The breakdown of the Cleveland Browns defense in the last two minutes of the New York Jets game is just the Week 2 example of a lingering problem.
It needs to be fixed immediately because it is already causing major issues for the Browns.
Here are just a few of those issues.
1. Giving Up Too Many Points
The defense has given up 55 points in two weeks’ time.
Giving up that many points puts a lot of pressure on the offense to keep scoring.
Then, there is the problem of giving up a lot of points late in the game.
62% of the 55 points, 34 to be exact, were scored against the Browns’ defense in the fourth quarter.
The #Browns defense has given up 55 points through two games.
34 of these were surrendered in the 4th quarter. SIXTY-TWO percent.
— Brian Spoon (@BrianSpoon) September 18, 2022
Holding a lead has been a challenge.
In Week 1, Cade York bailed them out.
There was no time to be bailed out in Week 2 as the Jets had the ball for the majority of the final two minutes and put up 14 points.
— Guilherme Fauth (@Gui16Fauth) September 19, 2022
2. Miscommunication Happens Way Too Often
That word has been tossed around a lot in two short weeks.
We heard it last week regarding the 75-yard touchdown the Carolina Panthers scored in the fourth quarter.
BAKER TO ROBBIE. 75 YARDS. #KeepPounding
— NFL (@NFL) September 11, 2022
#Browns CB Denzel Ward confident team will clean up breakdowns. Long TD pass was just "a miscommunication and we'll get it fixed for next time."
— Tom Withers (@twithersAP) September 12, 2022
Joe Flacco to Corey Davis for the 76-yard TD!!!!
— NFL (@NFL) September 18, 2022
#Browns CB Denzel Ward on the Browns' blown coverage vs. Corey Davis: "It was just another miscommunication, similar to the one we had in the first game."
— Ben Axelrod (@BenAxelrod) September 19, 2022
3. Unity And Accountability Are Both Debatable
The miscommunication plays are bad enough, but the post-mortem on what happened, especially in the Jets game, is arguably worse than the play itself.
Lotta fingers pointing in different directions on the Browns defense. Gotta figure it out and quick. #Browns
— Hayden Grove (@H_Grove) September 19, 2022
There has been no rational explanation of what went wrong.
Ward is questioning his PFF grade of 33.5 in the Jets game and says that he did not blow the coverage.
— MoreForYouCleveland (@MoreForYou_CLE) September 19, 2022
— Mary Kay Cabot (@MaryKayCabot) September 19, 2022
Grant Delpit did not really want to discuss the specifics either.
#Browns S Grant Delpit's repetitive response to inquiries related to yesterday's defensive breakdowns "Communication error"
— Daryl Ruiter (@RuiterWrongFAN) September 19, 2022
Grant Delpit is not saying who was playing the wrong coverage, between him and Denzel Ward. Just saying "communication error…" #Browns
— Jake Trotter (@Jake_Trotter) September 19, 2022
The most detail he provided was that it is a player-to-player on-the-field issue not communication from the sideline.
#Browns S Grant Delpit said the miscommunication problem is more player to player on field than sideline to player.
— Scott Petrak ct (@ScottPetrak) September 19, 2022
This whole situation makes no sense.
The defense is largely unchanged from last season.
If people were to predict where miscommunication may come from on the Browns team early in the season, they certainly would have selected the offense with so many moving parts and new faces.
It is ironic that in Week 2 in 2021, the Browns offense began its slow unraveling with the Baker Mayfield interception intended for Anthony Schwartz that caused the Mayfield injury and all the drama that ensued with him and the wide receivers after that time.
And in Week 2 of 2022, the Browns defense has its second straight week of miscommunication, and fingers are pointing in all directions.
We have yet to hear anything decisive from defensive coordinator Joe Woods or head coach Kevin Stefanski on all of this.
The best remedy for this entire situation is a win over Pittsburgh on Thursday night.
Winning has a way of curing everything.