The Browns saw their defense step up big against the Vikings
Let’s be blunt, this may have been the worst offensive performance the Browns have had since Kevin Stefanski took over. Poor play calling, no chemistry with the quarterback and receivers, guys aren’t looking for the ball, people are jumping off-sides, penalties are killing drives. It was a nightmare. Part of the issue is the new and younger receivers not making headway yet, along with the fact Jarvis Landry is missing still due to his injury. His departure has hurt the team.
Just Odell Beckham hasn’t improved things. Mayfield is leading the league in completions before Beckham returns, then, all of a sudden, the passing game falls to pieces. This may just be a situation where everyone needs some time and if that’s the case then fine. The Browns can win many ways and are 3-1 right now for a reason.
That said, the offense didn’t do anything noteworthy against the Vikings. The defense, on the other hand, did. Jamie Gillan was a master with his punt length and placement, Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah tackled anything that moved, while Sione Takitaki was a mid-level nightmare. Heck, even Takk McKinley had a good game.
Yet, they still didn’t make the Top Five.
These are five players who impressed against the Vikings
5. Troy Hill
It’s all defense all the time on this week’s list. So many players had a right to be included but we’re focusing mostly on the secondary due to how they played against a top passing team. Troy Hill was among three guys who really upped their game. He had four tackles, one for a loss and a pass deflection in the stat category but he was also constantly in or around incompletions, really highlighting his ability to make Kirk Cousins weary and throw bad passes.
4. Denzel Ward
This is easily Denzel Ward’s best game of the season. While he had some minor issues in the late portion of the game, he was largely excellent, pairing off with Justin Jefferson for most of the game. Ward stacked the stat box with four tackles, a pass deflection, two quarterback hits, and a half of a sack shared with Myles Garrett.
3. Malick Jackson
The big hoss was one of the key reasons the defensive line obliterated the Vikings run game, but Jackson also made an impact in the passing game. Not by assaulting the quarterback, though he did have two tackles and a quarterback hit, but by sticking his big ol’ meat hooks up in the air. Jackson caused two pass deflections on the line of scrimmage, a category that Cousins leads the league in apparently. Those deflections get in a quarterback’s head, especially on the line of scrimmage, and really do alter aspects of the game.
2. Myles Garrett
On one hand, Myles Garrett had a massive let-down from Week 3 to Week 4 in regards to statistical production. On the other hand, we all knew he would. No one has four sacks in one game on back-to-back encounters. Some light-hearted jokes aside, Garrett did in fact continue his monstrous ways. He was far more active in the backfield, which allowed teammates to get sacks, plus he helped nerfed any type of running game to the outside. He had five tackles, two for a loss, four quarterback hits, and a half-sack. A very impressive game for Garrett.
1. Greedy Williams
Largely on Adam Theilen for a lot of the game, Williams had a tough task in front of him but one he stepped up for. He led all defensive backs with six tackles, a pass deflection, and an interception; the lone takeaway for the Browns on the day.