For much of the first half, it seemed as though the Cleveland Browns were going to find a way to pull out the win against the Los Angeles Rams. Unfortunately, they started to unravel in the second half and gave up 16 points. That led to a 36-19 loss, in a game that was much closer than the score suggests.
The good news for the Browns is that they're headed back to Cleveland. The Pacific coast has been bad for them for years, so it will be nice to get back to familiar grounds. And there were also several players who stood out, giving them something to build on. Here, we look at three such players who deserve praise for their performance.
3. Harrison Bryant, TE
A former fourth-round pick and John Mackey Award winner, Harrison Bryant has been a solid backup throughout his career. But like most pass-catchers in Cleveland, he's been rather quiet in 2023. Entering Week 13, he had just 12 yards on five receptions — although he has been good in the red zone with two touchdowns.
Against the Rams, however, he had his best game of the season. Bryant continued to provide Joe Flacco with a security blanket in the middle of the field. He was running clean routes and displayed soft hands throughout the day. He even came up huge in the fourth quarter when Cleveland was trying to tie the game up at 20.
A 13-play, 75-yard drive was capped off by Bryant hauling in a pass from Flacco and running it in from eight yards out for his third touchdown of the year. That score made it 20-19 and it appeared the Browns would be tying the game. Unfortunately, that's not what happened as Dustin Hopkins uncharacteristically missed the extra point, keeping it a one-point game.