo Okoronkwo who made that play happen. The first-year Brown was able to leap at the perfect time and bat Lamar Jackson’s pass into the air. The ball floated for a while before Newsome hauled it in and was off to the races.
Okoronkwo wasn’t the only defensive lineman to make an impact in this game either. Za’Darius Smith was also breaking through the line and causing problems for his old team. He finished with four tackles, two for a loss, and a half-sack. He also had two quarterback hits as well, constantly making Jackson aware of his presence.
This weekend, there should be plenty of opportunities for Okoronkwo and Smith to continue to make plays. Kenny Pickett has been sacked 18 times this year and while their line has been improving, they’re going to be heavily fixated on Myles Garrett. That will open the door for both of these pass rushers to record at least one sack.