After coming off a humiliating loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Browns rebounded big against Cincinnati. Due to Kevin Stefanski's coaching and the Brown's productive pass catchers, QB Baker Mayfield stunned his doubters with his best game of the season. Fortunately for the Browns, this passing success helped overcome their defensive struggles, especially at the LB position. Therefore, it is too early to count Cleveland out of playoff contention.
Baker Mayfield (6)
Early on, Baker made a bone-headed interception in the first quarter. However, he bounced back with 20+ consecutive completions and good decision making. Many of these completions came despite tight coverage. As a result, he shredded the Bengals generous defense for 297 yards and five scores.
Jarvis Landry (80)
Myles Garrett (95)
Star edge rusher, Myles Garrett, harassed Bengals QB Joe Burrow this whole game with two sacks and one forced fumble.
Rashard Higgins (81)
Advanced Team Grades
Run Offense (Overall)
Passing Offense (Overall)
Moving the Chains
Overall QB Play
Game Notes on Offense
The browns offense dominated Cincinatiti's defense in Week 7. This dominance came from Baker Mayfield's excellent passing, where he shredded the Bengals. However, it also helps Baker that the Bengals offensive line kept Mayfield relatively clean and protected aside from two pressures. Plus his wideouts like Rashard Higgins were able to make big plays to extend drives in the second half.
Protection & Blocking
Coming off a crushing defeat against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Baker Mayfield bounced back with his best game of the season. Mayfield's success was obvious considering that he shredded the Bengals for nearly 300 passing yards and five TDs. Furthermore, Baker refrained from making bad reads after a horrible interception early in the game. Plus, it helps that he was surrounded by a litany of pass-catchers like Harrison Bryant and Rashard Higgins who stepped up after OBJ's injury.
Without Nick Chubb, Cleveland's rushing attack was less explosive. Much of this deficiency was due to poor run blocking from Jack Conklin and Jedrick Wills Jr. It is also worth noting that Browns RB Kareem Hunt still ran for 76 yards, which 53 of them coming after contact. Nevertheless, the browns 82 total rushing yards is underwhelming for an offense coached by Kevin Stefanski.
Passing Game Defense
Stopping the Run
Controlling the Line of Scrimmage
Game Notes on Defense
Cleveland's defense was pushed to the brink against the Cincinnati Bengals. Anytime the Bengals generate 400+ yards and 34 points against your defense, it's obviously going to be a tough day. Surprisingly, the Browns even struggled to decimate the Bengals rushing production despite their star RB being injured. However, despite Cleveland's D bending, they didn't break. Their ability to sack Burrow five times and forced turnovers were enough to guarantee Cleveland the victory.
Cleveland's linebackers struggled to hold up in coverage where they surrendered 129 passing yards to the Bengals. LBs B.J. Goodson and Malcolm Smith were especially torched in the passing game. Fortunately for Cleveland, their star edge rusher Myles Garrett harassed Bengals QB Joe Burrow this whole game with two sacks and one forced fumble. Likewise, Denzel Ward and Terrance Mitchell had a reasonably good game going against A.J. Green and Tyler Boyd. However, the rest of this defense was picked apart by Joe Burrow.
Special Teams Comments
Play of the Game
Comments on Coaching
After a rocky start from Baker Mayfield, Kevin Stefanski's play calling and game management propelled Mayfield to victory. For instance, Stefanski’s creative plays, like the end-around pass from Landry, kept the offense energized and take some pressure off of Baker's shoulders. Plus, a steady and successful running game with Nick Chubb helped Cleveland's offense, especially in the play-action game. This play-action emphasis helped Kirk Cousin play well with Stefanki and the Minnesota Vikings last season. And now that offense is keeping the Browns in playoff contention. However, this defense's execution needs to be better.