Coming into the season the Brown’s secondary was a huge concern. With Chris Owens being the only real addition to the group since 2012 expectations were very low for the group who besides Joe Haden and TJ Ward was pedestrian at best. However, in 2013 the Browns secondary has played superbly.
Through five games the Browns are first in the NFL in passing touchdowns allowed (2) and seventh in passing yards allowed (207.6 per game).
The Browns D also ranks first in the NFL in yards per pass attempt at only 5.8. Much of that has to do with their ability to stop the big play. Only six times this year has an opponent had a pass play of over 20 yards (7th in the league) and not once has an opponent had a passing play gain over 40 yards (T-1st in the league). Surprisingly only the Jacksonville Jaguars can boast that same feat.
A large part of the of Browns’ success against the pass has to do with the strong pass rush they are getting. The Browns rank third in the league with 18 sacks.
With the Lions coming into town the Browns will face their toughest test of the year at quarterback in Matt Stafford and if healthy Calvin Johnson will provide a challenge like the Browns haven’t yet seen this year at wide receiver.
The only other receiver in the league with close to the size and skill set of Johnson is the Bengals’ AJ Green. Green was largely shut down by Joe Haden and the Browns’ defense catching 7 passes for 51 yards on 15 targers in week 4.
The Browns’ defense is allowing the sixth fewest fantasy points to wide receivers.
[Related: The Browns are 3-2; Should we be surprised?]