The Cleveland Browns snap a four-game losing streak as they defeat the Cincinnati Bengals 32-13 on Halloween's Monday Night Football in front of their home crowd. This is one of the very few times Browns fans didn't leave FirstEnergy Stadium disappointed.
Quick Hitter Highlights
QB Jacoby Brissett: 17-of-22 for 278 yards, 1 TD. 6 rushes, 12 yards, 1 TD.
RB Nick Chubb: 23 carries, 101 yards, 2 TDs.
WR Amari Cooper: 5 catches, 131 yards, 1 TDs.
DE Myles Garrett: 1.5 sacks, 4 QB hits, 1 TFL.
A Rough Start
For a relatively high-scoring game, you'd be surprised how this one started out. The first half was an absolute shambles - this is how the first 11 drives shaped up: interception, missed field goal, punt, interception, punt, punt, punt, touchdown, fumble, fumble, missed field goal.
Things were looking pretty bad as it went down to 5 minutes left in the half before any points were put on the board, as Nick Chubb rushed for his first of 2 touchdowns on the night and took in a 2-point conversion to top things off.
A Bengals missed field goal following the Browns score and a 55-yarder from Cade York in response, put Cleveland 11-0 heading into the half.
Browns Offensive Dominance
Despite a rocky first half, the Browns came out firing after the break. Two consecutive touchdown drives put them 25-0 ahead - well out of reach for a Cincy comeback, who only put their first points on the board in the fourth quarter.
As always, Nick Chubb stood out in the ground game. The star running back logged 101 yards and two touchdowns on the night, while Kareem Hunt was a reliable back-up logging 42 more on 11 carries. This was a big difference maker against the Bengals, who only managed to rush for 36 total yards.
Chubb now ranks first in the league for rushing yards, yards after contact, rushing touchdowns and forced missed tackles. The Browns could go a long way if they continue giving Chubb 23 carries a game, even with their current 3-5 record. The man was just toying with Cincy defenders all night.
Meanwhile, Browns' quarterback Jacoby Brissett led the air raid with his favourite target, Amari Cooper, who caught 5 passes for 131 yards and a touchdown - a cool 26.2 yards per completion. No.2 had a field day against the Bengals, but it wasn't exactly a struggle when Cincy was putting their defensive end Sam Hubbard in coverage for some of the routes. Cooper was making plays like this all night.
Brissett threw 17 of 23 for 278 yards, with 1 passing and 1 rushing touchdown, clocking a rating of 133.7 in the matchup. Donovan People's Jones caught 4 of those passes for 81 yards and Kareem Hunt even got involved with 30 yards through the air, but it all boiled down to the connection with Cooper. You can tell the Browns QB was having fun in this one:
The story of the night for the Bengals is Joe Burrow's difficulty throwing the ball without Ja'Marr Chase, and their god-awful run scheme. Joe Mixon isn't a bad running back, so why did he only rush for 27 yards? The answer - bad play calling.
The ex-Oklahoma RB saw just 8 carries on the night, logging an average of 3.4 yards per attempt. It's not crazy numbers, but that's first down running. At that rate, you give Mixon the ball 3 times and you have a first down. Simple... To give this man just 8 attempts to show off his skills is truly shocking.
And the passing game wasn't much better. Joe Burrow had a pretty underwhelming night by his usual standards - passing for 232 yards, 2 touchdowns and 1 interception - and it took him three quarters before he found the end zone. For a QB who threw for 481 yards and 3 TDs last game, it's clear to see what the difference maker was - no Ja'Marr Chase.
Tyler Boyd and Tee Higgins are great second and third place receivers, but it's clear that without No.1 on the field to draw attention, defenses aren't going to be too scared about Cincy's offensive production - especially with the disaster that is their run game.
Cleveland managed 5 sacks on Joe Burrow in the matchup, but Myles Garrett was the one dominating the line all game long, as he logged 1.5 sacks and 4 QB hits, plus a tackle for loss. With moves like this, who's going to stop him?
The Bengals defense did make some good plays, but when your offense and your kicker are both choking most of the opportunities they get, plays like this become pretty meaningless.
This may be more of a lowlight for Amari Cooper, but it's still a highlight for Vonn Bell's reel, despite how easy the catch may have been. Let's just leave Cooper to run routes, shall we?
So that wraps up week 8 of the 2022 NFL season. The Bengals are looking worse for wear as Ja'Marr Chase takes a seat on the bench, and Jacoby Brissett continues to surprise us all... With Nick Chubb and Amari Cooper playing the way they are, the Browns could see more success in the coming weeks. But they'll need some luck as they face both the Dolphins and Bills for the first time this season for their week 10 and 11 matchups.
Cleveland go into the bye at 3-5, while the Bengals remain second place in the AFC North, trailing the 5-3 Baltimore at 4-4.