Browns defense has limited huge plays all season long

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  • Cleveland Browns
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The Cleveland Browns defense has been much maligned by fans and media throughout the 2021 NFL season. While the team added a slew of players in free agency and the draft, inconsistencies have plagued the defense’s ability to get off the field.

Those inconsistencies can be attributed to new players adjusting to a new system, injuries, COVID-19 losses and playing some quality opponents. Those are not excuses but realities for the team’s defense this year.

Despite all of that, the Cleveland defense ranks seventh in the league in total yards given up, eighth in passing yards given up and tenth in rushing yards given up. Unfortunately, due to turnovers on offense and poor special teams play, limiting yardage hasn’t been enough as the team is 17th in points given up this year.

One goal of Joe Woods’ defense has been to limit the number of big plays given up. The team has been successful in not giving up plays of 40 yards or more, tied for fifth with only seven of them:

Very interesting to see the Baltimore Ravens, with all their injury problems, at the top of the list despite their quality record and the Atlanta Falcons at the bottom of the list despite their losing record.

While big plays is just one way to define a defense, Woods’ squad has seemingly met their goal so far this season. It has not been perfect but reducing big plays is one way that the defense has kept the Browns in games as the offense has struggled.