The Cleveland Browns avoided the classic trap game and managed to handle the Miami Dolphins relatively easily with a 41-24 win.
All of the build up to Sunday’s game against the Miami Dolphins pointed towards a potential trap game. Call it pessimism if you want. The reality is that for the last 20 years this is a game the Cleveland Browns lose on a regular basis. Heck, the Browns have already lost a trap game this season (the loss to Denver just a few weeks ago). Add in the fact the team is undisciplined, has an inexperienced head coach and the emotion from the brawl on Thursday Night Football, this had all the makings of a classic Browns loss.
The focus during the week seemed to be on what happened on Thursday and facing the Steelers again after Sunday’s game went final. Each and every day the discussion was about Myles Garrett, Larry Ogunjobi and the upcoming second matchup with the Steelers. Simply put, Miami seemed to be getting overlooked by fans and media alike.
The trap was there, Cleveland avoided it.
Credit to where credit is due. Freddie Kitchens and co. had the team ready to go. More often than not a rookie head coach falls face first into the trap game. This past Sunday was not the case. Make no mistake, Cleveland was ready.
The Browns started out hot, racing out to a 28-0 lead. Any concern about coming out flat vanished. The next concern (letting Miami back into the game), did not disappear so easily. Miami scored 17 straight points to cut the Cleveland lead to 11 and there seemed to be that all too familiar feeling from fans. (The feeling of impending doom). Luckily it didn’t last, Cleveland was able to put the game away and come away with a double-digit victory.
Jarvis Landry was outstanding all game long. Baker Mayfield looked like what everyone expected him to look like at the start of the season. Baker has been on quite a run as of late. Mayfield is no longer in the negative in TD-INT ratio. In fact, Baker has eight touchdowns compared to just one interception over his last four games. Mayfield’s TD-INT ratio should continue to improve as the season progresses. Odell Beckham Jr. got his second touchdown of the season. OBJ should find the end zone a bit more over the final five games. Kareem Hunt scored his first touchdown of the season. Hunt has formed a nice backfield duo with Nick Chubb that may be the envy of most teams in the NFL.
The entire game was an emotional high. It will be crucial to not have a letdown in an all too important game against Pittsburgh. A game that may decide their fate in regards to the playoff hunt.