2. Best defense in the entire NFL?
I don't think anyone is surprised that the Cleveland Browns have a good defense this year. I don't know that anyone is really surprised that they have a great defense this year.
I think people are mostly surprised that the Browns could potentially have the best overall defense in the NFL, and they have proven through the first month of the season that they just might. In the Browns' dominating win over the Tennessee Titans and Week 3, they gave up just 94 yards from scrimmage.
As in, 94 total yards. Not 94 passing or 94 rushing. That's 94 combined yards to an NFL team with NFL players. In the Browns' Week 1 win over the Bengals, they gave up just 142 total yards.
So far this season, they obviously rank 1st in the NFL in yards allowed, 5th in points allowed, 1st against the pass, and 5th against the run. The Browns also boast the no. 1 third down defense in the NFL, and 11th in the league at 3.0 sacks per game.
There's no doubt about it -- this defense is capable of being absolutely dominant in all phases, whether you're talking about rushing the passer, creating turnovers, causing incompletions, getting off the field on third downs, and even stopping the run. Stopping the run was a major issue that needed to be addressed after last year, and for Jim Schwartz to have this unit in the top five early this season against the run is huge for Cleveland.
This is a championship-caliber defense, but can the offense keep up?