After hanging 49 points last week on one of the league’s worst defenses, Baker Mayfield and the Browns offense looked just as potent against the No. 1 scoring defense in the league.
The Colts put up a good fight to hang around until the very end. Coming out of halftime, defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus threw the kitchen sick at Mayfield, who looked erratic on Sunday.
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Story of the Game
Mayfield went ballistic in the first half, completing 67.9% of his passes for 228 yards and two TDs. In the past four weeks, the Colts have allowed an average of 236 yards per game.
Behind an offensive line that features the league’s highest-graded lineman in guard Wyatt Teller (94.1), Mayfield looked comfortable playing from the pocket and faced pressure on just 7.5% of his dropbacks.
Holding onto a 27-20 lead late, Myles Garrett stole the momentum back from Indianapolis with a hit on Philip Rivers that led to an intentional grounding call in the end zone for a safety. With Colts left tackle Anthony Castonzo inactive due to injury, Garrett accounted for five of the Browns' 11 total pressures.
Kudos to Kevin Stefanski for making a concerted effort to run the ball late in the game, witnessing his quarterback’s second-half implosion. With two turnovers from Mayfield and the Browns averaging less than a yard per carry before contact, D’Ernest Johnson ripped off a 28-yard run to ice the win for Cleveland.
Second-round pick Jonathan Taylor deserves to be a larger part of the Colts offense. With 14 total touches for 74 yards and a touchdown against Cleveland, Frank Reich must get the ball into Taylor’s hands more often.
On special teams, kicker Rodrigo Blankenship was 5-for-5 on field goals and extra point attempts for Indianapolis. Cornerback Isaiah Rodgers returned a kickoff 101 yards for a TD in the third quarter.
For Cleveland, first-round pick Jedrick Wills Jr. is already a fixture at left tackle. He played all 72 offensive snaps, surrendering two pressures.