NFL Week 9 Game Recap: Cleveland Browns 27, Arizona Cardinals 0

2T5HP4A Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson (4) rolls out against the Arizona Cardinals during the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Nov. 5, 2023, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/David Richard)

The Cleveland Browns dominated the Arizona Cardinals, 27-0, at home in Week 9 to move to 5-3 on the year.

Struggling offenses and good defense led to a scoreless first quarter, but the Browns got on the board early in the second quarter with a 30-yard field goal. They made it 10-0 when Amari Cooper pulled in a tipped pass in the end zone.

It was 13-0 at the half, with Dustin Hopkins converting from 45 yards out after a drive that was aided by a roughing the passer call.

A strip-sack on rookie quarterback Clayton Tune set the Browns up in fantastic field position, with Deshaun Watson and tight end David Njoku connecting to make it 20-0.

With the Browns continuing to dominate on defense, they turned a failed fourth-down conversion by the Cardinals into a touchdown drive, culminating in Kareem Hunt scoring from three yards out to go up 27-0.


Offensive spotlight: Deshaun Watson’s return to the starting lineup was a successful one. The Browns quarterback went 19-of-30 for 219 yards and a pair of touchdowns, adding 22 yards on the ground. One of those scores came on a batted pass, but he did have a tremendous 59-yard throw to Amari Cooper. Cooper himself had a day, finishing the game with five catches for 139 yards. Left tackle Jedrick Wills Jr. exited the game twice, the second time on a cart with his right leg in an air cast.

Cardinals rookie quarterback Clayton Tune struggled in his first career start, going just 11-of-20 for 58 yards with a pair of interceptions and a fumble on a sack. The Cardinals' offense never got anything going, with no receiver having more than 25 yards and no rusher surpassing 30 yards.

Defensive spotlight: The Browns' defense dominated early and often in this one. Denzel Ward snagged their first turnover, picking off the rookie Tune, with linebacker Sione Takitaki adding a second interception later in the game. Dalvin Tomlinson registered three sacks, and Shelby Harris, Za’Darius Smith, Myles Garrett and Jordan Elliott each notched one.

Rookie spotlight: Dawand Jones missed some time after an injury but returned and had a solid game overall. Wide receiver Cedric Tillman saw plenty of playing time but finished the game with just a single reception for three yards.

Paris Johnson Jr. struggled at right tackle for the Cardinals, both in pass protection and as a run-blocker. Arizona asked a lot of its defensive rookies, with defensive backs Garrett Williams, Starling Thomas V, edge defender BJ Ojulari and interior defender Dante Stills all seeing 19 or more snaps.


Box Score

Passing
Arizona Cardinals
Player Fantasy Comp/Att Yds YPA TD Int Long Sacks Rtg
Clayton Tune 2.12 11 / 20 58 2.9 0 2 14 7 20.8
Cleveland Browns
Player Fantasy Comp/Att Yds YPA TD Int Long Sacks Rtg
Deshaun Watson 18.96 19 / 30 219 7.3 2 0 59 1 107.5
Rushing
Arizona Cardinals
Player Fantasy Car Yds YPC TD Long Fum Lost
Tony Jones Jr. 2.7 3 2 0.7 0 4 0
Clayton Tune 2.12 5 28 5.6 0 11 1
Rondale Moore 1.8 4 3 0.8 0 4 0
Keaontay Ingram 0.8 9 8 0.9 0 11 0
Cleveland Browns
Player Fantasy Car Yds YPC TD Long Fum Lost
Deshaun Watson 18.96 3 22 7.3 0 13 0
Jerome Ford 12.7 20 44 2.2 0 9 0
Kareem Hunt 9.8 14 38 2.7 1 10 0
Pierre Strong Jr. 1.2 3 9 3 0 4 0
Receiving
Arizona Cardinals
Player Fantasy Tgt Rec Yds YPT YPR TD Long
Marquise Brown 6.4 8 4 24 3 6 0 14
Trey McBride 5.2 5 3 22 4.4 7.3 0 12
Tony Jones Jr. 2.7 3 2 5 1.7 2.5 0 4
Rondale Moore 1.8 2 1 5 2.5 5 0 5
Greg Dortch 1.2 1 1 2 2 2 0 2
Zach Pascal 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0
Cleveland Browns
Player Fantasy Tgt Rec Yds YPT YPR TD Long
Amari Cooper 27.9 5 5 139 27.8 27.8 1 59
Jerome Ford 12.7 7 5 33 4.7 6.6 0 17
David Njoku 12.6 6 4 26 4.3 6.5 1 15
Kareem Hunt 9.8 1 0 0 0 0 0 0
Elijah Moore 3.4 2 2 14 7 7 0 11
Jordan Akins 2.1 3 1 11 3.7 11 0 11
Cedric Tillman 1.3 1 1 3 3 3 0 3
Pierre Strong Jr. 1.2 1 1 -7 -7 -7 0 -7
Marquise Goodwin 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0
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