Cleveland Browns find their mojo: 5 takeaways from win over 49ers

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Dec 13, 2015; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Browns tackle Joe Thomas (73) leaves the field after the Cleveland Browns beat the San Francisco 49ers 24-10 at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Let’s make no mistake about it – a win is always better than a loss, especially for a Browns team that seemed to have forgotten how to win.

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And while the 49ers are horrible, that shouldn’t take away from what was one of the best all-around performances from the Browns this season. Especially when it came just a week after the worst performance of the year.

But it is also hard to take too many absolutes from this game. It’s not like the defense suddenly figured things out and are about to close out the season with a string of dominating performances. The problems that were there against teams like the Arizona Cardinals, Pittsburgh Steelers and Cincinnati Bengals are still there.

The same holds true for the offense. It’s not as if they collectively woke up this morning and remembered how to run the ball, or that turnovers are a bad thing.

And outside of the game where Austin Davis started, quarterback play has not been a problem this season.

The bottom line, at least for today, is that the Browns won and looked good doing it. Manziel looked comfortable running the offense, and maybe today’s taste of success will spark the defense to be, if not dominant, at least competent over the final three games of the season.

Things are about to get tougher, for sure, as the Browns will face the Seattle Seahawks, Kansas City Chiefs and Pittsburgh Steelers over the next three weeks – who are a combined 24-15 and fighting for a playoff spot.

But we saw what this Browns team could be if everything comes together and, for the first time in far too long, we get to celebrate a win by the Browns.

“The hunger’s been building in us every time we’ve gone out and we haven’t gotten the result we wanted,” Desmond Bryant said. “The hunger has gotten more and more. Today we finally got it done.”

Which is the best takeaway of them all.