Although not everything is going swimmingly for the Cleveland Browns, as they are dealing with some injury issues right now, they are 2-1 right now after defeating their bitter rivals, the Pittsburgh Steelers, on Thursday.
Interim quarterback Jacoby Brissett, who is filling in as the starter while Deshaun Watson is serving his 11-game suspension, has been playing solid, if not spectacular ball, and although their defense is limping, it did get the job done adequately in Week 3.
Watson was the Browns’ biggest offseason addition, as he has dominated the headlines, for good and bad reasons.
But amidst the complaining about Watson’s alleged sexual misconduct incidents, Cleveland’s other major offseason acquisition has remained somewhat under the radar.
That man is wide receiver Amari Cooper, and he has been doing a great job lately.
In fact, one may argue that right now, he is the team’s MVP, along with pass rusher Myles Garrett.
Cooper Has Sparked The Browns
In his first seven seasons in the NFL, Cooper made the Pro Bowl four times and became a major part of the Dallas Cowboys’ talented squads the past two years.
However, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones apparently decided he didn’t want to keep paying Cooper, and it allowed the Haslams and executive Andrew Berry to swoop in and trade for him.
In Week 1, Cooper has a nondescript game, as he was targeted just six times and caught only three passes for a paltry 17 yards.
But the last two weeks, he has looked like the Amari Cooper of old.
Against the New York Jets a week ago, he had nine receptions for 101 yards and a touchdown, and on Thursday he again collected 101 yards and one touchdown, this time on seven catches.
Amari Cooper doing Coop things! 🔥 pic.twitter.com/DEoqxP3pta
— Sidelines – Bama (@SSN_Alabama) September 23, 2022
Amari Cooper: Top __ route runner in the NFL pic.twitter.com/3lq6wcPefF
— PFF CLE Browns (@PFF_Browns) September 23, 2022
His ability to run routes and withstand challenges from defensive backs has given the Browns the type of weapon they haven’t often had over the years.
Amari Cooper gets snagged on the break, but he catches himself and flips his body back outside WHILE FALLING in order to maintain the route timing & meet the ball with a toe tap.
UNREAL body control pic.twitter.com/roqOK5yMSY
— JetPack Galileo (@JetPackGalileo) September 20, 2022
Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry have been productive wideouts for recent editions of the Browns, but Cooper appears to be on pace to exceed anything either of them did as members of the team.
Indeed, Cooper is likely starting to make Browns fans feel their team has at least a puncher’s chance in almost any contest, especially given how strong their defense is when fully healthy.
Cleveland’s Other Receivers Need To Step Up, Though
To have a great passing offense in the NFL, a team needs more than one worthy receiver, as it needs to prevent defenses from loading up on one side of the field.
Coming into this season, there was some optimism about Donovan Peoples-Jones, Anthony Schwartz and rookie David Bell, but thus far, the team has gotten anemic production from each of them.
The best of that group has been Peoples-Jones, who only has a total of 70 receiving yards and no touchdowns through three contests.
On the other hand, tight end David Njoku has shown some spark, as he rebounded from two meager games to post 89 yards and a touchdown versus the Steelers.
Greater production from all four will help free up Cooper to be even more productive in the weeks to come.