CLEVELAND, Ohio (92.3 The Fan) – Jarvis Landry celebrated his birthday, albeit a day later, in style Sunday with his best performance of the season.
Landry caught a team-high eight passes for 143 yards and a touchdown in the Browns 27-25 win at Jacksonville.
“A week older. Had his birthday yesterday so that maybe played into it,” head coach Kevin Stefanski joked following the game. “Talking about team guys, he does whatever it takes to win. You can find a ton of clips of him blocking down the field and finishing his guys. When he gets his hands on the ball and he has strong hands – the one catch he made when we were backed up was incredible – he does a great job with the ball in his hands.
“He is a guy I really love to coach because he wants to be coached, he wants to be great and he also wants the team to win.”
Quarterback Baker Mayfield, who completed 19 of 29 passes for 258 yards and a pair of touchdowns, targeted Landry 11 times Sunday.
Nick Chubb and KhaDarel Hodge were next in line with three targets each.
“Getting him the ball early just gets him in a different frame of mind,” Mayfield said. “Once that balls in the air, it is his and his only. He is about to turn it on, and we know he can do that. He has done it consistently always so we are going to lean on him, but we have a lot of great weapons. He is just the cherry on top.”
Landry gave the Browns their first lead at 7-3 when he hauled in a 5-yard throw from Mayfield, his first score of the season.
“I actually got bumped off of my route,” Landry said. “I had a slant route, and I actually got bumped off of my route and then Baker just made a play. He just trusted and threw me the ball still. Really, he made a play because any other quarterback probably would have just come off of me at that point, but he still stuck with me and threw it to me. I made the catch and touchdown.”
Landry could’ve had a second score with a better throw from Mayfield, who also missed a wide open Rashard Higgins on first down, in the second quarter on a third-and-goal. It caused the Browns to settle for a 24-yard field goal and a 10-6 lead.
Landry saw the uneven afternoon from Mayfield as a glass half full situation.
“We have some of our best football ahead of us,” Landry said. “I am excited to look at this film, not just for what I did but for how as a team we grinded this one out. We took care of each other.”
Sendejo to the Rescue – Safety Andrew Sendejo has been the target of fans ire this season bhut Sunday he came through in a big way.
“Dejo is a veteran. He is a guy that blocks out whatever heat is on the outside because it truly does not matter,” Mayfield said. “What matters is in this in this building, even though we are not at our facility, but within this franchise. He comes and he leads. He is leading a young group of guys and continuing to show up for us. Whatever added pressure on the outside, he blocks that out and does a good job with that.”
Sendejo broke up a deep ball to Jaguars receiver Keelan Cole early preventing a long touchdown and he saved the day with 2:14 remaining when he caught Mike Glennon’s two-point throw in the bck of the end zone going out of bounds preserving the Browns 2-point advantage.
“He does a nice job back there,” Stefanski said. “Really playing hard and playing with great effort. Gets his hands on the ball there. You are right, stopping them on those two-point conversions ended up being a big deal. Really happy for him to make that play, and that is what we need. We need guys in the back end that will make plays on the ball.”
King’s Eye – LeBron James might be in Los Angeles and a Cowboys fan too but he’s still keeping close tabs on the Browns.
Breaking the Glass Ceiling – Chief of staff Callie Brownson became the first woman to coach a position group during an NFL regular season game Sunday as she filled in for tight ends coach Drew Petzing, who remained home following the birth of his daughter.
“She has always been on point since the day that she has walked in this building,” Landry said. “She is a true testament for all the women that are making a name for themselves in this league. She stepped up to the challenge today and this whole entire week. Coaching the tight ends, meeting with them, being able to get the personnel together today, she was just ahead of schedule and on point as ever. She is Callie. She is one of the people that make this building go. We are blessed to have her.”
Finally Breaking One – D’Ernest Johnson ripped off a 43-yard kickoff return after Jacksonville took a 3-0 lead on a 53-yard field goal to set up the Browns first scoring drive.
It was the longest return of any kind this season for Cleveland.
Johnson averaged 31.0 yards on three kick returns.
It’s Been Awhile – The Browns are 8-3 for the first time since 1994 and secured their first non-losing season since 2007 with five games to play.
It marks just the third time in the expansion era the Browns won’t finish below .500.
Cleveland has won three straight for the second time this season marking the first time since 1988 the team had multiple three-game win streaks during the same regular season.
Playoff Picture – The Browns currently hold the top Wild Card slot and the No. 5 seed in the AFC.
If the postseason began next week, they would face the fourth seeded and AFC East leading Buffalo Bills.
Injury report – Safety Ronnie Harrison Jr. suffered a shoulder injury on the first play of the game and did not return. He will undergo an MRI Monday.