5 Impactful Plays and Players Game Film Review: Week 14 Browns/Jaguars Game

December 14, 2023

Tony Camino

Impactful Plays from Browns’ Game Against Jaguars in Week 14

Another home game, another win for the Browns as they move to 8-5 on the year and 6-1 in Cleveland. Joe Flacco threw for over 300 yards, but he was far from perfect, and the run game struggled to get anything going. Defensively, the Jaguars continued the trend of using pin-and-pull run concepts against the Browns to take advantage of the aggressive defensive line, but the secondary played very well to negate a game plan to get the ball out of Trevor Lawrence’s hands as soon as possible. Here are five of the best plays from the Browns’ win over the Jaguars in Week 14.

RPO Glance

The Browns came out throwing again on offense, partially because of the trust in Flacco but also partially due to the inability to consistently run the ball. On first down, the Browns come out two-by-two and are running a run-pass option where the run is a counter run, and the pass is a glance to the one-receiver side. The Jaguars were showing two-high, but the strong safety was creeping down, and Flacco was reading him to decide whether to throw it or run it.

The strong safety plays the run and leaves a void behind him where the glance from Cedric Tillman is running right into. Flacco throws with great anticipation and puts this ball right in the void for an easy completion to get the offense moving early. The ball is on time and target from the veteran signal-caller, and this looks very easy for the Browns’ offense.

The Browns haven’t run a ton of RPO plays under Kevin Stefanski, and many anticipated it being an evolution this season with Deshaun Watson. Perhaps this was always going to be a development of the offense to this point in the season, but the incorporation of RPOs will allow a smart quarterback to manipulate defenders and ensure the Browns have the numbers advantage as much as they can.


Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah has been tremendous this season and added another great performance to the resume in Week 14. Early in this game, the Jaguars are in a first-down situation and looking to get ahead of the chains. They are using a counter run, meaning the backside guard will pull around and kick out the defensive end while the others downblock on the defender in their gap.

The issue for the Jaguars is that Evan Engram is not quick and strong enough to get to the spot before JOK and make the block. The insane speed from the young linebacker beats the block before it even starts and completely blows up the play. JOK ends up making the tackle himself behind the line of scrimmage and puts the Jaguars in an unfavorable second-and-long situation.

In the Jim Schwartz system, defensive linemen play very aggressively downhill, which puts a lot of stress on linebackers to play fast and flow to the run before they get out-leveraged. JOK is a perfect fit in this scheme, and his quickness is on full display in plays like these. His combination of decisiveness with talent is perfect for a second-level defender and allows him to be a crucial part of what makes the Browns’ defense great.

Martin Emerson Tackle In Space

Martin Emerson was everywhere on Sunday, with two interceptions, pass breakups, and tackles. The young corner did it all in the win and contributed to huge plays all day that shifted the outcome of the game. The Jags are on third-and-eight here, and the Browns are showing heavy pressure. Pre-snap, it looks like the Browns are bringing seven defenders and leaving just four defensive backs in coverage.

The Browns do end up bringing all seven guys, and Lawrence has no choice but to throw it to his only hot option the number one receiver at the top of the screen. Emerson quickly recognizes his man is the hot option and breaks on the ball to make the tackle right after the catch to get the Browns’ defense off the field on third down. If Emerson doesn’t make this tackle in space, there is plenty of room for a play to be made, and the first down to be picked up because of the heavy blitz being sent.

Emerson had a massive day on Sunday when the Browns needed it the most with Denzel Ward out. The coverage ability of Emerson, Greg Newsome, and Ward has complemented the ability of the defensive line to get pressure, which has created one of the league’s best units. Hopefully, Ward can return soon, but Emerson is looking more and more like a franchise cornerstone every week.

David Bell Touchdown

On fourth down early in the fourth quarter, the Browns had a 21-14 game and were looking to get one step closer to ending the game with a touchdown. Stefanski maintained his aggressive approach and went for it as the Browns were probably just out of field goal range. The Browns motion David Bell into the bunch to complete a mess with the rules of the defensive backs, which creates a ton of separation. Bell and Cooper are running slant routes but Bell stems outside before making his cut. The point of the bunch, David Njoku, is running an out route, and the Jags are bringing a Cover 0 blitz, meaning there’s no safety help.

Because of the quick motion and snap, the Jags’ secondary players can’t get on the same page in time. Typically, rules for defending a bunch like this in man coverage are the point on defense takes the point on the offense, while the corner gets the first out route, and the safety defender gets the first in-breaking route. Instead of taking the first out-breaking route, the corner follows Bell after the motion and thinks they were sticking with their man pre-motion. This creates a huge opening as two defenders cover one receiver, and Bell is off to the races for his first-ever touchdown.

Maybe the biggest part of the play is Kareem Hunt picking up the A-gap blitzer to buy more time to throw. While Geron Christian likely needs to block the free runner in the gap and force the unblocked defender to travel from a further distance, Hunt has to not get blown back by the blitzer or the play is dead on arrival. His effective pass protection allows Flacco to drift away from the other defender and make the throw.

This was a great play design from Stefanski to manipulate the coverage rules of defenders and stress them to get on the same page at a moment’s notice. The Jags had a ton of corners out with injury, and their lack of experience was evident in this play as they couldn’t get on the same page for coverage in a crucial moment. This play went a very long way toward getting the win, and attacking the right personnel is part of what makes Stefanski a great coach.

Young Guns Step Up

Late in the game with a 28-14 lead, the Jags have a fourth-and-short in their territory. To no surprise, the Browns go to their reliable defensive coverage, playing cover one-man defense with a deep safety and a linebacker playing the robber over the middle of the second level. After Grant Delpit left this game and Juan Thornhill was ruled out pregame, Ronnie Hickman was slotted into a role while Cameron Mitchell defended in the slot. The Jags run a shallow crosser with a deep over route and a backside dig, which is a good concept to beat man coverage.

The Browns’ secondary has great coverage all around, with every receiver accounted for. Emerson, Mitchell, and Newsome have their assignments locked down, while JOK is handling the back, and Anthony Walker and De’Anthony Bell are managing the tight end. Hickman does a fantastic job triggering at the perfect moment and driving on the over route from the number two receiver. Mitchell had him covered well, but there was an opening if the throw was perfect. Hickman driving on the route eliminates any chance for the play, and Emerson winning inside leverage on the dig is textbook coverage.

Young players will get plenty of reps moving forward due to the injuries but have already shown flashes of talent in their stints. It will be challenging to replace the contributions of the players lost to injury, but this group continues to find ways to win games, regardless of who is on the field.

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