Baker Mayfield got it going early with a 43-yard touchdown pass to Odell Beckham, Jr. and may have re-lit the spark from his rookie season. Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt also had a big night, combining for 210 rushing yards on 32 carries for three touchdowns.
After suffering a tough 38-6 loss to the Baltimore Ravens 38-6 last Sunday, the win gave Kevin Stefanski his first victory since taking on the head coaching job. Stefanski has proven to be effective for this offense, as he finally went back to his play-action-heavy scheme last night — and it worked, to say the least.
Mayfield played a great game and was protecting the ball, until he threw an interception to Bengals CB William Jackson. Mayfield was able to spread the ball around and get it to eight different Browns receivers, completing 70% of his passes.
“I thought he did a nice job. We moved the ball, he (Mayfield) had some explosive plays, made some plays with his feet, thought he was good on third down, made some really heady plays on third down. He’s always gonna try to learn from a mistake; that interception at the end, I know he wants it back.”Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski
Cleveland’s defense took a huge stand in bouncing back from a tough Week 1 loss. The Browns’ pass rush was able to get to the Bengals’ young QB three times. Rookie Porter Gustin looked very promising, securing a crucial red zone stop along with sophomore LB Sione Takitaki. CB Tavierre Thomas managed to rack up a career-high nine tackles, and played solidly at nickel back, making critical tackles and displaying explosive pass-rushing ability; however, his coverage skills are still lacking.
Myles Garrett had the biggest highlight of the game in the third quarter, securing a strip-sack on Bengals rookie QB Joe Burrow that led to a recovery for the Browns, putting Cleveland right back where they were when their offense previously failed to punch the ball into the end zone on the goal line. The Browns defense is, by no means, perfect, but definitely took steps in the right direction.
The Cleveland Browns look to improve to 2-1 as they turn their attention to a fiery Washington Football Team with an incredible defense led by second-overall pick Chase Young. This will be a huge test for the new-and-improved offensive line, but the Browns will be up for the challenge after an extremely successful performance in Week 2.
(Featured Image Credit: Matt Starkey / ClevelandBrowns.com)