Written by John Alfieri:
The Cleveland Browns, 2-6-1 entering the day, hosted the Atlanta Falcons. Atlanta came in at 4-4 and had won three straight after a 1-4 start. Many questions still surrounded the Browns as Head Coach Greg Williams and new OC Freddie Kitchens looked lost at times in their new coaching role debuts last week against Kansas City.
On their second drive of the game, Baker Mayfield rolled out of the pocket to avoid pressure and found Rashard Higgins for the the 28 yard touchdown.
In the second quarter after an Atlanta field goal, the Falcons drove down the field and Matt Ryan hit Julio Jones on a 1 yard bubble screen for the touchdown. Atlanta would go up 10-7 before Baker tosses his second TD of the game, this time to running back Nick Chubb, who got the start. Cleveland went into halftime leading 14-10.
The Browns kept the momentum going into the fourth as Mayfield would find his other running back, Duke Johnson, for the 13 yard touchdown. After a punt by Atlanta, Nick Chubb had the play of the game and ran 92 yards to put the Browns up 28-10.
The Browns defense also played well especially in the red zone and on third down. Atlanta has a chance to cut down the lead and went for it on fourth and goal at the 1 yard line, but came up short after a broken up pass. Matt Ryan looked very frustrated at times.
The Falcons did put more on the board as Ryan found his tight end Austin Hooper on fourth and goal to make it 28-16. Atlanta went for the 2 point conversion but the Browns stood tall once again and it was no good.
Cleveland would go on to win 28-16 and move to 3-6-1. Baker Mayfield had a terrific game going 17/20 with 216 yards and 3 touchdowns. Nick Chubb also had another explosive game as he had 176 on 20 carries and 2 total touchdowns.
Baker Mayfield said in his press conference that he “woke up this morning feeling dangerous”. When asked what has changed with the play of this offense, Mayfield responded, “ Guys believing, believing in themselves.Not hesitating, not flinching, juts going out there and doing their jobs.” The rookie quarterback is coming into his own and becoming the leader that this team needs
The Browns are on a bye this week before they travel to Cincinnati for a showdown with the Bengals.