Wednesday Was Proof That Having A Top Tier Secondary Is Paramount In 2024

The AFC somehow got stronger on Wednesday, further proving that having a great secondary is key to success in 2024.

Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

As if the AFC couldn’t get any stronger, the Houston Texans continued to push all of their chips to the middle of the table this past week and go all in while they can. The addition of Stefon Diggs as another receiving target for C.J. Stroud is an eye-opener as to how much stronger the AFC is on paper compared to the NFC.

It’s becoming a bit of a joke how many legit contenders there are on the AFC side of the ledger. In the East, Buffalo and Miami are fringe contenders, while we wait to see how the Jets will look with Aaron Rodgers at the helm. There are four legitimate options in the North with Cleveland, Baltimore, Pittsburgh and Cincinnati. The South is officially spearheaded by the Texans and then the West has a guy named Patrick Mahomes and the defending champion Chiefs.

As more and more of these teams gather pieces for great offensive attacks, Wednesday was a reminder that having a great secondary will be key to success in 2024. Thankfully, Cleveland has one of the best.

undefinedNov 5, 2023; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Cleveland Browns cornerback Denzel Ward (21) celebrates his Scott Galvin-USA TODAY Sports

It is no secret that the NFL is becoming a pass heavy league and stopping these offenses is going to be one heck of a challenge week to week. For Cleveland, they have built a secondary that can compete pound for pound with some of the top receiving corps in the league.

The Cleveland secondary is led by seven-year vet Denzel Ward who has been an All-Pro type of player. Since his first snap in Cleveland, Ward has been nothing short of a superstar and has continued to get better.

Opposite of Ward is MJ Emerson who enters year three and has a serious case for becoming a top-ten cover guy in the NFL. He is coming off of a sophomore campaign where he only gave up a passer rating of 30.8 in single coverage. That extremely low QBR allowed was good for fourth best in all of the NFL.

The three-headed cornerback monster is rounded out by slot corner and former first-round pick Greg Newsome. He has established himself as a top nickel cornerback in the league. Out of the three, he has been the most vulnerable but playing in the slot is one of the hardest positions in the league. Newsome is prepared to meet the challenge each week, proving that Cleveland got a good one.

As each of these AFC teams stacks the firepower on the offensive side of the football, Cleveland will enter 2024 with one of the top secondaries in the game. If they want any chance of competing for a top seed in the playoffs, this position group will need to remain healthy and excel this upcoming season.

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