Cleveland Browns: Week 16 win instant reactions
After leaving an awful taste in the mouth of the Cincinnati Bengals in week 12, the Cleveland Browns knew they had to back it up. In Cleveland’s home finale, they did just that, as former head coach Hue Jackson and the Bengals came to a packed crowd in northeast Ohio.
The Cleveland Browns, for once, will not be the worst team in their division. For the first time since 2010, the Browns will place at least third in the AFC North. But how did we get here?
In order for the Browns to pull themselves out of the AFC North’s basement, they had to get past the Bengals at first. Thankfully for the jam-packed Dawg Pound, the Browns took care of business in week 16, by a score of 26-18. Let’s get some instant reactions.
Baker Starts Slow, Gets Hot
Baker Mayfield didn’t get the best start. With just a 3-of-8 start in the first quarter, Mayfield and the Browns sat at a 0-0 tie with the Bengals. But then, the rookie turned it on, tossing two touchdowns in the second quarter.
He was helped by wide receiver Jarvis Landry (more on him later) on a 63-yard pass to fellow receiver Breshad Perriman. Mayfield laid it on thick in the second quarter, with over 100 yards passing in the first half. He also passed Browns legend Bernie Kosar’s career high in touchdowns in a season. The heat-up by Mayfield came up huge and gave the Browns a 16-0 first-half lead.
Jarvis Landry, QB2?
It may only have been one play, but Jarvis Landry gave a huge jolt to the offense. With a beauty of a 63-yard pass, Landry invigorated the Browns’ passing game.
Another aspect of this: Breshad Perriman has been nothing short of a stud since coming to Cleveland. A first-rounder who couldn’t catch a ball in Baltimore, coming to the Browns and thriving?
Yes, please. His contract is up at the end of the year, Browns should absolutely consider re-signing Perriman for at least a couple of years.
Genard Avery Comes Up Huge
The Browns rookies put on a show in week 16. Baker Mayfield tossed a couple of touchdowns, Nick Chubb broke off a couple massive (and timely) runs, and Genard Avery was huge on defense. The rookie defensive end-linebacker hybrid from Memphis had a couple of big plays against the Bengals, including one sack on Jeff Driskel.
The Browns have had multiple Rookie of the Week winners this season, and it might be time for Avery to get his award. He nearly collected a pick in this one too, but in a cruel twist, got tangled up with cornerback T.J. Carrie. Props to you, Mr. Avery. Perhaps this was your coming out party in the NFL.