Saint Chubb! Hey Cleveland Browns fans, wasn’t that fun? – Terry Pluto

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CLEVELAND, Ohio – So that’s what Browns fans can expect from their team’s new offense.

Run the ball.

On behalf of Nick Chubb, give the ball to the ball carrier. He’s a remarkable combination of bullish power with a ballet dancer’s knack for making clean cuts and changing direction. Put 124 yards on 24 carries next to his name.

On behalf of Baker Mayfield, watch him play with comfort, confidence and a sense of security thanks to his blockers and caller. He had an interception, but otherwise he looked so much better than in a lot of his games in 2019.

On behalf of Odell Beckham, how about that 43-yard catch from Mayfield? How about the receiver fitting into that balanced attack, at least on this fun Thursday night?

On behalf of Kareem Hunt, have you seen how he took over the running game from Chubb and the Willoughby South product wore out the Bengals. He had 86 yards on 10 carries.

Now for the numbers that really matter: final score, Browns 35, Cincinnati 30.

LOVE THESE DOS

That sigh of relief you hear comes from the Browns front office and new head coach Kevin Stefanski. It was the offense they had envisioned when building the squad and creating a playbook. It helped take some of the embarrassment out of Sunday’s loss to Baltimore.

As game call and head coach, Stefanski didn’t have the same commitment to the Maryland running game as on Thursday. The difference was so obvious. By the time Hunt scored on a 2-yard TD with 3:55 left, the Browns had a 35-23 lead. At that point, Chubb and Hunt each had a pair of touchdowns. They had combined for 210 rushing yards.

Most fans love the running game and running backs. They have the best running back combination in the NFL in Cleveland. This dynamic attack helped Mayfield. The defense had to watch out for fullbacks, which helped Mayfield go 4 of 5 for 87 passing yards.

These statistics indicate that the Browns should use these counterfeits more often to find wide open receivers.

As for the defense

Like most things with the Browns, there were a lot of good things about this win… but it wasn’t easy.

The defense is in trouble and it probably will be all season long. They have five injured starters. Other than on the defensive line, there isn’t a lot of talent on that side of the ball. Bengals rookie Joe Burrow put in a stunning performance. The LSU product was 37 of 61 for 316 yards. He made life miserable for the defense most of the night.

But there was a key game from the defense that helped avert some annoyance for the Bengals. At the start of the third quarter, the Browns had the ball over Cincinnati 1, first and goal. Four games later, the attack left the field without a point. It looked like flops near the goal line a year ago.

I thought of Kevin Stefanski’s words after last Sunday’s loss to Baltimore: “We did a lot for the losing teams. They were ready to start over.

The Bengals have taken over. Then the defense came. Myles Garrett, rushing from an inside position, slapped the ball out of Burrow’s hands. The Browns recovered on the yard line. This time, Chubb scored the TD.

Garrett’s gang stabilized the Browns ship in what was becoming a very stormy situation.

The defense held Cincinnati’s Joe Mixon to 46 yards on 16 carries. The running back had 308 yards against the Browns in two games in 2019.

While the night belonged to Stefanski’s offense, the defense at least did a few things to make sure the team didn’t fall to 0-2.

Official Cleveland Browns face coverings available on FOCO.com. (Photos via FOCO.com)

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