FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. – Don't let their 2-6-1 record fool you, the Cleveland Browns have plenty of talent on their roster, especially on the defensive side.
Falcons coach Dan Quinn said as much during his Monday afternoon press conference when asked for his initial impression of his team's upcoming opponent.
"What I do know, from the little bit of studying that I've done, is the talent," Quinn said. "And their ability, defensively, to create takeaways. If I'm not mistaken, I believe they're the league leader in forcing turnovers. They're somewhere in the neighborhood of 23, which is a big number for nine or 10 games. That part jumped off the tape for me."
The Browns have forced 23 turnovers this season – 13 interceptions and 10 forced fumbles – which is indeed the most of any team in the NFL. In fact, only the Chicago Bears, who have 21 takeaways, are in the same neighborhood as the Browns in that category. For those interested, the Falcons have eight takeaways this season.
Here are the top defenses at creating turnovers this season:
|Team||No. of takeaways|
|New England Patriots||17|
|New York Jets||15|
|Los Angeles Rams||14|
Back to that talent on the Browns' defense. Defensive end Myles Garrett is tied for the third-most sacks in the league with nine while rookie cornerback Denzel Ward has three interceptions and two fumble recoveries, which ties him for the second-most among all NFL players in both of those categories. Cleveland also has players like Jamie Collins, Christian Kirksey and Jabrill Peppers surrounding their recent first-round draft picks.
As it's only Monday, there's still plenty of scouting left to be done for Quinn, but the Browns' defense has clearly made a strong initial impression.
"I haven't gotten enough yet," Quinn said, "but I've got enough to keep me up late at night."