Browns vs. Bengals ratings: Nick Chubb, Kareem Hunt duo show Cleveland’s bright side, Joe Burrow awesome

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It turned out to be a very exciting “Thursday Night Football” match between two teams not exactly known for their crimes. Not bad for an early September game between the Cleveland Browns and the Cincinnati Bengals, two of the laughing stock of the NFL in decades. Baker Mayfield vs. Joe Burrow has the potential to be a must-see prime-time match for the next decade, especially if Cleveland and Cincinnati pursue high profile business in the years to come.

Ratings are up, and the Browns and Bengals received high marks for a game that made the NFL proud of its 100th anniversary. Appreciate, consume and criticize. You know where to find me.

Browns: A

It’s hard to give the Browns anything less. Four days after Cleveland was embarrassed by Baltimore, Kevin Stefanski’s attack looked like we thought it would be over the summer. The Browns have two running backs that are equally good and feed off each other. Nick Chubb ran for 100 yards and two touchdowns while Kareem Hunt rushed for 8.6 yards per carry and had a rushed touchdown and received his own touchdown. Cleveland didn’t have 200 rushing yards once in a game last season, but they have already eclipsed that total in their second game of 2020.

Stefanski ultimately went to what was Baker Mayfield’s bread and butter in Oklahoma with a focus on the game action pass and the No.1 pick in the 2018 overall was almost perfect. Apart from an interception on a pass he didn’t need to make, Mayfield threw for 219 yards and two touchdowns while completing nearly 70% of his passes. Thursday was the best Mayfield has watched in a long time – arguably since December of his rookie season (2018).

The Browns pass rush took advantage of one of football’s worst offensive lines, forcing Joe Burrow to throw 61 passes – unheard of for a rookie QB in his second career game (more on that in a bit ). Cleveland finished with seven hits from the quarterback, Myles Garrett’s forced fumble serving as the groundbreaking play the Browns needed after failing to score a touchdown from the yard line in four straight games. The Browns also kept the Bengals within 300 passing yards, extending the NFL’s longest streak to 23 games. Keeping the streak intact was even more impressive as the Browns ‘defense made the Bengals’ offense one-dimensional. It was a huge win for Cleveland in a game the Browns needed.

Bengals: B-

The Bengals’ offensive line is horrible. Their running defense is still the worst in the league, a year after finishing the worst in the league. They would be one of the worst teams in the league – and probably still are – but they have a very bright future with Joe Burrow and that was made clear on Thursday night.

It’s scary that Burrow threw 61 passes in his second career start, especially since he’s only the third rookie QB to throw more than 60 passes in a game. However, Burrow is only the 10th quarterback in NFL history to throw more than 60 pass attempts and have zero interceptions and be the first rookie to accomplish the feat. Keep in mind that Burrow faced constant pressure from the Browns’ defensive line all night long because Cincinnati has one of the worst offensive lines in football (especially on the right side of the line). This makes what Burrow has accomplished all the more impressive.

The Bengals get this rating because of Burrow. 88 offensive plays – 64 designed passes – Burrow was still able to complete 60.7% of his passes and throw three touchdowns. Cincinnati has a franchise quarterback and a solid cast of catchers to work with, although there isn’t much else around him. Big moments await Bengals fans.

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