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Dawg Pound Journal: 11 impressive Cleveland Browns stats


1)      The Browns have allowed just 61 second-half points this season (8.7) average, the second fewest in the NFL. Only the Kansas City Chiefs (60 points) have allowed fewer. Remember last season, second half's on defense were a nightmare for the Browns – giving up an average of 13.6 points.

Reason why: In his first season at defensive coordinator, Jim O'Neil is proving he can correct any issues that may arise and help buckle down his unit. Also, adding wily veterans like Karlos Dansby and Donte Whitner have helped in the leadership aspect when the defense had their backs against the wall at Pittsburgh and at Tennessee.

2)      The Browns lead the NFL in opposing starting field position on kickoffs – where teams are averaging the start of their drives at the 18.3 yard line. The Browns coverage unit has made 10 stops on kickoffs inside the 20-yard line, tied for second-most in the NFL.

Reason why: The kickoff coverage unit has taken special teams coordinator Chris Tabor's fiery energy right onto the football field. Linebackers Chris Kirksey, Craig Robertson and Tank Carder have been leveling return men. Wide receiver Marlon Moore and cornerback K'Waun Williams use their blazing speed and are normally first pair down in the fray. And how could we forget safety Johnson Bademosi, who is always there to clean up any messes.

3)      The Browns have allowed just 10 sacks on the season, seventh fewest in the league.

Reason why: Right tackle Mitchell Schwartz might be Cleveland's most improved player on offense. Right guard John Greco's weight loss and commitment to becoming more athletic is paying dividends. Rookie left guard Joel Bitonio is already playing like a five-year veteran. Joe Thomas is Joe Thomas. The Browns are still working through losing Alex Mack at center, but the lack of sacks has without a doubt spurred success for quarterback Brian Hoyer.

4)      The Browns are tied for second in the NFL in total giveaways, with only 5. Only the Denver Broncos have fewer with 4. Additionally, the Browns' plus-6 turnover margin is ranked fifth in the league.

Reason why: Hoyer makes smart decisions. The Browns' emphasis on ball security for running backs and receivers during OTA's and training camp has carried over to the regular season. As for the takeaways? Everything begins and ends with Tashaun Gipson, who leads the NFL with five interceptions. Through seven games this season, the argument can be made that Gipson is Cleveland's MVP.

Other stats our PR staffers dug up:

5)      Hoyer is leading the NFL in yards per completion (13.71).

6)      In Hoyer's 10 starts as the Browns quarterback, Cleveland averages 24.2 points per game.

7)      Taylor Gabriel is second in the NFL in yards per reception (19.8). Only Redskins superstar DeSean Jackson has more (20.8).

8)      Chris Kirksey is tied for second in the NFL for rookie sacks (2).

9)      Karlos Dansby is the only active player in the NFL with 40 career sacks and 10 career interceptions

10)   Since entering the league in 2010, Joe Haden's 72 passes defended are the second most in the NFL.

11)   Even while remaining a reserve player coming off the bench, Isaiah Crowell is tied for fifth in the NFL with 4 rushing touchdowns.

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