Though the lockers are cleaned out and the Cleveland Browns players are no longer at Berea, it is fun to look back on what went well in 2021.
We did not see the explosive offense week in and week out as we did in 2021 so selecting the three most exciting plays of the season took a defensive slant this year.
All of the plays selected came against AFC North rivals, and two were against the AFC North Champion Cincinnati Bengals.
Without further adieu, here are the three most exciting plays in no particular order.
1. Denzel Ward 100 Yard Pick 6, Week 9 At Cincinnati
Intercepting Joe Burrow is a big deal.
Doing it in Cincinnati in the red zone as Burrow is moving the offense down the field is even bigger.
Denzel Ward intercepted the pass and took it to the house.
The Browns’ dominance of the Bengals continued in 2021 as they swept both games.
Plays like this helped.
100 YARD INT TD!!!pic.twitter.com/xXXRk3JNES
— Covers (@Covers) November 7, 2021
2. Myles Garrett Is A Record Breaker, Week 14 Vs. Baltimore
With this sack, Myles Garrett breaks the Browns' franchise season record with 15 sacks this season.
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) December 12, 2021
Myles Garrett was chasing the single-season franchise sack record.
He broke it in the most unlikely but fantastic way.
Garrett forced a strip-sack of Ravens quarterback Tyler Huntley.
He then recovered the fumble and ran it in for his first career NFL touchdown.
Garrett has some of his best moments at home games this season.
Besides this game, he also had a huge Week 3 game against the Chicago Bears when he recorded 4.5 sacks which set a new single-game franchise record.
— Audacy Sports (@AudacySports) September 26, 2021
3. Donovan Peoples-Jones 60 Yard TD, Week 9 At Cincinnati
BAKER HEAVES IT TO DPJ FOR 6️⃣! #Browns(+112) lead 21-7 on the road! 🔥
— Coolbet Canada 🇨🇦 (@CoolbetCanada) November 7, 2021
The Browns Week 9 game against Cincinnati was the best game of the season.
They won 41-16, and there were big plays on offense and defense.
Besides the aforementioned Ward interception return for a touchdown and 2 Nick Chubb rushing touchdowns, there was another big highlight-reel play.
Baker Mayfield connected with Donovan Peoples-Jones for a 60-yard touchdown.
DPJ caught just 3 touchdown passes in 2021; 2 were against Arizona in Week 6 and this one in Week 9.
Nick Chubb cannot be overlooked in the Browns highlight reel for the 2021 season.
Chubb ran for over 1,200 yards and scored 9 touchdowns (8 rushing and 1 receiving) while missing 3 games.
He had explosive runs and incredible plays at various moments, but a fan favorite came in the Week 17 losing effort to the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Ever since Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry instituted his trademark stiff-arm, fans love seeing it.
Here is the Nick Chubb version of the stiff-arm while running full speed and carrying the ball.
— Jason Weigle (@WeigleJason) January 4, 2022
The playmakers highlighted in these plays, Denzel Ward, Myles Garrett, Donovan Peoples-Jones, and Nick Chubb need to be better, stronger, and healthier in 2022.
The “oldest” of the four are Garrett and Chubb who are both 26.
Ward is 24, and DPJ is 22.
The takeaway from a disappointing season is that these guys are in the prime of their careers so the time to rebuild around them and find the winning combination is now.
No one wants to see this exciting young talent wasted.