Grading the Cleveland Browns defense for their epic performance in Week 6

Jim Schwartz provided his players the answers for Kyle Shanahan's test and they aced it. Grade cards are out for Week 6, and the entire Cleveland Browns defense made the Dean's List.
Tennessee Titans v Cleveland Browns
Tennessee Titans v Cleveland Browns / Jason Miller/GettyImages
1 of 3

The Cleveland Browns defense entered Sunday’s contest as the stingiest unit in the league in terms of yards allowed. They left Sunday’s contest not only as the No. 1 defense in that category but are now also on a truly historic pace through five games. The Browns are now allowing a mere 200.4 yards per game, 60 yards better than the next closest team.

Jim Schwartz’ defense didn't get off to their typical fast start against the San Francisco 49ers. The Browns won the coin toss and elected to defer and put their elite defense on the field first. However, the 49ers marched straight down the field, aided by 30 yards of penalties, and scored a touchdown in only five plays.

But then, as it typically does, water found its level. Cleveland's defense put the clamps down and made the 49ers offense work for every single blade of grass for the remainder of the game. Schwartz put his players in the best position to succeed, and then the players executed the plan.

When the dust settled, the Browns held the vaunted 49ers offense to 215 total yards and 17 points. For perspective, coming into the contest the 49ers were averaging 402.6 yards per game and a league-best 33.4 points per game. If the league was not already aware, they are on notice now; there is something special brewing in Cleveland this season.

Grading the Browns defense Week 6 performance

Coaching: A+

If there was a higher grade than A+ that could be assigned to Jim Schwartz and his assistants, they would receive it for what transpired in Cleveland Browns Stadium in Week 6. From the uptick of man coverage to the brilliant utilization of personnel, Schwartz was in his bag against the 49ers. But that should not come as a surprise to anyone who pays attention to the scores.

Schwartz has virtually owned every Kyle Shanahan offense he has ever coached against. In Schwartz’ nine contests against Shanahan as a play caller, the defensive coordinator has left victorious in eight of them. In fact, Schwartz' defense has only given up on average 15.8 points per game against Shanahan and a shockingly low 319.4 yards per contest.

While a vast majority see Shanahan as an offensive schematic wizard, Schwartz just sees another guy that about to catch an L.