Data Points: Browns last in first-down run defense

Eric Mangini visited the friendly confines of the NFL Network studios this week, appearing on “NFL Total Access” while he is away from the stressful coaching world. Mangini was fired as the Browns head coach after a 5-11 season, as team president Mike Holmgren decided to move in another direction.

When a team fails to win games, there’s always a myriad of other issues that affect that failure, some far from the control of the head coach. Yet, under Mangini, who made his name as a defensive assistant, it’s worth noting that the Browns defense let the team down nearly as much as the offense did in 2010.

One of the statistics that reflects that ineffectiveness is first-down run defense. Cleveland was killed in this area last season, giving up the highest percentage of quality runs on first down in the NFL. Opposing offenses often found themselves in very manageable second-down situations against the Browns, a big factor in several losses.

Here’s a look at how all AFC clubs fared in this under-reported category in 2010:

– Elliot Harrison

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