CLEVELAND -- So much for all of the questions about whether DeMeco Ryans could make an immediate impact in this Eagles defense. He stepped right into the starting lineup on Sunday and led the defense to a dominating performance against the Browns, recording 5 total tackles, one for a loss in the backfield and one in the open field that ended a drive, and the defense held rookie quarterback Brandon Weeden to a ridiculous passer rating of 5.1 in a 17-16 win.
Cleveland kicked three field goals directly after forcing Eagles turnovers and returned a Michael Vick interception for a touchdown. Other than that, the defense was almost inpenatrable, with Ryans playing a leading role.
"It was a solid performance, I'll put it that way," said Ryans. "I'm just most proud of the turnovers we got. That was huge. We probably should have had a couple more, but it was huge to get those turnovers and get the ball back to our offense."
The Eagles held quarterback Brandon Weeden to an unreal passer rating of 5.1 -- he completed 12 of 35 passes for 118 yards and four interceptions -- and limited the running game to 99 yards. In all, the defense allowed zero touchdowns and had two stops in the red zone.
"It was a great defensive effort. Everybody was getting to the ball and there weren't any big holes out there for them to skate through," said Ryans, who played nearly every snap of the game. "I thought we had great communication and everybody was on the same page. It was a good first effort."
Most important for Ryans and the D, the last-minute stop sealed the win. Kurt Coleman made his second interception, a leaping grab, and the defense celebrated.
"I love it when the game is on the defense's hands, when it's on us to close out a game," said Ryans. "That's why I play this game. There's no more special feeling than being out there and having all of your teammates on the sidelines counting on us to close it out. It's special."