CLEVELAND, OH – One week after surrendering 30 points to top overall pick, QB Joe Burrow in a narrow 35-30 win over the Cincinnati Bengals, the Cleveland Browns defense came up big in a 34-20 win on Sunday.
After going 84 straight games in failing to go above .500, Cleveland finally achieved that elusive mark for the first time since Week 15 of the 2014 season, thanks to five Washington turnovers—three interceptions by former Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins, and two fumbles.
Haskins would finish the day in going 21-of-37 passes for 224 yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions.
Cleveland used a balanced offense led by the 1-2 backfield punch of Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt and timely throws from QB Baker Mayfield to help the Browns move to 2-1.
Chubb and Hunt would combine for 154 yards on 35 carries and two touchdowns—on in the air for Hunt—while Mayfield would complete 16-of-23 passes for 156 yards and two touchdowns and no interceptions.
Nothing pretty or flashy, rookie head coach Kevin Stefanski has clearly put his stamp on the team in his first year, in emphasizing the run early and often, while using play-action strikes downfield for big plays, as evidenced by big completions to WR’s Odell Beckham Jr. (four catches, 59 yards), Jarvis Landry (four catches, 36 yards) and TE Austin Hooper (three passes, 25 yards).
Rookie tight end, Harrison Bryant, a John Mackey Award winner out of Florida Atlantic given to the nation’s top tight end, was on the receiving end of Mayfield’s second touchdown pass of the afternoon.
Washington (1-2) provided constant pressure on Mayfield, despite losing DE Chase Young to a groin injury, thanks to a stout line of Jonathan Allen, Montez Sweat and Ryan Kerrigan, as they sacked Mayfield two times and helped keep the visitors from the nation’s capital close before Cleveland was able to pull away late.