Instant reactions to Cleveland Browns Week 12 victory over the Dolphins
The Cleveland Browns took a dominating lead into halftime, but let the Miami Dolphins crawl back in the third quarter. The Browns were able to hold onto the lead for the win, and here are some instant reactions from the victory.
The Cleveland Browns entered Sunday back in the hunt for a playoff spot in the AFC, and they continued to improve their positioning with a 41-24 victory over the Miami Dolphins on Sunday. However, the win was not as pretty as it should have been.
The Browns took a commanding 28-3 lead into halftime with both the offense and defense hitting on all cylinders. But Cleveland had a disastrous third quarter that allowed the Dolphins to crawl back into the game.
Luckily for the Browns, the early lead they built and a more composed fourth quarter kept the Dolphins from making it a tight game. The win moved the Browns to 5-6 and in the thick of the AFC Wild Card.
Here are the instant takeaways from the Cleveland Browns’ Week 12 victory over the Miami Dolphins.
Browns still need to rely on Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt more
The duo of Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt has proved to be incredibly difficult for defenses to slow down, especially when they are on the field at the same time. That was the case again on Sunday, as the duo combined for 143 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 29 carries. They also caught five receptions for 67 yards.
Despite their production, however, Freddie Kitchens still decided to lean on the pass during the second half, ultimately stalling drives. Although the passing attack picked apart the decimated Dolphins secondary in the first half, it was not as efficient following halftime.
Chubb and Hunt were gaining chunks of yardage each time they had the ball in their hands. They wore down the Miami defense on every drive and they were able to gain even more yardage after contact. Their effectiveness created plenty of openings for the passing offense, especially off play-action.
But instead of relying on Chubb and Hunt, Kitchens continued to fall on the arm of Baker Mayfield. Doing so led to an interception in the third quarter on a first down play, which the Dolphins turned into a touchdown.
Even though Kitchens has weapons on the outside with Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry, the offense runs more efficiently when the running backs are the focal point of the offense. They are putting the Cleveland offense into favorable down and distances, which opens up the playbook for Kitchens.
With the duo of Chubb and Hunt, the Browns could have an incredibly balanced offense. Instead, Kitchens seems to abandon the running backs for a period of time, which typically turns into Cleveland’s lull during the game. To avoid the lull, the Browns offense can just rely on Chubb and Hunt to keep the offense moving.