The Browns. 3-1. Never in my lifetime have I been able to say those things together. The last time that the Browns started the season at three wins and one loss was 2001. Now, a common argument is, “They beat the Bengals and the Football Team. That’s an easy two wins,”. This is simply not true. Not only are both teams playing decently this year, but a win is a win, no matter who it’s against. The truth is, the Browns have been playing very well ever since the Week 1 loss to the Ravens. A lot of their success so far comes with a lot of help from the Running Back committee of Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt. Both have been top-10 stat-wise at their position. However, early on in the game against Dallas, Nick Chubb went down with an injury that would later be announced as an MCL sprain.
You would think that the injury to Nick Chubb would result in a slower, less impactful day for the Cleveland running back group. This was not the case. Kareem Hunt shared snaps with D’Ernest Johnson and Dontrell Hilliard, two running backs who have had little to no action so far this season (Johnson was in the RB3 spot and wasn’t part of the gameplan, Hilliard was on the practice squad), and it ended up working very well. Along with Kareem Hunt’s 71 yards and 2 touchdowns, D’Ernest Johnson posted 95 yards on 13 carries, and in the 6 carries Dontrell Hilliard got, he rushed for 19 yards.
The Running Backs weren’t the only ones who did very well though. Odell Beckham Jr shocked many as he put up 3 touchdowns, two of them as receiving touchdowns (one was thrown by Jarvis Landry) and the other as a 50-yard long rushing touchdown. This was the Odell Beckham that Cleveland fans expected to see last year, but did not get. But this year he already has the same amount of touchdowns that he had last season. It’s safe to say that the Baker-Odell connection has improved a whole lot, and it will most definitely be an exciting duo for as long as it lasts.
On the defensive side of things, Myles Garrett put up another great game, getting 2 sacks and another forced fumble. This performance earned him the AFC Defensive Player of the Week award. However, he wasn’t the only one making plays on defense. Terrance Mitchell had 12 total tackles and showed great coverage, B.J. Goodson continued to shine with 7 tackles, Andrew Sendejo got a forced fumble of his own, and Tavierre Thomas had an amazing game, especially on special teams.
The big win against Dallas was a surprise to many, mostly because the Cowboys were heavily favored to win. But the Browns showed that they’re not the same team from a few years ago. This isn’t the “same old Browns”. This team is special, and with the good coaching that they’ve been looking for for years, they will look to catch a playoff spot for the first time since 2002.