Jim Schwartz Calls Out Defense for Implosion in Playoffs

The Cleveland Browns defensive coordinator addressed what went wrong in last season's Wild Card loss to the Houston Texans.
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

As the Cleveland Browns prepare for next season during organized team activities (OTAs), the coaching staff is looking for ways to improve last season's performance. For all intents and purposes, the Browns had a successful 2023 campaign despite being hammered with injuries all season. The defense was especially impressive in the first season under Jim Schwartz.

The Browns led the league in total defense and passing defense last season. They allowed only 270.2 yards per game, the fewest in a season by a team since 2014.

However, the Browns defense wasn't able to maintain their level of play in the postseason. In the Wild Card game against the Houston Texans, the Browns defensive unit was a shell of itself, losing the game 45-14.

Entering his second season in Cleveland, Schwartz addressed the shocking loss to the Texans in his presser during the OTAs. Calling the defensive performance "out of character" because they were" chasing plays", Schwartz said they learned a lot from the loss.

Browns News: Jim Schwartz Calls Out Defense for Texans Loss

Schwartz has a point. That defensive showing was out of character. The defense gave up three touchdowns in the first half. Throughout the game, they registered zero sacks and no interceptions while giving up a 157.2 passer rating to C.J. Stroud and allowing 356 total yards for the game.

During the 2023 campaign, Browns fans loved the aggressive, man defense of Schwartz. However, much to their dismay, Cleveland didn't adjust in the postseason. Schwartz continued to deploy aggressive single-high coverage that Stroud destroyed all season long. And the result was inevitable as the rookie quarterback picked apart the defense.

Schwartz saying that he learned a lot from that game is important. Hopefully part of that learning experience involves adjusting the defense and having a plan B. Otherwise, blaming the defenders for "chasing plays" is not going to be enough to fix the problems.

On Fanduel Sportsbook, the Browns have the eighth-best odds (+2100) to win the AFC. They need to be able to carry their regular-season defensive performance into the postseason to have a chance to make the Super Bowl.

More Browns news and rumors:


Odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.

21+ and present in OH. Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER