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After a disappointing week one against the Tennessee Titans, the Cleveland Browns needed to rebound in New York against the Jets. Against a depleted New York Jets team, the Browns pulled out a much needed win. It’s time to open the “Eye on Browns: Notebook.”
1. I Can See For Myles: When the Browns took Myles Garrett first overall in 2017, the expectation was he would be a generational talent. Around that time, some fans clamored that the Browns should have taken someone else like defensive ends Jonathan Allen (Washington Redskins) or Solomon Thomas (San Francisco 49ers). However, since he was drafted, only Aaron Donald of the Rams has more sacks.
In Monday night’s game against the Jets, Garrett racked up three sacks, to give him the league lead with five. He was a bit reckless at times, which showed with his penalties and injuring quarterback Trevor Siemian. While they weren’t dirty hits by any means, if he can learn to create more “controlled chaos,” then he may become the league’s most elite defensive end.
2. Pass on the Run: Quarterback Baker Mayfield hasn’t looked the best this year. While he’s eighth in the league in passing yards, he has the second most interceptions in the league and is barely over 60% in completion percentage. The problem may not be Mayfield alone: Cleveland may not be running the ball enough.
In both the Tennessee and New York games, Mayfield has attempted 73 passes to 41 rushing attempts. At nearly 64% of plays being passing, it’s making the offense unbalanced. Cleveland’s always been known for a “ground-and-pound” style that they’ve gotten away from over past couple years.
With the clock counting down on running back Kareem Hunt’s suspension, and their other running back Nick Chubb looking good, it may be time to start running it a little more and passing a little less.
3. OBJ’s Return: Despite the watch drama that unfolded last week and even the shield drama early in the game, people expected something magical to happen from wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. in his return to Metlife Stadium. He delivered.
In the third quarter, Beckham Jr. broke free of defenders for an 89-yard touchdown reception, the longest of his career. Beckham also made Browns history by recording the second most receiving yards in a Monday Night Football game with 161 yards, only behind Webster Slaughter with 186 back in 1989.
A Look To Next Week: vs Los Angeles Rams on Sunday Night Football
Since Baker Mayfield took over in week three last year, the Browns are now 3-0 in prime time games, with a chance to go 4-0 when they host the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday Night.
This will be hardest test for the Cleveland Browns offense as the Rams are a top 10 defense. Through the air, they’ve allowed 201.5 yards per game and on the ground 92 yards per game.
While not much, Cleveland will need to take advantage of the nearly 100 yards per game on the ground given up. Nick Chubb is someone who can break out, but they need to give him a hole.
If the Browns are going to win, they’re going to have to shut down Los Angeles’ rushing attack. They’re 7th in the NFL rushing with 140.5 yards per game. If they can make quarterback Jared Goff pass, they may able to make this a game.
Overall, the Browns are seen as underdogs in this match up; the Rams are 2.5 favorite. This stretch of games will what determines the Browns season.
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