Cleveland Browns Week 14 Instant Reaction: Defense stands out in huge win

Browns, Myles Garrett. Mandatory Credit: Scott Galvin-USA TODAY Sports
Browns, Myles Garrett. Mandatory Credit: Scott Galvin-USA TODAY Sports /
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Cleveland Browns
Dec 12, 2021; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Cleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett (95) looks up to check the spot after tackling Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson (8) during the first quarter at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports /

Cleveland Browns Defense outstanding

Let’s give props to the Browns defense who played outstanding in the first half, keeping Ravens’ offense in check and helping build a 24-6 lead at halftime. Browns’ defensive lineman and the leader Myles Garrett made a tremendous first-half play as the half was ending. He was able to strip-sack the Ravens quarterback and then recover the fumble and take for a touchdown. It was the first touchdown for Garrett and also gave Garrett the Browns franchise record of 15 sacks in one season.

For the game, the Browns collected four sacks. Takk McKinley was outstanding for the game as he forced a fumble that was recovered by the defense. Late in the game, Jadeveon Clowney collected a big sack in the last minute that helped stall a game-winning drive by the Ravens.

Safety Grant Delpit came out tackling as he finished with 11 tackles to lead the team. Their other starting safety, John Johnson III, had seven tackles and recorded a half-sack on the quarterback. Browns linebacker Jeremiah Owusu Koramoah was everywhere again on the field creating problems for the Ravens. The biggest play he made was on the tackle of Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson when he tackled Jackson by the shoestrings. That play forced Jackson out of the game with an ankle injury.

A tale of two halves

Cleveland went up 24-3 at the break thanks to Baker Mayfield throwing two touchdown passes. There has been a lot made of Mayfield this season and his production. He came out strong in the first half finishing the first half going 16-20 for 143 and two touchdowns. He was getting the ball out quickly.

Myles Garrett on the defensive side of things, was outstanding, especially in that first half when he got the strip-sack and recovery of the fumble for the touchdown. But after that moment the Browns forgot about how to score again and allowed the Ravens to slowly work back into making the game a closer affair than it needed to be.

Cleveland’s offense went back to crawling and going three and out several times in the second half. As the game came to a close, the Browns led 24-15 15 as the Ravens tried to mount a comeback. With just over 1:17 left the Ravens scored a touchdown to close to 24-22.

On the issuing kickoff, the Ravens onside kicked it and recovered the ball to give the Ravens the ball back. With a chance at the win, the Browns defense again locked down. They got a sack by Jadeveon Clowney late and then got the stop on 4th down when the defense blitzed, and cornerback Denzel Ward made a textbook tackle to stop the big comeback.

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With the victory, the Browns still stay in the playoff chase as they will now entertain the Los Vegas Raiders when they come to Cleveland next Saturday.