Stud: Cleveland Browns secondary
I don't think the dominance of the Cleveland Browns secondary can be overstated at this point. And you can't pick just one player to represent the group.
You looked at this group going into the 2023 season and felt like it could be one of the best in the NFL, and so far they're living up to those massive expectations. I don't know how teams are going to find an edge against this unit if they continue to stay healthy.
Look at the numbers they put up against the 49ers' offense, which is consistently one of the most productive in the NFL:
- 12 receptions
- 24 targets
- 124 yards
- 1 TD
The 49ers were only able to complete 50 percent of their pass attempts in this game.
Of the 124 yards, a huge chunk came on the 49ers' final drive of the game as Brock Purdy was able to find Brandon Aiyuk for a couple of big plays, or these numbers would have looked way worse (or better, depending on which side you're on).
There’s plenty of debate around whether it’s Purdy’s skills or the offensive system in San Fran driving their results, but either way the unit had looked nearly unstoppable through five games. Purdy was leading the NFL in passer rating at 123.1 and had just shredded the Dallas Cowboys defense to the tune of a 144.4 passer rating in Week 5.
The Browns stepped up and completely derailed the 49ers' hype train.
A huge shoutout is deserved for this Cleveland Browns secondary.