Browns studs and duds Week 8: Nick Chubb is the best in the business
The Bengals will be having nightmares about the way the Cleveland Browns dominated on Halloween night. Here we look at the studs and duds from the huge Week 8 win.
Even though the Cleveland Browns were the underdogs, it wasn’t a huge shock that they beat the Cincinnati Bengals on Monday Night. The truth is, they’ve been dominant against them, now sitting at 5-0 under Kevin Stefanski against their in-state rivals.
What was a bit surprising, however, was the way in which they won. A defense that struggled all season turned into a shutdown unit for the first 45 minutes and the offense overcame early mistakes to put on an absolute show.
The final result was a lopsided 32-13 win as Cleveland improved to 3-5, while now boasting a 2-1 record in the AFC North. With that being said, we look back at the win and identify a few studs and duds — with the studs outnumbering the duds due to the solid performance.
Browns studs and duds Week 8
Stud: Sione Takitaki, Linebacker
Easily one of the most underappreciated players on the Cleveland roster, Sione Takitaki is constantly forgotten about on this defense. He made sure that wouldn’t be the case on Monday Night Football as he had a game to remember.
Takitaki made three tackles on the second Cincinnati drive alone — including two in a row where he sniffed out passes to Joe Mixon. First, he hit him for a two-yard gain and then for a two-yard loss on the next play. He then joined Martin Emerson to stuff Samaje Perine for no gain on a second down and 10.
As good as he was on that drive, it was later in the first half when he really stepped up. Takitaki came in on the blitz and blew up Joe Burrow, scoring a strip sack — which was recovered by Tommy Togiai.
Cleveland was unable to convert thanks to a fumble that was lost when Jacoby Brissett was sacked but Takitaki’s play was huge in slowing down this high-powered Bengals’ offense. In all, he had 13 tackles — six of which were solo — as he was all over the field. It was a great night as he stepped up with several starters around him out.
Dud: Mike Priefer, Special Teams Coordinator
There’s been a lot of heat on defensive coordinator Joe Woods this season but he’s not the only coordinator who has struggled. Mike Priefer hasn’t been getting it done as the special teams’ coach and the issues he’s had aren’t unique to this season.
Even focusing on just this year, there have been missed tackles on punt and kick returns, muffed punts, and now two blocked kicks in a row. The first was at the end of their loss to the Ravens when Cade York attempted a 60-yard field goal for the tie. Then the first attempt on Monday, which was from 53 yards out, was also blocked.
While it’s true the players need to execute, the constant issues no matter who lines up has to fall on the coach. And in this case, Priefer has to be running out of excuses.