Three good things from the Cleveland Browns win over the Bengals
The Cleveland Browns were able to get the win over the Cincinnati Bengals with the final score being 21-16 in a game that arguably shouldn’t have been as close as it was. The Browns will finish 8-9 on the year, marking a massive disappointment for the team that some believed could be a Super Bowl contender.
There’s a lot to unpack this year, massive injuries across the board, declining play, a potential need to infuse new talent, but for now, we can at least say the Browns won their season finale. It’s not much but it’s better than a loss.
Let’s take a look at the three best things to come out of this game.
The Bengals didn’t play most of their best players for one reason or another. While Covid-19 took out a chunk of their defense, it’s very likely most of them would’ve been sat anyway. The Bengals also sat Joe Burrow, Joe Mixon, and Tee Higgins and only played Ja’Marr Chase enough snaps so he could get the Bengals rookie record for most yards in a single season, surpassing Chad Johnson (aka Chad Ochocinco).
The Bengals also didn’t play Tyler Boyd much, if at all, as the team was clearly more worried about going to the playoffs than winning a meaningless year-end game.
So despite facing mostly reservists at the skilled positions, the Browns defense still showed up to play. The Browns defense has been banged up quite a bit, with star player Myles Garrett wholly ineffective since suffering an injury, and difference-makers like Troy Hill being out yet again. The lack of Garrett’s impact really highlighted how impressive Jadeveon Clowney was in this game. Sure, the shoe-throwing incident is still pretty fresh but Clowney finished the season with nine sacks, the second-best number of his career.
Truthfully though, had Case Keenum not coughed up a fumble for a touchdown, the Browns would’ve had a pretty easy win. The offense did enough to win and the defense was all over Brandon Allen.
Thankfully, an onside kick went the right way despite Harrison Bryant miffing it and because of it, the Browns were then able to secure the win. If it wasn’t for a 17 game season, an eight-win outing wouldn’t be something to snicker at considering how bad this franchise has been in the last 22-odd years.