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Friday, January 10, 2014
Deciphering numbers of the last five years

By Pat McManamon

Drawing conclusions from numbers in five losing seasons might be a bit silly.

The key number, after all, is 23 -- which is the number of Cleveland Browns wins since 2009. That number speaks volumes, and logically leads to some troubling statistical rankings in those five years.

Delving into trends also might be silly because ... well ... there’s another re-set coming with a new offense and defense and all the fun stuff that goes with it.

But a check of the numbers from the past five season (see below) and some things do become evident:
The number that jumps out defensively is third-down defense. Despite constant efforts to fix it, the defense gave up a woeful 44.7 percent on third downs this season, better only than the Falcons.

The other key factor was red zone defense. Teams scored 64 percent of the time, which ties for 29th. Seattle, which many are predicting for the Super Bowl, led the league in red zone efficiency -- which kind of shows its importance.

The third down and red zone are directly responsible for the fact the Browns gave up 25.4 points per game, highest in the five-year “study.”