The Cleveland Browns are now 4-1 on the season, the first time since 1994, after finishing the Colts 32-23 at First Energy Stadium. It was not all lollipops and rainbows, but a win is a win, and the Browns now have four of them. We know the Browns have things to work on but today we only look at the good.
Love this coach. Just had to get that in here.
Browns Baker Mayfield (First half)
Mayfield was about as sharp as you could get in the first half Sunday. Mayfield threw for 228 yards in the first half. He had lots of time to survey the field then fired lasers into some tight windows to get this offense moving. This is the Baker Mayfield we all want to see. We have seen some flashes this year, and if/when he puts it all together in this system, it could be something, especially since this offense is already averaging 31 points per game.
The run game
The Colts clearly sold out to stop the run and make the Browns beat them through the air. For the most part, they did the job giving up only 3.8 yards per carry Sunday. The Browns were without lead back Nick Chubb, which also had a lot to do with the showing. At the end, when it mattered most, Kareem Hunt took the ball for ten yards and gained a first down, then D’Ernest Johnson broke a long run to ice the game.
Hunt ran hard all day, and the offense still generated 124 yards on the ground. He had 72 of those yards and also caught three balls for another 21 yards. A combined 93 yards and a receiving touchdown is not a bad day from your backup running back.
Higgins got beat out in camp by Khadarel Hodge and was a healthy scratch twice this year. Yesterday, with Hodge out injured, he had three catches and a touchdown. Even with little time together in nearly a season and a half, the chemistry between Baker and Higgins seemed to be there. Then you have Higgins comments today and that is what you want to see from every player.
Garrett continues to astound with his play. He added another sack Sunday and made multiple plays that led to turnovers. The safety late in the game was a direct result of pressure from Garrett. He has made plays in all four wins that have directly resulted in points. He is easily the best defensive player in the NFL through five games.
Philip Rivers gave the secondary chances to take the ball the other way and, as requested, they were ready. Ronnie Harrison picked off a terrible throw by Rivers and took it back for a pick-six right out of halftime. Later on, Rivers would throw another bad one over the middle that Sheldrick Redwine would bring down to help keep the game in Cleveland’s favor.
(I know I said only the good but we got to keep up on injury news)
What a difference a year makes as we are all glad to have Chris Hubbard to fill in.
Greedy Williams has been placed on IR with a nerve issue in his shoulder. He is out indefinitely.
X-rays on Mayfield were negative, but he has bruised ribs. He was shaking his throwing hand yesterday also. Mayfield expects to play versus Pittsburgh.
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