The Browns Have Their Swagger Back

The Browns are BACK and Odell is back! Will this win will set a trend for Cleveland Browns? As they just defeated the Chicago Bears at home in dominant fashion, 26-6.

You may be wondering why I’m saying the Browns are “back” now. After all, they won last week, too right? The Browns’ 31-21 victory over Houston was a victory but in many ways, it was a bad win. The first drive ended in a sack with no points, as well as with Jarvis Landry injured. The offense took a while to get going, while the Texans seemed to be moving the ball well with Tyrod Taylor, and the game remained competitive until he went out. The Browns defense looked good in that game but made some costly penalties and mistakes. Before Tyrod Taylor got hurt it almost seemed certain like he was gonna get his revenge on Baker and the Browns. Demetric Felton’s TD was the late momentum changer that saved that week for the Browns. This week was different, though: both the offense and defense played great.

The Browns first drive looked bad until on 3rd and 10, Baker connected with OBJ for 13 yards and a first down. The Browns were held scoreless after Baker was sacked on 4th and 5. For the rest of the first quarter the Browns offense was without a touchdown due to some stout defense by Chicago. I will admit, Chicago made a lot of great stops. Khalil Mack got to Baker twice and in total their defense got five sacks. However the Browns defense was even better. Jadaveon Clowney was the first to sack Justin Fields in the game in what would end up as 9 total sacks on the rookie.

The Bears struck first with a field goal from Cairo Santos. Kareem Hunt got the offense going for the start of the second quarter where the Browns were able to put some points on the board to make it 3-3 thanks to Kicker Chase McLaughlin. On the Bears’ next drive, Fields was sacked on both 2nd and 3rd down by Myles Garrett and Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah respectively.

JOK looked like the 1st round pick people expected him to be before the “heart problems” rumors caused his draft stock to slide from the first round all the way down to the Browns could pick him up at 52nd overall.

Right before the half Baker passed it to Hooper for the go-ahead TD making, it 10-3. A good start for the offense which would continue to heat up. The Bears started with the ball to begin the half and the pass rush ended their drive with Takkarist Mckinley getting a sack totaling 5 for the Browns now. When the Browns got the ball, Odell Beckham made a crucial 3rd down catch on the sideline for 25 yards and the first down. The Browns kicked a field goal increasing their lead to 13-3. Garrett sacked Fields again bringing his total to 3.5 sacks in the game. On almost every third down, it seemed like Baker found Beckham open for a first down. The Bears benefitted from an iffy DPI call on John Johnson, who was covering Allen Robinson The Bears couldn’t capitalize on the field position and kicked a FG to make it a one-score game at 13-6.

In the fourth quarter, Kareem Hunt got loose for a 29 yard run: 20-6 Cleveland. The Browns D forced another punt, and the Browns got a 52 yard FG on their drive to make it 23-6. The next drive, Garrett got another sack on Fields and the Bears punted. In the waning minutes of the game the Browns kicked another FG and Clowney notched another sack onto his total. 26-6 was the final score.

Myles Garrett finished the day with 4.5 sacks, a franchise record. The chart above shows he is in the company of greatness through the first 55 games of his career: his sack-total thus far is higher than both the Watt brothers, Aaron Donald, and equal to Von Miller, making it clear that Garrett is one of the best pass rushers of this generation.

Clowney had 2 sacks. The Safety Ronnie Harrison got 1 sack. Takk Mckinley, Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, and Malik Jackson each got a half a sack as well. The front seven absolutely dominated the Bears O-line in this game.

Denzel Ward, Ronnie Harrison, John Johnson III and the rest of the secondary looked good as well. They didn’t have to do much as the pass rush was too much for the Bears O-line. The Browns secondary shut down Allen Robinson, limiting him to 2 receptions for 27 yards.

Greg Newsome II, the rookie corner, missed the final 8 snaps due to an injury that he said afterwards isn’t serious, and 2019 second round pick Greedy Williams came in to replace him, looking pretty good since we last saw him. If Newsome misses time I think Williams can step up.

Grant Delpit, the Browns’ second round draft pick from last year, continues to improve. While he only had 1 tackle, he is playing on limited snaps as he is still recovering from his Achilles tear from last year. Look for Delpit to continue to improve, but he needs to step up next week in Minnesota, as he’ll be facing off against his former LSU teammate Justin Jefferson, who is coming off a big game.

Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah was playing with energy, from sacking the quarterback, to tackling and defending passes–he did it all. The defense looked much more cohesive this game and it showed. They held the Bears to a net total of 1 yard on offense.

Moving back to the offense, Jedrick Wills Jr., the left tackle, has been dealing with an injury yet still played 70 out of 81 snaps to protect Baker. The rest of the O-line played okay, but allowed 18 Qb pressures and 6 sacks. These numbers are not too bad considering the Bears have Khalil Mack, Roquan Smith and Akiem Hicks, and are one of the top front-sevens in the league.

Kareem Hunt had a great day. He was running like a madman with 10 carries for 81 yards and 6 receptions for 74 yards and 1 TD. Nick Chubb finished with 22 carries for 84 yards.

Odell played well for his first game off a torn ACL, getting 5 receptions for 77 yards. He played a total of 52 snaps and Odell was quoted as saying “I just felt like I could never get my legs going, but we came out with the W and that is all that matters.” That means he’s still not 100% and will only continue getting better. Once he’s fully healthy, he gives the Browns the big-play element that they’ve been missing with him out of the lineup. The chemistry between Baker and Odell looks like it’s improving. Get ready for a signature Odell game next week against a vulnerable Vikings secondary.

Austin Hooper had 2 catches for 19 yards and a TD. He had a great grab for a TD right before the half and got the ball rolling for the offense. David Njoku, who I view as one of the most underrated Tight Ends in the league, played 50 snaps without a target. As you may remember, he had some big catches against the Chiefs in week 1 with 3 receptions for 76 yards. I believe he will see fewer targets with Odell back on the field, but he deserves to get the ball. Harrison Bryant was targeted twice but failed to catch either of his targets, he is a threat mostly in the endzone for opposing defenses.

The rookie Demetric Felton had 2 catches for 13 yards. It was good to see Felton more involved in the passing attack, the rookie looks better and better each play he is in. Both Donovan Peoples-Jones and Rashard Higgins got 2 receptions for 39 and 24 yards respectively.

The Browns get their swagger and culture from 4 major players: Baker Mayfield, Jarvis Landry, Odell Beckham Jr. and Myles Garrett. The Browns losing culture began to change in Baker’s rookie year when he and Landry arrived at the team. The Browns vastly improved on the 0-16 record from the year before Baker’s arrival. Baker started winning games immediately and right alongside him was Landry who caught 6 TDs and 1174 yards on the way to a hard-fought 7-8-1 record.

When Odell arrived the next year, many people believed the Browns were a contender. Obviously they were not, with Freddie Kitchens coaching, Odell learning the new system and a bad defense besides Garrett and Denzel Ward. Odell did put up 1000+ yards in 2019, but he wasn’t quite as good as he was with the Giants. It wasn’t Full Odell. The next year is where his impact would be felt–and missed. In 2020, Odell went off against the Cowboys in week 4. He put the game on ice with the 89 yard TD rush. He had 154 total yards and 3 TDs and proved he was still the playmaker that the Browns thought they were acquiring in 2019. Sadly, he tore his ACL weeks later and wasn’t able to contribute during the Browns playoff run.

I kept thinking during both Browns vs Chiefs games–last year’s playoffs and this year’s week 1–how the Browns could use Odell to make a big play. Now with Odell back we can see what he brings to the team. Baker trusts him on third down, and Odell knows how to get open and extend drives. Because he’s going to usually draw the opposing team’s best corner, this will allow Landry (when healthy), Higgins and Peoples-Jones to get better looks.

Myles Garrett is a big-time impact player: when he does well, the whole defense does well. Myles was relatively quiet the first two games with 7 tackles and 1 sack in total. While Garrett wasn’t performing, neither were his teammates: the only other player to record a sack in the past 2 games was Grant Delpit against the Texans. This week with Garrett going off, the defense put up 4.5 sacks i addition to Garrett’s 4.5 sacks.

Now that Baker, Odell and Myles are finding their groove, the rest of the Browns will feed off of their energy and it will start showing up in games. As this continues the Browns will look to improve on last years 11-5 record and contend for the Super Bowl

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