, for the Cleveland Browns’ Week 2 game against the New Orleans Saints.Defensive LinePosPlayerPlays%StatsPosPlayerPlays%StatsWho would have guessed that the Browns would have delivered a solid defensive outing against QB Drew Brees, yet had a very quiet day from DE Myles Garrett. Besides one tackle for a loss near the end of the game, Garrett was held in check by Saints LT Terron Armstead. For the second week in a row, Garrett basically played the entire game.Larry Ogunjobi continues to be a beast. He played 88% of the snaps and registered two third-down sacks to end drives. He had a hat trick called off due to a questionable defensive holding penalty that was called on SS Derrick Kindred in the second half.PFF says Ogunjobi had 3 pressures, and earned the 4th-best mark among interior defenders this week in that category. However, they gave him a low run defense grade of 35.8.With DE Emmanuel Ogbah out, the team turned to DE Chris Smith, who played 58% of the snaps. DL Carl Davis and DL Anthony Zettel each made their debut with the club, and rookie DE Chad Thomas also saw action.LinebackerPosPlayerPlays%StatsPosPlayerPlays%StatsJoe Schobert was the third-highest graded Browns player on defense with a grade of 70.4. He and Jamie Collins each played every snap.With Christian Kirksey out, James Burgess made his 2018 debut, playing 61% of the snaps. After playing 51% of the snaps a week ago, rookie DE/LB Genard Avery was limited to just 32% of the snaps this week.CornerbackPosPlayerPlays%StatsPosPlayerPlays%StatsThe Browns didn’t allow the Saints’ receivers to go off per se, but besides the two fumbles forced by CB Terrance Mitchell, it was a productive enough day for their receivers.Per PFF, rookie CB Denzel Ward had a rough Week 2, logging an overall grade of 48.0. He was “targeted seven times, allowing seven completions for 71 yards, one touchdown, and a 148.3 passer rating.” They also say that Ward missed three tackles.One big change in Week 2 was that T.J. Carrie replaced Briean Boddy-Calhoun as the team’s nickelback. He was flagged for pass interference once to bring the ball to the 2 yard line. He also had a nice sack later on, coming through the line untouched.Despite being active, E.J. Gaines only saw a few snaps on special teams.SafetyPosPlayerPlays%StatsPosPlayerPlays%StatsThrough two games, we can definitely say that FS Damarious Randall was the most underrated addition of the offseason. He has a nose for the football, and despite often playing the deep role, is showing better instincts than SS Jabrill Peppers did in that role a year ago.Derrick Kindred played 62% of the snaps, while Peppers was in for 55% of the snaps. Kindred was flagged for illegal contact in the fourth quarter, a ticky tack play that you’d like to see the officials not reach into their pocket on. Peppers was the Browns’ highest-graded defender in Week 2 with a grade of 74.7 On Sunday, the Cleveland Browns are on the road for the first time as they take on the New Orleans Saints. To help preview a few topics from the Saints’ perspective Cleveland Browns T-Shirt
, we reached out to Christopher Dunnells from Canal Street Chronicles and exchanged five questions with him. Enjoy!The Saints saw Bucs receivers getting behind them early and often in Week 1.Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty ImagesPokorny: “I’m sure the Saints allowing 48 points to the Bucs last week was just as surprising to you as it was the rest of the league. Was the Saints’ secondary the biggest culprit?”Dunnells: “I think you would start the finger-pointing by looking at the defensive line. No matter how good the secondary is (although they admittedly struggled mightily as a unit in Week 1), opposing wide receivers are eventually going to get open when the quarterback has all day to throw. When there is absolutely no pass rush to speak of for the Saints, it’s hard to expect the secondary to maintain coverage that long. As the defensive line play improves, so should the rest of the Saints defense. Hopefully, for the Saints and their fans, Alex Okafor returns to form, Cam Jordan shows why he’s a Pro Bowl caliber DE, and Marcus Davenport continues to show improvement rushing the passer.”The Saints are being patient with first-round pick Marcus Davenport.Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty ImagesPokorny: “The Saints drafted DE Marcus Davenport with the 14th overall pick of this year’s draft, and New Orleans paid a premium to move up to get him. I see he only played 35% of the snaps in Week 1. How has he been this preseason and in his debut?”Dunnells: “Marcus Davenport was never drafted to be a Week 1 starter, in spite of the high price the Saints paid to move up in the 1st Round of the 2018 NFL Draft to select him. Instead, Davenport is a raw project with all of the potential in the world. He was held out of the start of the preseason due to injury, but was able to show bursts of what made the Saints value him so highly in Week 1. He had a great sack of Ryan Fitzpatrick that was erroneously ruled a roughing the passer penalty and showed amazing speed (did you know he runs a 40 faster than many of the Saints offensive players, including Mark Ingram?) to pursue sweeping runs from the back side. As long as Saints fans can be patient with his growth and development, Davenport should be just fine.”Well, hello there, Carl Nassib.Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty ImagesPokorny: “According to PFF, ‘The Saints’ offensive line was one of the best in the NFL when it came to protecting Brees in 2017, but the unit struggled against Tampa Bay’s strengthened defensive line on Sunday afternoon.’ I only see one sack allowed by the Saints, and plenty of offense. Would you agree that the line struggled? Either way, which position on the line is the weakest?”Dunnells: “I would disagree mightily that the Saints offensive line struggled in pass protection in Week 1. Just watching the game live, it seemed Drew Brees had plenty of time to make reads and get rid of the ball. Granted, he often was able to take advantage of the first read in his progression and got rid of the ball quickly, but he didn’t seem rushed, hurried, or hit often. The offensive line as a unit, when healthy, is pretty strong across the board. The problem is with the “when healthy” part Cleveland Browns Hats
, though. In Week 1, Andrus Peat sat due to injury in favor of Josh LeRibeus, who filled in admirably in Peat’s absence. Still, Peat’s spot at left guard was definitely the weakest spot in the line. In Week 2, Peat looks to be ready to make his season debut, so the Saints should have an entire healthy group up front. When healthy, the weakest player might still be Peat, but that’s saying something when your former first round pick (who is a solid contributor in both pass protection and run blocking) is the ‘worst’ of the bunch.”Ted Ginn is still going strong.Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty ImagesPokorny: “Michael Thomas posted an incredible stat line to open the year -- 16 catches (on 17 targets) for 180 yards and 1 touchdown. Alvin Kamura can hurt teams in a lot of ways too. After those two weapons, is Ted Ginn the next best thing the team has to offer? If so, do fans find that ‘good enough?’”Dunnells: “Eh. Maybe Ginn. Maybe Benjamin Watson at TE, who is definitely one of Drew’s most trusted options when a big reception is needed to move the chains. But when everyone is healthy and going right, I would say the #3 option in the passing attack is going to wind up being WR Cameron Meredith (formerly of the Chicago Bears) or WR Tre’Quan Smith (rookie out of UCF). Then there’s also RB Mark Ingram, who the Saints should have back by Week 5. Between Watson, Ginn, Meredith, Ingram, and Smith, on top of Thomas and Kamara, the Saints offense has plenty of weapons for Drew Brees - who doesn’t need many.”LB Alex Anzalone has played well for the Saints when given a chance.Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty ImagesPokorny: “Tell us about one player who Browns fans might not know much about, but who appears to be playing (or trying to play) a key role for the Saints this year.”Dunnells: “The aforementioned Tre’Quan Smith would be a good one, but let’s go with LB Alex Anzalone. He’s in his second season in the NFL, but only played in a few games in 2017 after getting placed on season-ending IR. He’s a little light in the pads at only 238 lbs and he has a tendency to make poor reads in coverage, but he’s incredibly fast for a linebacker and athletic enough to make plays on the ball when he’s cover opposing receivers. The Saints still aren’t 100% sure who makes up their starting linebacking corps, but Anzalone definitely fits into the puzzle somewhere. If he can take a step forward in 2018, the Saints should have another young and promising defender to build around.”Thanks again to Chris for taking the time to answer my questions.