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Nick Chubb rushed for 137 yards and two touchdowns, Baker Mayfield threw for 218 yards with a passer rating of 132.6 and the Cleveland Browns’ defense recorded five sacks and three turnovers to dominate the Cincinnati Bengals 41-16
Last Updated: 07/11/21 9:28pm
Nick Chubb reminded that he remains the focal point of the Cleveland Browns offense as he rushed for 137 yards and two touchdowns alongside commanding performances from quarterback Baker Mayfield and his defense in a 41-16 win over the Cincinnati Bengals.
Story of the Game
In a week when much of the attention had leaned towards Odell Beckham Jr’s not-so-amicable exit in Cleveland, Kevin Stefanski’s side delivered a complete performance to underline their potency without the three-time Pro wide receiver.
Mayfield lived up to the pre-written narrative as he shunned criticism suggesting he had mis-used Beckham by logging one of his most composed displays of the season, finishing 14-of-21 for 218 yards and two touchdowns having recorded a perfect-passer rating of 158.3 by half-time.
The Browns’ defense, meanwhile, starred with five sacks, including 1.5 from Myles Garrett to take his season tally to 12, along with a forced fumble and recovery and two interceptions.
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The Browns governed a frantic first half that saw Denzel Ward’s 100-yard pick six, the first of Chubb’s two scores and Mayfield’s 60-yard bomb to Donovan Peoples-Jones help build a 24-10 lead.
Chubb burst away for a 70-yard touchdown to grant Cleveland further daylight at the beginning of the third quarter, before David Njoku’s 18-yard catch rounded off the win in the fourth following the second of Joe Mixon’s two scores on the day.
Such was the gulf in efficiency that the Browns recorded just 46 total plays in comparison to the Bengals’ 70 as Joe Burrow was swarmed by a rampant Cleveland defense.
The second-year quarterback was taken out of the game with it all over in the fourth quarter, having thrown 28-of-40 for 282 yards and two interceptions.
Passing: Baker Mayfield, 14/21, 218 yards, 2 TDsRushing: Nick Chubb, 14 carries, 137 yards, 2 TDsReceiving: Donovan Peoples-Jones, two catches, 86 yards, 1 TD
Passing: Joe Burrow, 28/40, 282 yards, 2 INTsRushing: Joe Mixon 13 carries, 64 yards, 2 TDsReceiving: Tee Higgins, six catches, 78 yards
Ward ignited the game in style by undercutting Ja’Marr Chase’s in-and-out whip route to come up with the interception on third-and-goal before racing away for a 100-yard pick six to thwart Cincinnati’s 11-play, 75-yard opening march.
Mixon capped an immediate reply from the Bengals with a 11-yard touchdown run at the end of a nine-play, 75-yard drive, only for the Browns to restore their lead as Chubb burrowed through the pile-up for a one-yard rushing score having propelled Cleveland’s own nine-play, 75-yard drive with runs of 11 and 22 yards in addition to a 23-yard reception.
Pressure on Burrow forced an incompletion on fourth-and-three to bring about a turnover on downs, which Mayfield would go on to convert into a 60-yard touchdown pass to Peoples-Jones on a corner-post route on the first play of the ensuing drive.
Safety John Johnson III continued an outstanding job from the Browns secondary to force a Chase fumble, AJ Green scooping up the ball for yet another turnover before a botched attempt on third-and-one left the visitors to settle for a 28-yard field goal from Chase McLaughlin.
Evan McPherson’s 27-yard field goal had cut the lead to 24-10 at half-time, until Chubb tore through the Bengals behind a thumping block from Wyatt Teller for a 70-yard touchdown to make it 31-10 on the third drive of the third quarter.
The Browns began to pressure even more freely with knowledge the Bengals’ only route to making ground on their opponents would be through the air, Johnson becoming the beneficiary when he pounced on Ward’s deflection while covering Chase to claim an interception that he returned to the eight-yard line to set up McLaughlin’s 24-yard field goal.
Mixon kept the fight alive for the Bengals with a two-yard rushing score at the beginning of the fourth quarter, but was unable to convert the two-point attempt to leave the score at 34-16 with just under 14 minutes remaining.
If it was not already over, Mayfield confirmed it when he fired a laser through traffic to hit tight end David Njoku for an 18-yard touchdown with 4.27 to play.
The Browns (5-4) travel to face the New England Patriots (5-4) in Week 10, while the Bengals (5-4) head into a bye week before visiting the Las Vegas Raiders (5-3) in Week 11.
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