The Cleveland Browns bounced back in a big way in the Battle of Ohio. Both offenses scored early and often in this rivalry with the Browns taking the first game by a score of 35-30. With the victory, you might be thinking the Browns are back, but let’s hold our horses here. Yes the offenses looked good but both defenses really need some work.
In the first half, the Bengals started out with great field position because of the kick return by Brandon Wilson, which obviously helps the rookie quarterback. The Bengals first series, Burrow took the field and showed the world he can sling the pigskin. Burrow drove the Bengals down, only to stall and settle for a field goal. Following the field goal by Randy Bullock, the Browns took the ball at the 25-yard line and they methodically moved down the field. The Browns showed great chemistry on their opening drive, ending with a Nick Chubb touchdown run. Chubb got an incredible push up front and JC Tretter locked down the outside with a tremendous pull block.
The Bengals got the ball after the Chubb touchdown and their drive stalled. After the Bengals punt, we had a rare Odell Beckham Jr. sighting! Beckham Jr. caught a play action touchdown pass from Baker Mayfield. It was a 43-yard grab, and the Cleveland offense was running like a well oiled machine. As for the rest of he first half, both offenses were on the field the majority of the time. C.J. Uzomah caught a touchdown pass before half and Kareem Hunt scored for the Browns on a scramble drill from Baker Mayfield. At the end of he first half the Bengals nailed a 43-yard field goal by the veteran Bullock. The score at half is Browns 21, Bengals 13.
The second half was more of the same as the Browns held onto the lead throughout the game. With the Browns winning, they leaned on their running game, and that was a great idea. Chubb and Hunt are two top-10 backs in the league and new Browns head coach, Kevin Stefanski, decided to engage them more in the offense. Chubb carried the ball 22-times for 124 yards and Hunt was just as lethal, rushing the ball ten times for 86-yards to go along with one rushing and one receiving touchdowns.
As for the Bengals, just by watching Burrow last night made me a believer. The guy is a proven winner, but it looks like he is in for a long year. The Bengals rushing offense, behind Joe Mixon, Burrow, and Giovani Bernard showed flashes of a potent backfield. That being said, Burrow threw the ball 61 times. 61 is way too many for most seasoned quarterbacks let alone a rookie in his second game. The Bengals need to find out how to mix up their play-calling and be a little more balanced. The Browns defense was under fire pretty much all game. The interior defensive lineman like Sheldon Richardson were outstanding. Really the whole defensive line was in the backfield all game, with new signee Adrian Clayborn making his name known. Myles Garrett had one sack and three tackles which is simply not good enough for the contract he’s playing for. Other standouts include Andrew Sendejo who led the team in tackles. It is safe to say the defense needs work, and a lot of it.
In the end a win is a win, doesn’t matter the opponent. Anyone getting a win in the National Football League is tough enough, great to see the Browns get a win and now Sunday they can rest. Baker still needs to improve his accuracy and play-making. Mayfield was intercepted once by William Jackson III, that being the one and only turnover for the game. The Browns, need to continue to develop the run, Chubb should see the ball more. As for the Bengals, their future is bright. With Joe Burrow behind center and hopefully some developing receivers, they can only go up from here. The teams will have a long week of practice after Thursday, and should be ready to go next Sunday.
Bengals 9/27 vs. Eagles
Browns: 9/27 vs. Washington Football Team
Bengals Top Performers
Joe Burrow: 37/61 316 Yards, 3 Touchdowns
Joe Mixon: 16 Carries to 46-yards O Touchdowns
Tyler Boyd seven receptions 72-yards
Jessie Bates III: ten tackles
William Jackson: One Interception
Browns Top Performers
Mayfield: 16/23 219 Yards, 2 Touchdowns
Chubb: 22 Carries for 124-yards and 2 Touchdowns
Hunt: 10 Carries for 86-yards and One Touchdown
Beckham Jr.: Four Catches for 74-yards and One Touchdown
Sheldon Richardson: Six Tackles, One Sack, Two TFL
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