Carson Wentz and the Eagles’ offensive line sucks, and the Browns’ running game continued to be clutch late in the game en route to a 22-17 victory. Cleveland is now 7-3 on the year. Let’s get to the recap of the game.
It was pouring rain at FirstEnergy Stadium, and both teams knew that catching passes and ball security would be an issue. Cleveland tried to pass on the first play of the game, but TE David Njoku dropped a pass up the seam. The Browns went three-and-out and punted, which then saw Philadelphia run the ball with ease down the field. When the Eagles got in a goal-to-go situation, though, rookie DT Jordan Elliott popped the ball loose from RB Miles Sanders, with S Karl Joseph recovering at the 4 yard line.
Needed this— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) November 22, 2020
Karl Joseph recovers the fumble and it's our ball!
: @NFLonFOX pic.twitter.com/0PCsNLc6tz
After the turnover, Philadelphia stonewalled RB Nick Chubb for no gain on back-to-back carries. On 3rd-and-10, connected with WR KhaDarel Hodge for 12 yards and a first down. Mayfield converted passes of 13 yards to WR Jarvis Landry and then a 43-yard bomb to WR Rashard Higgins. Mayfield had TE Harrison Bryant open for a touchdown, but he underthrew the ball and Philadelphia was called for pass interference on the play.
On 1st-and-goal, Hunt was stopped for a loss of a yard. On second down, Mayfield ran a playfake and had TE Austin Hooper wide open in the left corner of the end zone, but he airmailed the throw for an incompletion. Hunt gained a yard on third down, and Cleveland decided to go for it on 4th-and-goal from the 1. Hunt took the dive from Shotgun, and although it was originally ruled a touchdown, replay showed that his elbow came down with the ball about an inch or two shy of the end zone, resulting in a turnover on downs.
A quarterback sneak by Wentz on the first play gained two yards to give Philadelphia some cushion, and then he completed a 16-yard pass to WR Jalen Raegor on the final play of the quarter to further negate Cleveland’s previous drive.
On the first play of the second quarter, Wentz found TE Dallas Goedert for 32 yards after he beat SS Ronnie Harrison, who had just returned to the game from a knee injury. Two plays later, though, CB Denzel Ward came off the edge on a delayed blitz and hit Wentz as he tried to swing the ball to the flat. LB Sione Takitaki caught the duck at midfield and returned it 50 yards for a pick six to give Cleveland a 7-0 lead!
PICK SIX❗️@DenzelWard applies the pressure and @STakitaki takes it to the house!— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) November 22, 2020
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On Cleveland’s next drive, the Browns looked to have sacked Wentz, but FS Andrew Sendejo was flagged for a personal foul after he blindly hit a receiver in the back in the secondary. The Browns’ defense still held Philly, though, after DE Olivier Vernon got a one-yard sack (although he appeared to get away with a horse collar tackle), leading to a punt.
The Browns were off to a decent start to their next drive, but on a 2nd-and-5 near midfield, the timing on the jet sweep attempt was off, so Mayfield kept the ball and had to slide for a 2-yard loss rather than risk further disaster. After a third-down incompletion, P Jamie Gillan punted the ball back to the Eagles, who took over at the 20 yard line.
Once again, Philadelphia ran the ball with ease on the Browns’ defense, getting to midfield. Heading into a 3rd-and-7 play, the Eagles had to take a timeout because C Jason Kelce came out of the game with some type of injury. Cleveland blitzed in the A-gap against the new center and blew it up, forcing a punt on fourth down. The Browns took over at the 20 yard line with 2:32 to go in the half.
On 2nd-and-7 after the two-minute warning, LT Jedrick Wills was beat by DE Montez Sweat, leading to a 7-yard sack. Cleveland let the time tick down heading into the 3rd-and-14, as the Eagles did not take a timeout. After a 7-yard completion to Hooper, Philadelphia did take a timeout, leaving them with one remaining and 1:08 to go. The Eagles took over at their own 38 yard line with 0:58 to go. The Browns’ defense forced a quick three-and-out, keyed by a sack from DE Adrian Clayborn, and used both timeouts to force a punt from Philadelphia. The Browns actually tried to pass the ball a few times, but they were safe throws before the clock ran out.
