The Cleveland Browns won a hard fought and close game over the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday by the score of 32-23.
Each week the Browns have shown us more about their depth of roster, character, and caliber of coaching as they now move to 4-1.
It can’t be repeated enough.
The Browns have not been 4-1 since 1994, and Bill Belichick was the head coach.
Here are 3 things we learned from the Colts game.
1. Beating the Colts was a total team effort.
It took contributions from many to deliver the win.
Yes, OBJ, Jarvis, Hunt, and Garrett played great.
But so did Ronnie Harrison and Sheldrick Richwine who each had INTs off of Philip Rivers.
Ronnie Harrison’s resulted in a TD.
And Rashard “Hollywood” Higgins had a TD reception also.
Cody Parkey has been solid with PAT and field goal conversions.
The young offensive line has been patient and resilient.
Often the phrase “team effort” is cliche, but in this case, it is absolutely true.
Coach Stefanski addressed the team effort in the post game press conference.
“The game, it was a hard-fought game. We knew that it was going to be a physical game. That is a very good football team. I think that was a great team win. That was all about the team. It was not pretty at times. It was not perfect. Offensively, we did not put our defense in a great spot very often in that second half, but for us to come away with a pick-six and a safety was outstanding. A great team win.”
2. The Browns stayed patient with the run game.
Going into the game everyone knew the Colts defense could and would stop the run.
And they certainly slowed it down compared to previous Browns games.
But in the genius play calling of Coach Stefanski, the Browns never abandoned it.
Even if it meant grinding for 2 or 3 yards on various plays, it wasn’t pulled from the playbook.
The patience paid dividends.
When the game was on the line as time ticked in the 4th quarter, D’Ernest “Slow Grind” Johnson broke through for a 28 yard run play that pretty much sealed the deal for the Browns.
It was the largest run, by far, on the day.
And it came at a perfect time.
D'Ernest Johnson MOVING the chains for Cleveland 🔥
— PFF (@PFF) October 11, 2020
3. The Browns were practically flawless in the first half.
Pretty much everything that could go well did for the Browns in the first half.
.@bakermayfield finds @Kareemhunt7 for SIX!
📺: #INDvsCLE on CBS pic.twitter.com/7b77IQNlEq
— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) October 11, 2020
Similar to last week, the game really was a tale of two halves.
The second half was a bigger challenge.
Of course, the Colts made adjustments and began to play better.
While the Browns held on for the win, the team needs to put together two consistent halves of football.
The 101-yard kickoff return for a TD by the Colts seemed to change the tide.
Baker Mayfield’s quality of play dropped a little as he had 2 INTs in the second half.
The bottom line is that the Browns are capable of flawless play and will need two halves of football at that level next week against the Steelers.
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