CLEVELAND, Ohio (92.3 The Fan) – The Browns haven’t been this good since the 1990’s, but here we are.
At 7-3 following Sunday’s 22-17 win over the Philadelphia Eagles, Cleveland finds itself amid a crowded playoff race and if the postseason were to begin this week, they would be the sixth seed in the AFC.
There were many who stepped up Sunday, especially on the defensive side of the ball, so here’s who gets game balls from Week 11 and win No. 7.
Olivier Vernon – With many questions about who and how the Browns would generate any type of pressure without Myles Garrett, Vernon answered the call and played his best game as a Brown registering three sacks, a safety, five tackles and a pass defensed. It was the second multi-sack game of the season for Vernon. He is the first Brown ever, as well as player since J.J. Watt and teammate Sheldon Richardson in 2014 to have three sacks and a safety in a game.
Adrian Clayborn – Clayborn was a force Sunday with 1.5 sacks, three tackles and a forced fumble. Clayborn also reached 40 career sacks with the performance.
Denzel Ward – The cornerback from Ohio State continues to play at an elite level. He tallied an interception, three other passes defensed, and a quarterback hit that resulted in a pick 6. Ward is among the league leaders with 15 pass break ups this season. Ward’s seven career interceptions are tied for seventh by a Brown in 35 career games or less since 1970.
Sione Takitaki – Takitaki validated Kevin Stefanski’s decision to make him Sunday’s game captain in a big way. He got the Browns on the board in the second quarter with a 50-yard interception return for a touchdown, the first of his career. He added a pair of tackles, including a tackle for loss, on defense and a special teams tackle. His pick 6 was the first by a Browns linebacker since Karlos Dansby in 2015.
Nick Chubb – Chubb notched his fourth 100-yard rushing performance of 2020 with 114 yards on 20 carries marking the 15th time he’s hit the century mark on the ground in his young career, passing Ezekiel Elliott for the most in the NFL since 2018. Chubb broke free for 54 yards, disposing of Eagles defensive end Joe Ostman with a big stiff arm on his way to the 7, early in the fourth quarter to set up a touchdown giving him a league-best seven rushes of over 20 yards.
Kareem Hunt – Statistically Hunt had an unimpressive day on the ground being stopped for no gain or a loss on most of his carries, but he stuck with it and his 5-yard touchdown run to put the Browns up 19-10 early in the fourth quarter was the stuff of highlight reels. On second-and-goal at the 5, Hunt took the handoff from Baker Mayfield and went left. He slipped an attempted tackle by Eagles linebacker T.J. Edwards at the 9 then hurdled safety Jalen Mills at the 3 before crashing through the corner of the end zone.