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Sport Winners, losers from Browns’ win over Bengals on Thursday Night Football

10:41  18 september  2020
10:41  18 september  2020 Source:   yardbarker.com

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When the Cincinnati Bengals and Cleveland Browns took the field for a Week 2 Thursday Night Football clash between two winless teams, many expected the game to be a snoozer. Instead, it was a thrilling duel between offenses led by former No. 1 overall picks on a big stage in a game filled with explosive plays.

a man holding a football ball on a field: Cleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett celebrates after the Browns beat the Cincinnati Bengals at FirstEnergy Stadium.  © Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports Cleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett celebrates after the Browns beat the Cincinnati Bengals at FirstEnergy Stadium.

After having one of the worst quarterback performances in Week 1, Baker Mayfield responded with a gem in Week 2. Facing a much easier opponent, Cleveland’s offense rolled early on Thursday with big plays from Nick Chubb, Odell Beckham Jr. and Mayfield. By halftime, the Browns jumped out to a 21-13 lead.

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Not to be outdone, Cincinnati’s offense impressed with Joe Burrow thriving and star running back Joe Mixon producing in the first half. Trailing 28-13 at one point in the third quarter, the Bengals tried clawing their way back. Ultimately, it wasn’t enough against a superior team.

Let’s take a look at the winners and losers from the Browns’ thrilling 35-30 win over the Bengals on Thursday Night Football.

Winner: Nick Chubb, Cleveland Browns

Once Cleveland found itself too far behind in Week 1, it ended Chubb’s chances of making an impact. When the game is close and the Browns need to punish their opponent, they know this 227-pound running back is precisely whom they want to feed. It was obvious on Thursday night.

Against Cincinnati’s defense, Chubb looked like a bulldozer plowing through construction cones. The Bengals bounced off him on nearly every carry, and he picked up every yard his heart desired. A 124-yard, two-touchdown game showcased why Chubb is one of the most dangerous runners in the NFL. If Cleveland can keep games close, Chubb will thrive.

Loser: A.J. Green, Cincinnati Bengals

a group of baseball players standing on top of a grass covered field © Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Cincinnati’s offense is undeniably better with Green on the field, and he adds an essential weapon to this offense. It’s also evident Burrow trusts him, which is understandable since we’re talking about a seven-time Pro Bowl selection at receiver. Unfortunately for Green, he didn’t play like it in Week 2 and it raises long-term concerns.

It started with not getting his feet down on a catch that was ruled out of bounds. Even more unfortunate to watch, Green doesn’t look nearly as explosive after dealing with lower body injuries for years. We saw it limit his big-play ability, and he struggled more to separate from coverage. Rust could be a factor, but the truth is this is a 32-year-old receiver in physical decline.

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Winner: Joe Burrow, Cincinnati Bengals

Burrow gave himself a ‘D’ for his NFL debut in Week 1, a harsh grade considering he performed admirably. He’s clearly setting the bar quite high for himself, and that will help make him a great quarterback. After this performance, we hope he is kinder to himself after another tough loss.

Playing behind an atrocious offensive line, Burrow impressed under challenging circumstances. When Burrow wasn’t getting hit or forced to evade pressure, his wide receivers dropped quite a few of his dimes. Burrow’s box score stats (37-of-61 with 316 passing yards) are impressive considering everything he faced. Quite simply, he keeps proving why he can one day be an elite quarterback. Of course, that’s if Cincinnati can protect him.

Loser: NFL referees

a man wearing a hat © Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Everyone talked about players needing the preseason to get in football shape, cut down on mental mistakes and to play crisper football. If we’ve learned one thing early in the 2020 season it’s that the refs needed the preseason far more.

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The gaffes started early with officials crediting A.J. Green with a catch when he was clearly out of bounds. Both teams knew it immediately, but the refs and replay system took an absurd amount of time to review it. We also saw Cincinnati’s cornerbacks frequently grab OBJ, like this obvious penalty, but the NFL’s crew missed blatant penalties. This will be a problem for a while.

Winner: Baker Mayfield, Cleveland Browns

It would be an understatement to call Mayfield’s Week 1 start a disaster. He completed only 53.8% of his passes and averaged 4.8 yards per attempt, frequently missing open receivers and rolling out of clean pockets. In Week 2, we saw a very different quarterback.

Give credit to head coach Kevin Stefanski for finding ways to make Mayfield comfortable. Cleveland regularly used designed rollouts with Mayfield moving to his right or left, then delivering strikes down the field. He completed 16-of-23 attempts with 219 passing yards and two touchdowns. If he can clean up the costly turnovers and make smart decisions, the Browns might contend for a wild-card spot this season.

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