Kelce returned for the start of the second half as Philadelphia received the ball first. Vernon got a sack on third down to force a three-and-out, and Cleveland took over at the 28 yard line following the punt.
Unfortunately, Cleveland’s opening drive was much worse. After a run on first down, Mayfield dropped back to pass on second down. DT Fletcher Cox bull-rushed RG Wyatt Teller and stripped Mayfield of the ball with LB Alex Singleton recovering at the 19 yard line.
Dogs gotta eat.#PHIvsCLE | #FlyEaglesFly— Philadelphia Eagles (@Eagles) November 22, 2020
: FOX pic.twitter.com/ghfdI4q86X
One play later, Wentz had plenty of time to throw an found TE Richard Rogers wide open for a 19-yard touchdown — the first offensive score of the game — to knot the game up at 7-7.
Defense leads to offense and we’re all tied up.#PHIvsCLE | #FlyEaglesFly— Philadelphia Eagles (@Eagles) November 22, 2020
: FOX pic.twitter.com/4uy0NmGKFi
Mayfield responded on the first play of the next drive with a bootleg to the left, followed by a 42-yard completion to a streaking Hodge up the sideline. The drive stalled after that, though, and Cleveland decided to bring K Cody Parkey on for a 46-yard field goal attempt, and he drilled the low line drive to give the lead back to the Browns at 10-7.
Cleveland’s defense also responded with a three-and-out, and then on the punt, even though he didn’t gain yards, WR Donovan Peoples-Jones showed some guts by catching the ball in traffic to prevent a longer punt on a possible bounce. The Browns began their next offensive drive at the 41-yard line.
Cleveland grinded out a couple of first downs on their next drive, including an end around to Landry, who then lateraled it to Chubb. Facing a 3rd-and-5 at the 39 yard line, the Browns ran a Shotgun handoff to Hunt. Njoku whiffed on his block, helping lead to a 9-yard loss on the play. Gillan’s punt was downed at the 2 yard line, though. After stuffing the run on two straight plays, Wentz was blasted by Vernon in the end zone for a safety! The two points gave the Browns a 12-7 lead.
.@oliviervernon54 sacks Wentz in the end zone for the SAFETY— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) November 22, 2020
: @NFLonFOX pic.twitter.com/aQNt81lKV6
Peoples-Jones had a 30-yard return on the safety punt, allowing the offense to take over 48 yards away from the end zone. Chubb got a 9-yard gain on first down, his longest run of the day — but then as has been the case all day, the Eagles blew up the run on second down for a 3-yard loss. On third down, Mayfield took it himself up the left side for a first down! An 11-yard run by Chubb got Cleveland in field goal range heading to the fourth quarter.
The fourth quarter started bad when LG Joel Bitonio missed an assignment, allowing Mayfield to get drilled right away as he swung a backward lateral to Hunt, resulting in a 6-yad loss. The pressure came on fourth down, forcing Mayfield to throw the ball away. Parkey came on to try another 46-yard field goal, but this time it was blocked by DE Derek Barnett.
The Eagles took over at the 37 yard line wit 13:54 to go in the game. On third down, Wentz hit Rodgers for a big 29-yard athletic catch to move into field goal range. Facing pressure on third down, Wentz lobbed a jump ball to the end zone for WR Travis Fulgham. The ball was tipped a bunch of times, and somehow, LB Mack Wilson ended up coming down with an interception for a touchback. However, replay review showed that the ball hit the ground on the attempt, so Philadelphia came back on the field to try a 43-yard field goal by K Jake Elliott, which he connected on to make it a 12-10 game with 11:24 to go.
