Total domination would be the best words to describe the Cleveland Browns performance at FirstEnergy Stadium. Early on, both teams were doing a great job of supplying pressure to the other team’s quarterback. Chicago Bears kicker Cairo Santos, opened up the score by connecting on a 47 -yard field goal. This field goal marked 29 straight field goals made by Santos. Browns kicker Chase McLaughlin evened up the score as he nailed a kick from a country mile of 57 yards out. The Browns made an emphasis early on blitzing rookie quarterback Justin Fields, who seemed like a fish out of water. Fields was forced to throw the ball deep down the field as he was put in long territory situations.
Least to say, he was highly ineffective.
It was a collective group effort as defensive end Myles Garett had a great game registering 4.5 sacks and six tackles. Also adding to the action was defensive end Jadeveon Clowney, who had two sacks and two tackles, along with linebacker Jeremiah Owusu–Koramoah, who had half a sack and three tackles. These men have exceptional strength and quickness which makes it so hard to contain three of these solid players.
Due to the absence of Jarvis Landry, second-year player Donovan Peoples–Jones contributed nicely by making terrific catches as he had excellent concentration to keep his feet inbounds on catches near the sidelines. Peoples-Jones turned in two receptions for 39 yards, an average of 19.5 yards. Returning from injury was superstar Odell Beckham Jr, who got the offense moving with a designed jet sweep and engaged in pass plays. OBJ registered five receptions for 77 yards. Running back Kareem Hunt made himself a threat as he was having his way both running the ball and being used as a wide receiver. Before halftime, it was when Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield started to click on all cylinders as they kept pushing the ball down the field. It ended up resulting in a bullet touchdown pass into the end zone to a leaping tight end in Austin Hooper.
The second half was similar to the start of the game as neither side could get on the board. A 41-yard field goal by Chase McLaughlin pushed the lead up to 10 points. By the third quarter, the Cleveland defense had six sacks as a team and quarterback Justin Fields was running for his life to try to pick up yardage and move the chains.
The best way to describe the Browns defense is that of a wild pack of hungry hyenas as they were relentless in their pursuit. It was not until around the 14-minute mark, when Cleveland running back Kareem Hunt would bounce off one defender, slide and stop to juke a defender resulting in sprinting past everyone and finding pay dirt, which elevated their lead to 20-6. Hunt concluded his day with 81 rushing yards, on 10 carries, which resulted in an impressive 8.1 yards per carry.
McLaughlin collected two more field goals, which would put the game out of reach. The final score was 26 to 6 for Cleveland. The Browns defense, ended their day having nine total sacks, which is an outstanding accomplishment no matter how you look at it. Quarterback Baker Mayfield did his part as he completed 19 of 31 passing attempts, for 246 yards and a touchdown pass. As a team, Cleveland had 418 yards compared to Chicago’s 47 yards. Cleveland had 203 passing yards, while Chicago had one measly passing yard. Cleveland rushed for 215 yards as Chicago only mustered 46 yards.
This was a great team win and it is the start of a win streak. Cleveland will look to build on their momentum next week in Minnesota when they take on the Vikings.