Cleveland Browns: Grades from home opener vs. Ravens
Running Backs: B
On a day all-time great Jim Brown was honored at the stadium, Browns running backs had one of their better games collectively. Brown, who is now 80 years old, had his statue unveiled outside of the stadium prior to Sunday’s home opener.
Fittingly, Isaiah Crowell had one of the best games of his career on Sunday, rushing for 133 yards on 18 carries, including his 85-yard touchdown run which put the Browns ahead 14-0. Even more impressive though, Crowell made a solid gain out of nothing on many instances, showing off how powerful of a running back he is capable of being.
Duke Johnson also had a good game for the second week in a row. His sophomore season is off to a good start, as he continued to reveal his value through the air with four receptions for 44 total yards. Both running backs appeared to be far from the problem with the stagnation of Cleveland’s offense.
Another overlooked aspect of Sunday’s game was just how much of an improvement the running backs made in pass protection. Especially Crowell, who often found himself in the backfield on play-action passes, held his own to do he best he could for McCown. The bigger issue was not the play of the running backs, but the positions they were placed in. As a whole, both Crowell and Johnson played well enough to do their part in a Browns victory on Sunday.