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The Cleveland Browns didn’t get the victory in Week 1 against the Kansas City Chiefs. That didn’t mean there weren’t positives for the team. Against one of the best teams in the NFL, the Browns proved that they belong in that conversation as well.
Cleveland has to get it done against the best teams but that will only matter if it impacts making the playoffs, seeding or in the playoffs themselves.
The offense, especially in the first three quarters, were successful in both phases. Baker Mayfield had the passing game humming using multiple targets including rookie Anthony Schwartz and David Njoku being used for big gains. Despite Odell Beckham Jr. missing the game, and being out for Sunday’s contest, the passing attack was impressive the majority of the game.
The rushing attack was on a whole other level. According to Pro Football Focus, the Browns were by far the most successful at running the ball based on efficiency and success rate:
Browns were pretty good running the ball in Week 1 pic.twitter.com/2qtnj19ssm
— Kevin Cole (@KevinColePFF) September 14, 2021
While the NFL continues to trend toward passing being the best way to win, Cleveland has shown that success can happen with a strong rushing attack. In Week 1, with the desire to keep the ball out of Patrick Mahomes’ hands, the Browns were very good in this phase.
It wasn’t good enough in the end but it is a good sign that the run game is picking up where it left off in 2020. Will we see the same in Week 2 despite Jedrick Wills possibly missing the game and Chris Hubbard already being ruled out?