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What Makes The Browns Defense So Lethal?

John Moran

Myles Garrett is the centerpiece of an outstanding Cleveland Browns defense.

Through the first fourteen weeks of this year’s NFL season, the Browns’ defense has been dominant. The defense’s stoutness is the only reason the team has stayed above a .500 win rate in a season when a dominant offense has been led by a multitude of quarterbacks. The team has hopped from their $250 million flop quarterback Deshaun Watson to the 38 year old veteran Joe Flacco, who they signed right off the couch (and has actually played just fine). But what makes this defense so strong? What makes it able to allow the lowest number of yards per game in the league, at only 263.0 yards per game?

The first answer is obvious: Myles Garrett. The four-time Pro Bowler is a force in his own right. His 13 sacks place him seventh in the league, and his 94.3 pass rush grade on PFF is the best in football. His 71.0 run defense grade also places him in the quartile of edge rushers. Garrett is the engine of the Brown’s solid defensive line. 

But there are other massive contributors outside of Garrett’s success. The Browns also hold the title of best-passing defense, allowing only 159.7 yards per game and 16 passing touchdowns. While the pass rush of Garrett is a factor, Martin Emerson Jr. has 4 interceptions, and Denzel Ward has had a similarly strong season in his own right. Ward is a two-time Pro Bowler and is likely to return to a high level after battling injuries last year. Greg Newsome II has also been a stand-out corner.

Finally, their recent defensive draft picks have been excellent. Newsome and Emerson Jr. were first round and third round picks, respectively. Furthermore, safety Grant Delpit has been an excellent addition. These draftees, under the tutelage of the aggressive defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz, have created a young, powerful defense.

The Browns have been excellent defensively, and it will be exciting to watch that side of the ball in Cleveland as the offense languishes. The GOAT can’t wait to see what Cleveland will cook up next.


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