Game Balls: Browns 37, Bengals 34


CLEVELAND, Ohio (92.3 The Fan) – Baker Mayfield’s heroics down by the Ohio River got the Browns back in the win column Sunday.

The thrilling 37-34 victory over the Bengals gave the Browns their ninth sweep in the Battle of Ohio and continued the best start to a season since 1994 for the team.

At 5-2, Kevin Stefanski is off to the best start for a Browns first-year head coach since Blanton Collier started 6-1 in 1963.

Time to pass out a record 8 game balls from the W.

Baker Mayfield – Mayfield is playing with a cracked rib and it’s hard to think we’ve not gotten a fair opportunity to see the real Baker as a Brown considering all that has transpired early in his career. After starting 0-5 with an interception in the first quarter, Baker’s lone incompletion the rest of the way came when he had to kill the clock in the final minute to preserve time for him to fire of the game winner to Donovan Peoples-Jones with 11 ticks remaining. Mayfield shattered the franchise record for consecutive completions by reeling off 21 in a row. He completed 22 of 23 passes for 297 yards and tied a franchise record with 5 touchdowns after that disastrous start. Since Mayfield was drafted, the Browns are 12-1 when he posts a 100.0-plus passer rating, 11-1 when he posts a 100.0-plus passer rating and a passing touchdown and 9-1 when he posts a 100.0-plus passer rating and multiple passing touchdowns.

Myles Garrett – Browns win, Myles Garrett gets a game ball. No shock there. Garrett bagged Joe Burrow twice, including his fourth strip-sack of the season, to extend his consecutive games with a sack streak to 6, setting a new franchise record. He has 11 multi-sack games in his career. His 9.0 sacks this season now lead the NFL and with 39.5 sacks for his career, he’s now No. 4 on the franchise all-time sack list and he tied Mario Williams for the second-most sacks by a No. 1 overall pick in his first four years, behind only Bruce Smith (44.5). Garrett is now just the second player in NFL history to record 9-plus sacks in his first seven games in back-to-back seasons joining Justin Houston (2013-14). Garrett is one of only three players to have at least 39.5 sacks and 10 forced fumbles since 2017.

Denzel Ward – The former Buckeye is back to his Pro Bowl form and it could be argued he’s even better than he was his rookie year. Ward broke up three passes Sunday, one of those resulting in an interception, giving him 11 for the season, tied for the most in the NFL and tops in the AFC.

Jarvis Landry – Landry did it all Sunday, and while playing with a broken rib. He caught 5 passes for 48 yards, ran twice for 4 and completed a 19-yard throw. His streak of games with at least 2 receptions is at 102 and counting – the longest active streak in the NFL and the fifth longest streak in NFL history.

Kareem Hunt – Hunt carried 18 times for 76 yards and also caught 3 passes for 26 yards and a touchdown. His four receiving TDs lead the NFL among running backs. Since he joined the Browns in 2019, the team is 7-1 when he scores a touchdown.

B.J. Goodson – The linebacker hauled in his second interception of the season which ties him for the league lead among those at his position this year. He also registered 5 tackles giving him 200 for his career, a QB hit and pass defensed in the win.

Donovan Peoples-Jones – The rookie receiver from Michigan hauled in 3 passes, including the game winner in the closing seconds.
His other 2 catches went for first downs. Win the game, get a game ball.

Harrison Bryant – Bryant caught 4 passes for 56 yards, including a pair of touchdowns Sunday. He tied David Njoku for the most receiving touchdowns (three) by a Browns rookie tight end in their first 7 games and it marked the first multi-TD game for a Browns rookie tight end since Harry Holt scored two on Dec. 18, 1983.