Cleveland Browns Stud: Greg Newsome, Cornerback
Denzel Ward was sent to the locker room early in this one after taking a vicious hit from Ronnie Stanley, which should have been flagged. Originally, it was called a head injury which is concerning since he's already suffered four concussions in his career. Eventually, it was said to be a neck injury which isn't good but it's still not as bad as if he would have been dealt another concussion.
With Ward out, Greg Newsome was asked to step up. The third-year cornerback was actually banged up heading into this one and was listed as questionable on the final injury report. You wouldn't know it from his performance, however.
Newsome not only held his own in coverage but he wound up getting his first career pick — and it was a game-changer. Just a couple of plays after Elijah Moore scored a touchdown to cut the lead to 31-24, Lamar Jackson had his pass batted in the air by Ogbo Okoronkwo. Newsome then tracked it down and found another gear as he ran into the end zone for a touchdown.
His first-career pick ended with him scoring his first-career touchdown. The extra point was then missed by Dustin Hopkins, which was his first extra point miss with the Browns — and his first since the 2021 season. That wound up being a moot point as Hopkins secured the win with his 40-yard kick.
Hopkins will get a lot of the praise, and rightfully so, as will Deshuan Watson and the rest of the offense. But the defense made big plays when needed most and that had as much to do with them finding a way to win as anything else.