Historic Browns Season on Defense Still Results in Questions for Jim Schwartz Moving Forward

Historic Browns Season on Defense Still Results in Questions for Jim Schwartz Moving Forward

The Houston Texans dismantled the top-ranked defense in the NFL, the Cleveland Browns.

Even while the players bear a large portion of the responsibility, it’s hard to avoid challenging defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz.

Historic Browns Season on Defense Still Results in Questions for Jim Schwartz Moving Forward
Historic Browns Season on Defense Still Results in Questions for Jim Schwartz Moving Forward

When it counted most, Schwartz and the defense were still without an answer as the Texans capitalized on numerous plays that have damaged the Browns throughout the season.

The Browns’ ability to make the playoffs was mostly due to their defense, which is well deserving of praise for what they have accomplished this season.

This is hardly a call for Schwartz to be let go. That’s ridiculous.

But can this defense be ready to face offenses that can match their defensive line, outmaneuver man coverage, and successfully use misdirection to obtain numerical advantages when the Browns don uniforms once more in 2024?

Teams they will have to be able to defeat in the postseason.

The defensive front’s lack of success against the Texans’ offensive line was a major contributing factor to many of the Browns’ issues.

An offensive line that basically shouldn’t be able to play so well against the Browns. The Browns defense is powered by their defensive line, and throughout the game, it wasn’t operating at full capacity.

Even if it is a huge letdown, that can’t be the entire game. Not with this defense supposed to be that good. The Browns had trouble with movement.

The Browns defense plays with such intensity that the Texans were able to make explosive plays because the defensive backs’ eyes were frequently in the wrong place.

For instance, the defensive line had little to do with Nico Collins’ touchdown-scoring wide receiver screen.

The Texans were able to outnumber them and open a route to the end zone since the whole defense was playing the opposite way. In that case, the X’s and O’s were no better than the players.

Additionally, there are instances in which the offense just chooses the best play for the circumstance.

These issues are not brand-new. The Browns encountered these problems when playing the Los Angeles Rams, Denver Broncos, Baltimore Ravens, and Indianapolis Colts.

Skilled coordinators directing offenses led by seasoned quarterbacks who were aware of the Browns’ strategies and had prepared responses for both pre- and post-snap situations.

Following a few early drives of difficulty, C.J. Stroud appeared to be an experienced quarterback.

Under the direction of offensive coordinator Bobby Slowik—who, on the strength of this performance alone, could earn a head coaching position—Stroud devised strategies that penalized the defense for errors.

Schwartz also needs to understand out why all those games were played away from home. Defense is meant to travel easily, but this year that hasn’t happened at all.

The Browns showed that they are capable of controlling games when Schwartz’s aggressive defense is effective.

When it isn’t, though, Schwartz needs to provide more effective responses. All of the Browns’ opponents, particularly those in their division, will be able to attend these games.

How many of them are able to take advantage of these flaws is still to be seen, but the winners of the game are the ones who are unable to.

The Browns defense needs to adjust more skillfully than it did in this contest.

Perhaps Schwartz has something similar planned for year two.

Continuity is beneficial. In addition to personal growth, players with more experience in this defensive plan ought to be more capable of handling some of the circumstances that caused them difficulties this year.

To remain competitive and rank among the best in the league, the Browns defense’s Xs and Os must adapt to the talent on the field.

And given that Schwartz has been in this position for thirty years, it is fair to wonder if he is prepared to change as innovative offenses find new ways to exploit his defense.

It’s unsettling to hear stuff like this from Myles Garrett.

The Browns players were unable to win this game with their performance.

There is no denying that reality. Simultaneously, will the Browns make it back to the postseason the

following season, maybe with an even more dynamic attack, only to stumble again on defense and be

told that Schwartz had just one strategy and it didn’t work?

The Browns don’t have to reinvent themselves defensively.

They must make it larger. Should Schwartz refuse to comply, there’s a good chance the Browns find

themselves in similar predicament once more the next season, maybe losing in the regular season or postseason.

Considering how unfair this game turned out to be, maybe Jim Schwartz won’t be satisfied to dismiss it as a performance  rather than a clear sign the defense needs to be adaptable

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