Cleveland Browns studs and duds from Week 2 victory over Bengals

Cleveland Browns. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Cleveland Browns. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /
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Cleveland Browns
Cleveland Browns. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images) /

Stud: Sheldon Richardson, Denzel Ward

The good news from this game is that there were a lot of players who stood out and deserve to be mentioned as studs. And there were even a couple on defense, which is encouraging considering the unit as a whole really struggled.

In this contest, both defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson and cornerback Denzel Ward were on top of their games. Richardson was unblockable in this one finishing with six tackles (two for a loss) and a sack.

Richardson was also the one who forced the Bengals defense to back up while near the goal line as he blew up a running play from Joe Mixon back on a late third-quarter goal-line run (which came right after Giovani Bernard had a touchdown overturned, saying he was down just short of the touchdown). Sione Takitaki got the tackle for a loss on the ensuing play but Richardson’s pressure led to the big play — and even a hold from Karl Joseph on the next play didn’t stop the momentum that Richardson gave them as they turned what had originally looked like a Bernard touchdown into a short field goal.

As for Denzel Ward, he was phenomenal while playing against A.J. Green. The former No. 4 pick in 2018 for the Browns was matching up against Cincinnati’s No. 4 pick from 2011 and he not only held his own, but he also frustrated the veteran wideout who was visibly annoyed with No. 21 being draped all over him on every play and got his hand on several passes.

Green finished with three receptions for  29 yards and had to earn every inch and wasn’t a huge factor despite Joe Burrow throwing is 61 times — which was primarily due to the way Ward stepped up under the bright lights.