At last, the Cleveland Browns are finally a free football team
Odell Beckham Jr. That’s what all the talk has been about.
All the noise surrounding him all season long. All the anticipation surrounded him all year long. Finally, the Cleveland Browns decided to move on from him ahead of Sunday’s game against the Bengals. After watching that showdown, we can sleep well at night knowing we never have to say his name again.
Baker Mayfield was back. Slinging the ball from play action, and throwing an absolute dot to David Njoku late in the game for a score.
Kevin Stefanski was back. The defense was back after what were two pretty brutal opening drives by the Bengals, one that ended in a 99-yard interception return by Denzel Ward.
It wasn’t perfect, but they were once again able to put to bed a question that has been looking for what has seemed like forever: Beckham Jr was the issue.
According to Jake Trotter of ESPN, the Browns are the first team since 2012 to have 3 touchdowns of 60+ yards in a single game.
Most importantly, the Browns got back to doing what they do best, something they haven’t done in a long time. Establishing the run, letting the game come to them, and then letting Mayfield fly off of play-action.
As simple as it is, it’s what works for the Browns. The offensive line is one of the best in the entire league, showing it again in Sunday’s game. Wyatt Teller was pancaking Bengals left and right, and tackle Jedrick Wills had what seemed like one of his best games as a Brown to date.
The Browns defense also stepped up in this one, creating multiple turnovers, again something they haven’t had a lot of this season. Myles Garrett continued his sack train, all while continuing to be held on what seemed like every other play.
Defensive back Troy Hill had two sacks in the ball game, being a big difference maker and spark for that banged-up defense. Again, while it wasn’t perfect, it just seemed like everything we have been waiting to see all year long, we saw a little bit of today.
Taking deep shots down the field. Creating turnovers on defense. Not taking the foot off the gas when you establish a big lead. A refreshing game it was for the Browns and the city of Cleveland, as they improve to 5-4 with another tough opponent coming next Sunday.