What 3 plays for the Cleveland Browns changed the game against the Bengals?
Go 1-0. That was the goal for the Cleveland Browns after a lopsided loss to the Ravens in Week 1. The Browns did so by bouncing back and beating the Bengals 35-30 on Thursday Night Football. It was a great effort on a short week that fortunately got the sour taste out of the mouths of both the fans and the players.
The offense was efficient and exciting the entire night as they compiled a total of 434 yards. The Browns and Jamie Gillan only had to punt one time the entire night as they tallied 23 first downs and went 1-2 on fourth down for the night. The only other turnover came on a late Baker Mayfield interception. Overall, though, it was an excellent offensive game.
Defensively for the Browns, there were some successes and struggles along the way. They did surrender 316 passing yards from rookie Joe Burrow, but that did come on a whopping 61 attempts. Given the large number of attempts, that is a reasonable number of yards to surrender. There’s no doubt the linebackers and defensive backs need help in the passing game as there have been multiple injuries to those two units. Linebackers Mack Wilson and Jacob Phillips did not play as well as corners Greedy Williams and Kevin Johnson and safety Grant Delpit, whos is of course out for the season with an Achilles injury.
Despite the injuries, the constant stud in the defensive back room has been Denzel Ward. He played an excellent game yesterday guarding AJ Green and others. According to Next Gen Stats, he forced a tight window on 73 percent of his targets, the most in a game since 2017.
The Browns also totaled three sacks and recovered a fumble, which also happened to come on the sack from Myles Garrett. The Browns defense only allowed 68 rushing yards which was a huge highlight for the team. Although the tackling was not the cleanest, the defense managed to fill running lanes and rally to the football. The pursuit from the defense was impressive.
Let’s look at the three plays that changed the game in favor of the Browns.