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Browns’ offense comes alive in second half, beats Washington 24-10

The defense also held Washington in check except for one long drive.

Cleveland Browns v Washington Commanders Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

The Cleveland Browns’ offense continued to struggle to score points in the first half, but they came in bunches in the second half as Cleveland played spoiler to Washington’s playoff hopes, beating them 24-10 on the road. Let’s get to the full game recap. Hopefully, you started betting on the Browns, which became legal in the state of Ohio this morning on DraftKings.

Cleveland received the ball first, and after a couple of plays to RB Nick Chubb to get to midfield, a holding penalty and then a sack on QB Deshaun Watson set the offense back. P Corey Bojorquez had his punt returned to the 20 yard line. The defense immediately made Washington regret the decision to start QB Carson Wentz, though, as CB Denzel Ward intercepted a pass at the 36 yard line.

Watson started with a 12-yard completion to TE Harrison Bryant, but couldn’t get the offense any further. K Cade York came on to hit on a 37-yard field goal to give the Browns a 3-0 lead.

Washington used their ground game to get past midfield on their next drive, and faced a 3rd-and-4 from the Browns’ 43 yard line. A 3-yard run set up 4th-and-1, and Washington went for it. They ran a pitch play to the running back, who was stuffed by DE Myles Garrett and DE Jadeveon Clowney for a loss of 2 yards and a turnover on downs.

Chubb started the next drive red hot, rushing for gains of 14 and 35 yards down to the 9-yard line.

Watson took a coverage sack on first down, and after a run by RB Kareem Hunt on second down, Watson took another coverage sack on third down. York came on to kick a short field goal, but then Washington jumped offsides. That made it 4th-and-goal from the 3-yard line, so head coach Kevin Stefanski sent the offense back out to go for it. The play call was a quarterback draw with Watson, but he was stopped at the 1-yard line for a turnover on downs.

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Washington couldn’t get out from being backed up, and on third down, Wentz tried to go deep for his receiver. S Grant Delpit picked it off at his own 48-yard line.

On first down, Watson took his fourth sack of the day already. Two plays later, on 3rd-and-8, he ran backwards about 20 yards as he was being chased by linemen before eventually throwing it away. Bojorquez came on for another punt, which was downed at the 4 yard line.

Washington utilized the running game to start moving the ball, picking up several first downs. Wentz was then sacked for a big loss on a second down, but then on 3rd-and-17, Wentz just got a pass by the arm of CB Martin Emerson to WR Jahan Dotson for 20 yards and a first down. Washington continued converting third down after third down, getting to a 2nd-and-8 from the 15 yard line heading into the two-minute warning on a drive that had already taken up 10 minutes of game clock

On the 20th play of the drive, RB Brian Robinson was stopped just shy of the end zone, setting up 4th-and-goal from the 1 yard line. Commanders head coach Ron Rivera decided to go for it. Wentz went for the quarterback keeper and just lunged up top by stretching the ball out for the touchdown to give Washington a 7-3 lead. 21 plays, 96 yards, and 11:27 of game clock.

Once again, Cleveland allowed the opportunity for a team to double dip, as Washington got the ball to start the third quarter. The defense came up with a stop quickly this time, as Clowney generated pressure on third down. After Washington’s punt, the Browns’ offense took over at their own 37 yard line. After getting past midfield, on 3rd-and-5, Watson threw a deep out route to WR Amari Cooper, who slipped the tackle and raced 46 yards to the end zone for a touchdown! That put the Browns on top 10-7.

DE Myles Garrett ended Washington’s next drive on third down as he came up the middle to sack Wentz.

The offense utilized the running game to get past midfield again, and then Watson found Cooper on another third down for 26 yards. A 21-yard completion to TE David Njoku set the offense up in the red zone, and then on 3rd-and-9 from the 13 yard line, Watson hit WR Donovan Peoples-Jones over the middle and he ran it in for the touchdown. That put the Browns up 17-7 just before the end of the third quarter.

After Washington was ice cold in the third quarter, they found a rhythm again to start the fourth quarter offensively. LB Deion Jones came up with some nice tackles to hold them to a 43-yard field goal, making it a 17-10 game with 10:26 remaining.

Now it was Cleveland’s turn to start bleeding the clock with the ground game, including a 21-yard run by Watson, and a 4th-and-1 quarterback sneak by QB Jacoby Brissett. Then, on 1st-and-10 from the 33 yard line, Watson was patient and found Cooper come wide open over the middle for a 33-yard catch-and-run touchdown to put the Browns up 24-10 with 5:21 remaining.

The defense continued bringing the heat on Wentz, who uncorked an interception in the end zone to Delpit with just over three minutes to play. The Browns ran the ball to force Washington to burn their remaining timeouts before punting with just under three minutes to play. The defense forced another turnover on downs with 2:03 to play, meaning that Cleveland could pretty much kneel it out from there.

Up next, the Browns will travel to Pittsburgh to face the Steelers in their season finale.

Quick Hitters

  • QB Deshaun Watson: 9-of-18 for 169 yards, 3 TD. 9 rushes, 32 yards.
  • RB Nick Chubb: 14 carries, 104 yards (7.4 YPC), 1 catch, 12 yards.
  • WR Amari Cooper: 3 catches, 105 yards (4 targets), 2 TD.
  • DE Myles Garrett: 8 tackles, 1.5 sacks.
  • S Grant Delpit: 7 tackles, 2 INT.