Jim Schwartz and his Cleveland Browns defense are getting a lot of attention this week.
That’s what happens when you manhandle a Super Bowl favorite’s powerful offense.
Myles Garrett and friends don’t get a lot of sacks or turnovers like you might expect.
As PFF CLE Browns points out, they simply stop teams from moving the ball.
The Cleveland Browns defense has allowed 51 first downs this season (1st in the NFL)
The league average is 110.38 🤯 pic.twitter.com/K4V4SNbpgM
— PFF CLE Browns (@PFF_Browns) October 17, 2023
The deep analytic specialists cite Cleveland’s 51 first downs allowed, fewer than half the NFL average.
That translates to the most 3-and-outs and fewest scores-per-possession across the league.
And it adds up to what could be a historic and record-breaking unit.
Cleveland has held opponents to 200.4 total yards per game so far, a number not seen since the run-first 1970s.
At 15.4 points per game, the Browns own the fifth-best scoring average.
But 14 points were scored directly off turnovers by the offense in Pittsburgh.
And if you also discount a couple of short fields, you can understand exactly how dominant the Browns are.
They held both the Bengals and Titans, teams that otherwise average around 20 points per game, to just a field goal.
The Cleveland Browns led by Jim Schwartz have allowed 1,002 yards through 5 games this season, the fewest by a team over that span since the Baltimore Colts in 1971. pic.twitter.com/3FO044yRTz
— NFL Rumors (@nflrums) October 18, 2023
San Francisco hadn’t scored fewer than 30 points in any week and came in averaging around 36 per game.
The Browns allowed Christian McCaffrey to maintain his touchdown streak with a quick opening drive.
But they pushed the 49ers offense back 10 yards on the next drive in a sign of what was to follow.
And that is what has more than a few analysts calling the unit a “Super Bowl-caliber defense.”