Admit it… You were scared. In the fourth quarter of the Browns game vs the Bengals, you got scared. You were waiting for the other shoe to drop… But guess what? There’s no other shoe and the Browns were victorious in a fun-filled 35-20 stomping of their interstate rivals.
If you have followed the Cleveland Browns for any length of time then you know – and have lamented the fact – that the Browns find new and unusual way to lose games week after week. But here’s a news flash for you – this ain’t the “Same Old Browns.”
After starting the game by scoring touchdowns on their first four offensive possessions, these new Browns were off to a 28-0 lead over division Cincinnati Bengals. Britton Colquitt may have nearly fallen asleep on the sidelines with how little he saw of the field. And isn’t that amazing! Nearly 45 minutes of football elapsed before he was able to make an appearance on the field!
— Jamie Cress See (@JamieSee) November 25, 2018
Two stats that are incredibly important and tell much of the story of this victory are: ZERO sacks and ZERO turnovers. You can’t win the game if your quarterback is laying on the ground or if he’s giving the ball away to the opponent. After suffering through week upon week of the offensive line looking like a sieve, they held together, played like a true unit and, for the second week in a row, protected Mayfield.
The defense also did its job, taking the ball away twice and stopping them on eight of twelve third down attempts. While they struggled a bit towards the end of the game to keep their foot on the gas, they still got the job done and were able to give fans something they haven’t seen in a long time: The Victory Formation!
Now, I don’t want to get too far ahead of myself, but when football is this fun to watch, why not reach for the stars? They’ve got five games left on their schedule and three of them are completely winnable games. With the team being fired up, motivated, believing in themselves and – dare I say, feeling “dangerous?” – they should be able to get wins against the three “B’s” that remain: Broncos, Bengals and Baltimore.
The Houston Texans and the Carolina Panthers could prove difficult, but this young team is finally learning how to win games. And if Baker Mayfield didn’t prove how much of a leader he is during (and after) this game, I don’t know what else to ask him to do. It’s not OK to hug and buddy-up to players or coaches on the other team. They are not your friends. They are your business opponents. It’s refreshing to see a team leader set that example!
And let’s be real: Jackson didn’t just go to another team, he stayed inside the division. He’s getting paid $5 million by the Browns so don’t act like he needed the job right now. He’s getting no sympathy from me. And the reaction of a number of Browns players during and after the game should tell all of us exactly what was wrong in Berea that led to his being let go.
Road. Win!!!!!! At last. Baker takes another big step in his progression. #browns Now must learn to keep foot on the gas. No let up. Very nice win!
— Jay Crawford (@JaycrawfordCLE) November 25, 2018
But, by breaking a 25-game road losing streak, and winning back-to-back games for the first time in what feels like forever, the Browns are giving fans something to believe in. And making a statement to the rest of the AFC North, and possibly the entire NFL. We’re building something to be proud of here. We are moving out of the division basement and making room for someone else to take that position.
General Manager John Dorsey has clearly picked winners; from the trades that brought wide receiver Jarvis Landry and cornerback Demarious Randall to town, to the drafting of quarterback Baker Mayfield, CB Denzel Ward, running back Nick Chubb and linebacker Genard Avery, he has made an impact.
The future is looking really bright right now with more Sundays of FUN Football ahead!
Kate is on Twitter @ClvlndK8.
Photo via Wikipedia