Browns PFF Grades: Strong performances in top 5 offense, defense

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The Cleveland Browns dominated the Chicago Bears on Sunday. The 20 point victory doesn’t do enough justice to how much the home team controlled the game. Unfortunately, timely miscues on fourth downs, Jedrick Wills injury and a few errant throws by Baker Mayfield kept the score closer than it should have been.

The Browns moved to 2 – 1 on the young season with an important game in Minnesota this week for head coach Kevin Stefanski. Returning to the team he spent over a decade with, Stefanski will have a little extra motivation. So will the Vikings, facing their former offensive coordinator.

Not surprisingly, Cleveland’s performances graded pretty well per Pro Football Focus. Not everyone had a great day, which we will get to, but the strong performances at the top graded quite high.

Top 5 Offense

[Phil Masturzo/ Beacon Journal]
The offense was far from perfect but there were some clear winners among the PFF grades.

  • Kareem Hunt - 90.6 - In only 33 snaps, Hunt led the way for the Browns offensive grades with his grade. Hunt was a load in the run and pass games.

  • Jack Conklin - 89.1 - While the offensive line did not seem themselves for most of the game, Conklin was given a great grade with his run blocking grade up at 88.9.

  • Baker Mayfield - 76.4 - As noted, Mayfield struggled at times but still had a quality grade for PFF.

  • Odell Beckham Jr. - 76.2 - Playing 52 snaps, including 35 passing snaps, OBJ looked very good on the field and his 76.2 grade backs that up.

  • Austin Hooper - 72.6 - Hooper was a blocker more than he was a receiver (29 to 20) and graded out best as a pass blocker (75.2) with a quality 69.4 in the passing game.

Top 5 Defense

[Phil Masturzo/ Beacon Journal]
The defense was electric on Sunday. With a very limited Bears offensive line, the Browns took advantage time and time again leading to five grades at 80.0 or above.

  • Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah - 93.9 - Limited to only 23 defensive snaps, JOK was amazing in coverage (92.5) leading the team. The rookie should get more and more snaps as the year goes on.

  • Greedy Williams - 90.8 - Only in for eight snaps on defense, Williams as sticky in coverage. With Greg Newsome II injured, Williams will be expected to step in right away and continue to play well.

  • Myles Garrett - 90.0 - Garrett got after the passer with 4.5 sacks which backs up his 91.2 pass-rush grade on Sunday. Pinning his ears back, Garrett wasn't as good against the run grading 52.3.

  • Troy Hill - 83.8 - Hill has been an under-the-radar quality pickup for the team this offseason and showed it in Week 3. He was graded above 80 for both his run and pass defense.

  • Malcolm Smith - 80.0 - Stepping in for Anthony Walker, the veteran Smith was a solid tackler and, like last year, good in coverage.

  • Ronnie Harrison - 79.8 - A bonus player, given Williams' limited snap count, is the carryover safety from 2020. Harrison was graded highest as a tackler (77.4) and lowest in run defense (65.5).

Bottom of the Offensive

(AP Photo/David Richard)

While the offense played well in places, they were far from perfect. The bottom three graded offensive players has at least one surprise:

  • David Njoku - 45.8 - With zero catches, Njoku was not graded well nor was his run-blocking grade great. He was, however, very good in pass protection (73.4).

  • Harrison Bryant - 46.0 - Bryant saw 33 snaps but, like Njoku, graded poorly except for pass blocking (73.4).

  • Blake Hance - 48.3 - A healthy Hance at left tackle was worse than a severely limited Jedrick Wills at the same position. His pass-blocking grade, on only three attempts, was 28.1.

Bottom of the Defense

Like the offense, the defense had to have three bottom guys with free-agent additions taking all three spots:

  • Malik Jackson - 29.5 - Yikes. Yikes on 37 snaps.

  • Malik McDowell - 52.7 - Better as a pass rusher, McDowell graded very poorly in tackling (23.7).

  • John Johnson III - 53.0 - Early in the season, it seems that JJ3 is still finding his way in the defense. The pass interference call, which many disagree with, may have changed his grade drastically.

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