Though York is the hero garnering the most headlines, wide receiver Donovan Peoples-Jones certainly did his part to keep the Browns’ offense moving during key points of the game.
Targeted 11 times by a sometimes shaky Jacoby Brissett, DPJ managed to haul in 6 of the passes for a total of 60 yards receiving.
Players who saw at least a third of their team's targets in Week 1:
— Dan Pizzuta (@DanPizzuta) September 11, 2022
What is even more remarkable is that those catches were far from simple.
They were in heavy traffic or required some agility to catch.
Donovan Peoples-Jones has been spectacular today – 6 catches for 60 yards and every one with a defender hanging on him #Browns
— Daryl Ruiter (@RuiterWrongFAN) September 11, 2022
If there’s one thing you can count on Donovan Peoples-Jones for, it’s contested catches.
— Mike Kennedy (@MikeKennedyNFL) September 11, 2022
Some have said it already, but I’ll say it again: Donovan Peoples-Jones looks like a real, big-time NFL player. He made some huge, huge plays yesterday and was a big part of the Browns’ victory.
— Browns Town (@CleBrownsTalk22) September 12, 2022
Donovan Peoples-Jones with another big catch today. 5-yarder to move the chains with less than 4 minutes left. #Browns
— Chris Easterling (@ceasterlingABJ) September 11, 2022
Browns Are “Thin” At WR
Amari Cooper is the steely veteran; however, Donovan Peoples-Jones is the Browns WR with the most big game experience in Cleveland.
DPJ is entering his third year with the Browns.
If he stays healthy, he can have a great year.
Last season, he missed three games after suffering a groin injury in pregame warmups against the Broncos.
That simply cannot happen this year.
Even though we are only one game into the season, it appears that DPJ is emerging as a security blanket for quarterback Jacoby Brissett.
Cooper is the WR1 attracting all of the defensive coverage so Peoples-Jones could be the stats leader for multiple games this season.
The Brissett-DPJ Connection
Brissett attempted 34 passes on Sunday, and 11 went in Peoples-Jones’s direction.
Peoples-Jones needs to continue grinding away as he has done for his entire career, and he will make Browns fans forget about Jarvis Landry, Odell Beckham Jr., and Rashard Higgins; all were in the wide receivers room a year ago but are no longer with the team.
Brissett and DPJ need to keep fostering the connection and find some end-zone scoring opportunities in the coming weeks.