The Cleveland Browns came away with a 22-17 win over the Philadelphia Eagles and there are a few things that stood out.
The weather was Cleveland’s best friend
It was another rainy day in Cleveland and that turned out to be the best case scenario for the Browns. The weather played right into their hands as a combination of running the football and well-timed defensive plays propelled the team to victory. The weather ensured that Kevin Stefanski was not able to be too cute with the offense, ensuring they ran the ball early and often. 39 total rushing attempts (minus the final kneel down) from the Browns by the end the game indicates that the weather conditions led to a positive outcome.
Olivier Vernon’s best game as a Brown
This is statement that cannot be contested. Olivier Vernon had his best game as a member of the Cleveland Browns Sunday and that was without Myles Garrett on the other side of the line. Vernon sacked Carson Wentz three times and finished with 5 total tackles, 3.5 for loss. Vernon has been playing up to his potential recently and could build on this performance moving forward.
Sione Takitaki’s best play of his NFL career so far
Speaking of great defensive efforts, Sione Takitaki made a game defining play early in the 1st quarter. Takitaki intercepted a lobbed pass by Carson Wentz and returned it for a touchdown. It is early in his career, but this was easily the best play of it so far.
Nick Chubb’s clutch run
Early in the 4th quarter the Browns led by only two points and they wisely called upon Nick Chubb. Chubb ripped off a 54-yard run which would set up a touchdown run by Kareem Hunt. This clutch run helped give Cleveland the much needed victory.
The overall yards per carry was not necessarily great for Cleveland as they finished at 3.5 for the game (again, minus the final kneel down). Without this run from Chubb it was only at 2.2. Sometimes it is about a well timed run at a crucial point which can decide a game. That is exactly what this run was for the Cleveland Browns.
Browns benefitted from Eagles Battleship Football game plan
There is a phrase that Mike Lombardi uses quite often on his GM Shuffle podcast when discussing the offense of the Philadelphia Eagles, Battleship Football. The offense has no real rhythm and plays are called without any real reason for doing so. The play calls were just like calling out random letter-number combinations hoping to get a hit. Early on Philly seemed to be avoiding this pitfall as they ran the ball on nine of their first 10 plays. The Eagles would go on to run the ball only 16 more times the rest of the game. Battleship Football came back to haunt them yet again and that is partially why the Eagles lost.