Mayfield began the next drive with an 18-yard completion to Hodge, but then the play of the game came on second down, when Chubb stiff armed a defender and ran 54 yards, all the way down to the 7 yard line.
Tackling @nickchubb21 is hard, we get it.— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) November 22, 2020
: @NFLonFOX pic.twitter.com/7ZJgXaJY5K
On 1st-and-goal, the Browns tried a keeper with Mayfield. Fortunately, the official blew a quick whistle and said forward progress had stopped after a 2-yard gain, because Mayfield clearly fumbled. On 2nd-and-goal from the 5 yard line, Hunt hurdled defender around the right edge and into the end zone for a touchdown! Parkey’s all-important extra point gave Cleveland a two-possession lead at 19-10 with 9:13 to go.
RB @Kareemhunt7 just walked on air into the end zone— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) November 22, 2020
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The Browns’ defense kept terrorizing Wentz, leading to another quick three-and-out and Cleveland taking over near midfield after the punt. Mayfield had a nice third-down completion to Higgins, but after that, Hunt and Chubb continued to run the ball effectively and drain some clock. With 3:53 to go, Parkey came on to try a 28-yard field goal, and he made it to increase Cleveland’s lead to 22-10.
The Eagles’ next drive got into a goal-to-go situation because of a phantom pass interference penalty called on Ward. On the very next play, he stuck it to the officials by intercepting Wentz’ terrible pass intended for WR Alshon Jeffery. Cleveland took over at the 3 yard line.
.@Denzelward coming up BIG‼️— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) November 22, 2020
: @NFLonFOX pic.twitter.com/a6ic2e4c3w
After three runs went no where, the Browns punted. Philadelphia took over with no timeouts, but marched down the field. Wentz found his tight end Goedart for a 4-yard touchdown with 0:30 to go, making it a 22-17 game. Given the slick conditions, it did feel a little nervous with the onside kick coming up. Bryant secured the recovery, though, and after one kneeldown, it was over.
The Browns will play on the road on Sunday, November 29, in their Week 12 match-up against the Jacksonville Jaguars. The game will be at 1:00 PM ET.
Quick Hitter Stats
- QB Baker Mayfield: 12-of-22 for 204 yards.
- RB Nick Chubb: 20 carries, 114 yards.
- RB Kareem Hunt: 13 carries, 11 yards, 1 TD.
- WR Rashard Higgins: 3 catches, 65 yards.
- WR KhaDarel Hodge: 3 catches, 73 yards.
- DE Olivier Vernon: 3 sacks, 1 safety.
Quick Hitter Notes
- The Browns’ running game struggled most of the game as the Eagles loaded the box, but Nick Chubb became a machine in the fourth quarter, just like last week.
- The scouting report on the Eagles’ sack situation was true: some of it is on the offensive line, but much of it is on Wentz and how long he holds onto the ball. Olivier Vernon had 3 sacks (including a safety), Adrian Clayborn had 1.5 sacks, and Larry Ogunjobi added a half sack. Somewhere, Myles Garrett is both cheering his teammates on, but whimpering at the career day he could have had if he were playing.
- Remember the scouting report also regarding Philadelphia’s running game, and how they run the ball quite well but just...give up on it? The same thing happened against Cleveland. They moved the ball up and down the field, and although RB Miles Sanders fumbled in the first half, head coach Doug Pederson tried to bank on Wentz instead. He was a liability, turning the ball over and taking sack after sack.
- On Cleveland, Mayfield had some ball security issues that nearly kept the Eagles in it (fumbling). Besides his missed touchdown passes to open tight ends in the first half, though, Kevin Stefanski kept using the bootleg to the left to create big passing plays for Cleveland. You could tell how committed the Eagles’ defense was to stopping the run, because receivers were pretty wide open off of those great playfakes from Mayfield.
- The Ravens lost to the Titans in overtime, which moves Cleveland into 2nd place in the AFC North and back into a playoff seed heading into next week.
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