Browns Passing Defense Statistically Solid Against All QBs In 2013

By Jeremy Hritz

QB Team W/L Comp Att Yards TDs INTs Sacks
Ryan Tannehill Miami L 24 38 272 1 1 4
Joe Flacco Baltimore L 22 33 211 1 0 2
Christian Ponder Vikings W 25 42 228 0 1 6
Andy Dalton Bengals W 23 42 206 0 1 2
EJ Manuel Bills W 11 20 129 0 0 2
Jeff Tuel Bills W 8 20 80 0 1 2
Matthew Stafford Lions L 25 43 248 4 1 1
Aaron Rodgers Packers L 25 36 260 3 0 1
Alex Smith Chiefs L 24 36 225 2 0 6
Joe Flacco Ravens (2nd game) W 24 41 250 2 1 5
Andy Dalton Bengals (2nd game) L 13 27 93 3 2 0
22.4 37.8 220.2 1.6 0.8 3.1

The Pittsburgh Steelers will be facing the fourth-ranked passing defense this weekend in the Cleveland Browns led by cornerback Joe Haden and safety T.J. Ward.

So far this season, the Browns have not given up a 300-yard passer or allowed any quarterback to exceed 272 yards passing since week one against the Miami Dolphins. However, since that point, the Browns have not given up more than 260 yards passing in any game, and that was to Aaron Rodgers at Lambeau Field.

In examining the Browns passing defense in their wins this season, quarterbacks have averaged the following:

Stat Line for Opposing QBs in Browns’ Wins

Comp Att Yards TDs INTs Sacks
22.75 41.25 223.25 0.5 1 4.25

Conversely, in Browns losses this season, opposing passers have put up these numbers:

Stat Line for Opposing QBs in Browns’ Losses

Comp Att Yards TDs INTs Sacks
22.16667 35.5 218.1667 2.333333 0.666667 2.333333

What is salient when comparing these stat lines is that teams that have defeated the Browns have averaged 5.75 less attempts, while throwing nearly two more touchdowns, and giving up about two less sacks. There is not a statistically significant difference in the number of completions or yards in Browns wins and losses.

Breaking this down even further, take a look at the Browns passing defense against elite passers in comparison to non-elite passers. For the sake of this analysis, Rodgers, Stafford, and Flacco are being considered elite for either their Super Bowl wins or in Stafford’s case, his lofty statistics throughout his career. The non-elite passers are all of the other passers the Browns have faced.

Elite QBs Stat Line

Record Comp Att Yards TDs INTs Sacks
3-1 24 39 232.5714 1.714286 0.571429 3.285714

Non-Elite QBs Stat Line

Record Comp Att Yards TDs INTs Sacks
3-1 22.4 37.8 220.2 1.6 0.8 3.1

Other than the win/loss records, there is not much of a difference in the averages when comparing elite quarterbacks against the Browns passing defense versus non-elite quarterbacks.

What does it all mean for Sunday for the Steelers? They better be ready to play because consistently in every game, the Browns passing defense has played well against opposing passers.

Can Ben Roethlisberger get the win as have other elite QBs against the Browns? Will he become the first 300 yard passer against Cleveland this year?

Or will he succumb to an effective Browns pass rush en route to a Steelers seventh loss?

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