Week 5 of the NFL season brings to us the second set of teams serving their bye week. This inevitably means that someone out there is going to be looking for a backup defense they can slide into the lineup that will get them better than zero points.
Now if you’re one of those guys who has less respect for a team defense than you do gum stuck to the bottom of your shoe, then you are probably just going to grab whatever free agent defense has the highest stat line. It’s a sound enough strategy and it’s probably the safest way to keep from getting a goose egg at that position. What if you miss out on that top dog defense in the waiver order, who should you target next?
My suggestion is the Cleveland Browns‘ defense!
I know it sounds a little crazy to put my stamp of approval on the defense of a team that was labeled by some as being “the most hopeless team in the NFL” just two short weeks ago. However, through four weeks of play, the Browns are ranked fourth overall in team defense. They rank 10th versus the pass and sixth against the run. At the same time, they have also chipped in seven takeaways!
This week, they face a Buffalo Bills offense that has been streaky when their defense hasn’t been playing above the level to keep them in games. The Bills’ offense ranks 15th overall with seven giveaways. An additional foible to the Bills is the fact that their most talented offensive player, C.J. Spiller, added an ankle injury to his growing laundry list of ailments.
He is currently listed as questionable and considering the short week, he is unlikely to play in Thursday night’s game.
The Browns aren’t a defense that will carry you through the season but if you’re looking for a defense to fill in for a Week 5 bye, I think they’re a good option.