3) Run Defense Needs Work
This one isn’t exactly a ground breaking discovery. The Browns run defense had been putrid for 16 weeks, it wasn’t about to change in Week 17. Their weakness also played into the Ravens hands. Baltimore loves to run the ball and did they ever against Cleveland. Kenneth Dixon rumbled for 117 yards. Jackson added 90 of his own. Gus Edwards tacked on 76. In total the Ravens finished with 296 rushing yards.
Tackling was an issue across all three levels of the defense too, as there were enough whiffs to power the windmill outside First Energy Stadium for weeks. To their credit, Cleveland’s defense has gotten by all year with a bend but don’t break mentality. That was very true today with Baltimore going one-for-four in the red zone. Still, keeping teams out of the red zone more often would be ideal.
Fixing the middle of the defense is a must for John Dorsey and company this offseason.