The Cleveland Browns were down, but not out. After losing four games in a row and starting the season 2-6 they have won three straight games including two against current playoff teams.
In week 12, the Browns hosted the lowly Miami Dolphins. Normally expectations would be sky high for Cleveland in this game, however, there were some worries as this was the first game after their Thursday Night debacle against the rival steelers, where Cleveland’s Myles Garrett hit Pittsburgh QB Mason Rudolph in his head with his own helmet. Garrett, now suspended for the entire season, has stayed in the news with new accusations he made against Rudolph where he claims Rudolph used offensive language on the field.
The incidents of last Thursday Night might be in the Browns’ rear view mirror, but they certainly were not out of sight heading into Sunday’s clash against the Dolphins. Miami, after winning two games in a row against the Jets and the Colts, reverted back to their losing ways with a loss against Buffalo as they came into Cleveland.
When it comes down to the football field, however, this is a matchup the browns should dominate. Their talent simply outshines and outclasses the Dolphins, the only “Wild Card” factor in this matchup was the fact that Cleveland’s emotions will be running high, even on a long week of rest, from the brawl against the Steelers.
Once toe met leather, Cleveland dominated from the start. They found the endzone on four of their first five drives, and jumped out to a 28-0 lead with one minute remaining in the first half. They were denied the halftime shutout however, as Miami was able to engineer a field goal drive to “beat the buzzer”. When the first half was over, the score was 28-3, Cleveland.
The Browns dominated the ballgame throughout, out gaining Miami with 467 total yards to their 284. Cleveland also controlled time of possession, holding the ball for 36 out of 60 minutes. Browns Quarterback Baker Mayfield was able to brush off some criticism from his disappointing sophomore season this year, as he tossed three touchdown passes, two of them to WR Jarvis Landry, who had 148 receiving yards as well on the day.
The Browns now sit at a record of 5-6, and are just one game out of the final AFC Wild Card spot, currently held by the Pittsburgh Steelers at 6-5, who the Browns just beat on Thursday night last week in that infamous game. Next, the Browns will play perhaps their biggest game of the season on Sunday, as they travel to pittsburgh to face their biggest rival, the steelers, in a crucial game in the AFC playoff race. If Pittsburgh wins, they will be 7-5 and remain in a playoff spot. If Cleveland wins, both the Browns and Steelers will be 6-6, but the Browns ahead of them because of two head-to-head wins this season, and in a playoff spot for the first time this season. As mentioned before, another factor to next week’s big game for Cleveland is the fact that this is the first game between the two rivals since the Garrett-Rudolph incident, just two weeks after it happened with emotions still running high.
The Dolphins are now 2-9, and the only race that matters at this point for Miami is the race for the #1 overall draft pick. They are two games back (Or Ahead) of 0-11 Cincinnati.