“Win pretty, win ugly, just win.”- Venus Williams
The Cleveland Browns were victorious, albeit in semi-ugly fashion, versus an injury-riddled New York Jets team on Monday Night Football1. The defense was absolutely dominant, limiting the Jets offense to 262 total yards, forcing four sacks, and pressuring quarterbacks Trevor Siemian and Luke Falk on 34.3% of dropbacks. The offense continued to struggle with an identity crisis after another uneven and inefficient performance (although there were some bright spots discussed below).2
Let’s dig into some standout statistics from the Week Two win for wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr., linebacker Joe Schobert, and edge Myles Garrett3:
Odell Beckham, Jr.
Beckham had his best game in a Browns uniform, recording six receptions on ten targets for 161 yards and one touchdown in his return to the familiar blades of grass at MetLife stadium. He was the Browns highest-graded player on offense and ranked as follows at the position group for Week Two:
His big play of the night was a career-long 89-yard touchdown reception4 from Mayfield on a slant route with 3:43 left in the third quarter, which showcased his breakaway speed5 and yards after catch (YAC) ability:
— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) September 17, 2019
Beckham is one of the premier slant route runners in the NFL. In 2018, he caught 13 of 19 targets for 192 yards, with 76 YAC, and the sixth-highest success rate on short-middle passes. Correspondingly, from weeks 9-17 of the 2018 season, Mayfield had a 124.3 passer rating and an 89.5% on-target percentage on said route.
Further, from 2014-16, Beckham had the fourth most yards after catch (teammate Jarvis Landry was fifth), as depicted below:
Head coach Freddie Kitchens and offensive coordinator Todd Monken should increase the frequency for which this route is utilized in order to take advantage of the strength of both players (something Kitchens did persistently in 2018). This, in turn, should reduce the number of hits and pressures on Mayfield, who currently has the third-longest amount of time elapsed from snap to throw at 3.07 seconds (sourced from Next Gen Stats).
Schobert has been a pivotal member of the Browns defense over the past couple of seasons and remains one of the most underappreciated players at the position group:
#Browns Schobert chatter on the TL again today. Let's take a look at the data:
w/ Schobert (per game basis):
Catch %- 67.4
w/o Schobert (per game basis):
Catch %- 71.9
— Cody Suek (@WFNYCody) June 4, 2019
He was the second-highest graded linebacker in coverage (90.5) and the sixth-highest graded overall linebacker in the league in Week Two (86.3). Further, through the first two weeks of the season he has the following ranks and statistics (among linebackers with a minimum of 50 snaps):
Simply put: Schobert is well on his way to earning a contract extension with the team.
Through his first two seasons, Garrett recorded 21 tackles for loss, 47 quarterback hits, and 20.5 sacks, which are the most by a Browns defender.
He continued to be a force of nature in the week two match-up with the Jets, generating the following statistics and ranks:
His freakish athleticism, elite explosiveness, and disruption potential were on full display on his third sack of the game:
— NFL on ESPN (@ESPNNFL) September 17, 2019
Although he has only the 42nd-most pass-rush snaps (54) through the first two weeks of the season, he is tied for first in total sacks (five) and fourth in total pressures (11). In the words of former Browns offensive tackle Joe Thomas:
Joe Thomas on Myles Garrett (via Daily):
"He was extremely good his first two years.
"He's reached a new level. Think Aaron Donald.
"There's nobody in the NFL designed to stop him."
— Steve Doerschuk (@sdoerschukREP) September 17, 2019
Other Statistics of Significance
A repeat dud performance on the offensive side of the ball will have a dramatically different result versus the defending NFC champion Los Angeles Rams on Sunday Night Football. As Kitchens said, “It’s a great challenge for us. Our guys will do a good job preparing this week, and we will go out and give it our best shot on Sunday. They are a very good team. We are going to show up on Sunday and see where we are.”