Browns Players Who Deserve More Snaps in Week 2
For one, the new-look defense showed signs of improvement. The Browns outgained the potent Chiefs offense in every category and won everywhere except the turnover margin and the score.
Those are obviously two of the most important factors. A loss is a loss but the Browns showed they are capable of going punch-for-punch with a true Super Bowl contender. There's plenty of time from Week 1 to Week 18 to improve and ultimately beat the Chiefs in a future playoff game.
Part of that improvement process will be taking a look at the different rotations across the lineup and making some adjustments. Based on Week 1's snap counts, player performance and the matchup with the Houston Texans, here's a look at three players who should see more snaps this week.
LB Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah
Second-round pick Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah was one of two rookies who got the start on defense. However, unlike Greg Newsome II, who was on the field for the majority of the defensive snaps, the Notre Dame product only stayed on the field for 38 percent of the defensive snaps (25 total).
It was a relatively quiet day for the versatile linebacker as he had just two solo tackles and another assist. But then again, he was making his debut against one of the most explosive and dynamic offenses in the NFL.
The Browns also didn't employ a lot of three linebacker sets. It's difficult to do with as much speed and playmaking as the Chiefs put on the field.
Things will be different this week with the Texans on the horizon. Instead of Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill it's going to be Tyrod Taylor, Mark Ingram II and Brandin Cooks.
The Browns are going to be able to give all of their linebackers a few more reps, but Owusu-Koramoah should be first in line. The margin for error is going to be a little wider on Sunday which should give them confidence in putting the first-year player on the field so he can continue his development.
Edge Joe Jackson
If there was a prop bet for who was going to notch the first sack of the season for the Browns, it's likely Joe Jackson wouldn't have even been on the board.
On a team with Myles Garrett and Jadeveon Clowney, the 24-year-old is and was an afterthought. He was only on the field for 10 snaps, but he certainly made them count. He sacked Patrick Mahomes on 2nd and 6 in the red zone, ultimately setting up the Browns to hold the Chiefs to a field goal on the drive.
It wasn't merely a case of Jackson coming unblocked, either. He did a good job of pressing the edge on right tackle Lucas Niang before making an inside move once he got even with Mahomes.
This early in the season, the defensive line rotation is far from set. While Clowney and Garrett will be the primary edge-rushers and McKinley is the third option, Clowney has a history of injuries and McKinley hasn't always been dependable.
Going against the Texans, the Browns should throw Jackson a few more reps to see if he can build on his sack count last week.
WR Anthony Schwartz
One of the more eye-raising developments from the Browns' snap counts was the usage of Anthony Schwartz. With Odell Beckham Jr. out of the lineup, Kevin Stefanski gave the rookie receiver a healthy 31 snaps (53 percent).
That was good for third as Jarvis Landry was on the field for 51 and Donovan Peoples-Jones saw 47. However, the difference in targets shows how much trust the coach and quarterback Baker Mayfield have in the 21-year-old.
Schwartz was tied for most targets on the team with five, which he turned into three catches for 69 yards. That included a 44-yard bomb which would have been a touchdown had he not bobbled the ball before bringing it in.
While this might not be a plea for the Auburn product to see even more snaps, he should remain an active part of the offense upon OBJ's return.
Schwartz's hands will need to improve but there's no denying the speed he brings to the table is a game-changer in the Browns offense. He brings a verticality to the passing game that is going to hard for teams to account for while trying to also prepare to stop Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt in the ground game.
Snap counts via NFL Games Statistics and Information System.