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Cleveland Browns No. 1 defense has locked down the rest of the NFL

It really is impressive when you start to glance at all the defensive statistical categories that the Cleveland Browns lead the NFL in so far this season. The Browns shocked the world last Sunday when they beat the previously undefeated San Francisco 49ers 19-17. It was another outstanding performance by the defense only giving up 215 total yards to the 49ers. This type of effort is becoming the norm for Cleveland and has the rest of the league standing up and taking note.

This team’s defense is led now by new defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz, who has become the darling of all Browns fans. His ability to use a variety of schemes for the players and give them the freedom to read their opponents and play defensively going downhill has energized the unit. Play after play the players are celebrating and getting rejuvenated for the next play. They have a lot to be excited about especially when you look at how dominating they have been over their first five games of the season.

Right now this Browns defense has basically overwhelmed the league. They are ranked No. 1 in so many defensive categories that the list takes up the whole page of my notes. Currently, the Cleveland defense is No. 1 in only giving up 133 passing attempts. They are No. 1 in giving up the lowest percentage of pass completions at only 51.9%. The worst team in the league defensively against the pass is the Denver Broncos giving up a completion 76% of the time.

The Browns have only given up 607 total passing yards, again No.1 in the league. They’ve only given up 27 first downs via the pass all season long.


When it comes to rushing the ball, Cleveland has only given up 18 first downs. So that’s a combined 55 first downs between the pass and run which is also No. 1 in the league. The unit has only given up 262 total plays. The next closest team in the NFL is the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who’ve given up 322 total plays.

In last Sunday’s game against San Francisco, the 49ers ran down the field on an opening 84-yard drive on only five plays but after that, the Browns defense locked down their opponent. I remember looking up at the scoreboard while attending the game and seeing at the 2-minute warning the 49ers only had 160 yards while Cleveland had doubled them up with 320 yards. For the game, San Francisco had 215 yards so after that initial drive the Browns only gave up 131 yards. If it weren’t for their last offensive possession, the 49ers only collected 76 yards between their first and last drive.

Cleveland is winning games in “old-school” fashion and that’s alright by Browns fans. It’s what this football community is all about. Being tough and resilient. We still have a long way to go in this NFL season, but Cleveland fans have a lot to be optimistic about. Those No.1 rankings may fluctuate a bit as the year progresses, but I get the feeling that this squad is on a mission.

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