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Browns linebacker group was bright spot in loss to Broncos

LB Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah led the team in tackles during Sunday’s game


The Browns linebackers showed impressive versatility, speed, and vision during their pursuit of the ball against the Broncos on Sunday. 

LB Anthony Walker Jr., who was named a captain this season, was a game-time decision on Sunday. When it was announced that Walker would miss his first game of the season due to a hamstring injury, the rest of the linebacker crew knew they had to step up and perform their best.

"Obviously, things happen, but when your numbers called, you got to just go out there and execute," LB Sione Takitaki said.

Takitaki and LB Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah made numerous plays on Sunday. They found ways to get in the backfield and tackle the Broncos running backs for a loss. They closed big holes with quickness and tackled well.

Owusu-Koramoah led the team in tackles for the game with 12. He also had a sack in which he forced QB Russell Wilson for a loss of nine yards. 

"I thought Jeremiah, in particular, was all over the field," HC Kevin Stefanski said. "He was very productive, making plays sideline to sideline. Obviously made a huge play for us on that fourth down, knocking the ball out."

Owusu-Koramoah achieved two tackles for a loss on Sunday, and his forced fumble was one of the game's most crucial plays. In the first quarter, on a fourth-and-3rd, Wilson rushed for a first down. However, before he was ruled down, Owusu-Koramoah punched the ball out with his fist. As a result, DE Alex Wright was able to recover the loose ball.

"He has been making big plays for us all season, but in particular, he really stepped up yesterday," Stefanski said.

Owusu-Koramoah finished with a Pro Football Focus grade of 93.6. Takitaki also had a good game. He was tied for third on the team in tackles with six, and all six of his tackles were solo tackles. It was the most tackles he has had in a game this season.

Takitaki was active in stopping short-yard pass catchers from getting yards after catch. Takitaki's Pro Football Focus score was 69.0.

In a game like Sunday's, even without their leader Walker,  can be a major confidence booster for the Browns in future games when all three linebackers are playing together.

"I feel like you look at JOK (Jeremiah Owusu-Koromoah), flew around, made a lot of plays, and (Walker) continuing to get healthy, so him coming back would be a big help to the room," Takitaki said.

Check out photos of the Browns against the Broncos in Week 12