The Cleveland Browns ended the season on a high note as they knocked off the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 18. Here were the players who stood out in the win.
All 17 games are in the books as the Cleveland Browns wrapped up the 2021 NFL Season with a win at home against the Cincinnati Bengals.
There was nothing on the line outside of pride as the Bengals had the AFC North wrapped up and Cleveland had no shot at the postseason. They did, however, avoid double-digit losses — and ended a tumultuous season on a high note.
Sure, there will be those who throw cold water on the win since the Bengals were all playing backups but that’s not what was important. What mattered was seeing the players give it their all in a meaningless game as they looked to build something good to bring into the 2022 offseason.
With all that being said, let’s jump in and look at who stood out with our weekly studs and duds.
Cleveland Browns stud: Jadeveon Clowney, DE
During the offseason, Andrew Berry wanted to get a No. 2 pass rusher to play across from Myles Garrett and ended up landing Jadeveon Clowney — who they failed to sign the previous offseason.
Clowney ended up being exactly what they hoped for as he continually provided quarterback pressures and set the edge against the run. He again played well in Week 18 and recorded two sacks and a fumble on the day.
He nearly recovered the fumble too but was unable to hold on. Still, it was a great play for No. 90 and he ended up with nine sacks on the season, just a half-sack shy of his career-high.
Cleveland Browns dud: Austin Hooper, TE
Ahead of the 2020 season, the Browns added Austin Hooper on a contract that was the richest for a tight end at the time. While it has been surpassed since then, Hooper is still playing on a massive deal — and he has yet to really live up to it.
Sunday was another example as Hooper was a non-factor, even though he could have been. Kevin Stefanski called a trick play where Case Keenum handed it to Demetric Felton who flipped it to Jarvis Landry. The wideout then pitched it back to Keenum who looked downfield but then settled for an eight-yard dump off to Felton.
When the replay was shown, however, Hooper was seen running wide-open but he never looked back for the ball. At all. That lack of awareness is an issue and Hooper is too talented of a player for that to be happening.