Don’t tell Ray Horton the old saying that “stats are for losers.” He's heard it, and he understands it. But he does not embrace it.
“In our business, numbers are all we deal with,” the Cleveland Browns' defensive coordinator said. “We deal with wins and losses. Those are numbers. The players are paid by their statistics, their numbers on the field. They’re very pertinent and important in our game. It tells them what we’re doing well, and what what we’re not doing well.”
Horton went so far as to describe himself as a “stats maven.” He’s proven that. Every week he comes to his media get-together and rattles off several stats, most in support how well his unit is playing.
Thus, we are proud to present the Horton On Stats Highlights, otherwise known as the HOSH:
The Browns have allowed opposing running backs just three rushes longer than 20 yards, which Horton called “amazing.” He said the Browns' defense is the only one not to give up a pass play longer than 40 yards. These numbers, Horton said, point to outstanding play by the secondary.
He also pointed out that, with the exception of the game against Green Bay, the Browns have either been ahead, tied or within three points entering the fourth quarter of every game. “What does it take, then, to finish a 15-minute game, or quarter?” Horton said. “With 15 minutes to go, we’re in every game. And we have to find a way to finish.”
Those HOSHes certainly are valid. But another one is as well.
The Browns have given up 54 points in the fourth quarter, more than they have given up in any other quarter.
Horton said he is working on a solution to that problem.