With the Browns trailing 17-10 with 6:57 left in Sunday's game against the Bears, LB Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah made back-to-back plays to get the Browns offense the ball back.
Owusu-Koramoah sacked QB Justin Fields for a loss of eleven yards on second down. Then, on the next play, he tackled RB Roschon Johnson in open space to prevent a first down and forced the Bears to punt the ball with 5:25 left in the game.
Owusu-Koramoah has thrived in his third year in the NFL. The outside linebacker has shown his speed, awareness and tackling ability this season for one of the best defenses in the league. He largely thanks first-year DC Jim Schwartz for his success this season.
"Praise is due to Coach (Jim) Schwartz for putting us in the right positions, calling the blitzes when we want to attack, making sure that people are in the right places with the right personnel at the right time," Owusu-Koramoah said. "So, I don't think it's so much me. I'm not just that type of guy. I would rather give those credits to other people."
Schwartz's defense employs an aggressive four-man front, which allows the linebackers to showcase their tackling skills. Owusu-Koramoah has taken advantage of the schemes and has had his best season of his earlier career.
Check out photos of players arriving to the stadium for their Week 15 game against the Chicago Bears
He has 59 solo tackles, 81 total tackles, 3.5 sacks and an interception this season. All are career-bests for Owusu-Koramoah, which has been a year where his snaps per game have been erratic. In the Browns' first nine games of the season, he logged snap counts of 43, 33, 32, 46, 49, 34, 34, 26 and 44. His snap counts in the next five games were 46, 60, 55, 71 and 63.
Yet, that hasn't phased him. Owusu-Koramoah had one of his best games in his career in Week 12 when, at the time, was his season high in snaps. He racked up 12 tackles, one sack and one forced fumble. In Week 14 – his most snaps taken in a game this season – he led the team in tackles with eight solo and had two tackles for loss.
Then, in Week 15, Owusu-Koramoah finished the game leading the team in six tackles and two pass deflections. He also had two tackles for loss, a quarterback hurry and an interception. It was the first complete game of his career where he filled out the stat sheet.
"Yeah, he was all over the field in that game," HC Kevin Stefanski said. "He's played really good football for us all season long. But in that game, he was all over the place making high-impact plays in some really important moments."
Owusu-Koramoah currently is third in the league in tackles for losses with 18. Entering Week 15, he was ranked second in the league at stopping the run at 12.8 percent.
"It's a game of experience, it's a game of knowledge," Owusu-Koramoah said. "It's a game of IQ. And the more that you get time and the more intensity that you put into it each and every year, I think that each player continues to improve. Whether you see it physically or mentally, whatever that may be, you do see a progression. I don't think it's one thing over another, but I think it's that holistic journey of bringing intensity to the steps that are needed to take each and every year."