As the Cleveland Browns advanced to 7-9 on the season against the Washington Commanders, they got plenty of output from their usual contributors. Winning by a score of 24-10 on the day, the Browns found a load of offensive success after making halftime adjustments to comebacks and dismantle the Commanders in the second half. They now look to close the season on a 5-2 run as the Pittsburgh Steelers are last on their list.
Who stood out the most in this game against the Commanders? Here we present those who stood out in both a positive and negative way for the Browns as they play out the home stretch of their 2022 season.
Stud: WR Amari Cooper
The Browns leaned on Amari Cooper in the second half against the Commanders. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports
The passing game was in complete disarray in the first half. However, the Browns came out in the second half, leaning largely on Amari Cooper. After going catch-less in the first half against the Commanders, Cooper rallied the offense to rack up 105 yards and two touchdowns on three catches in the second half.
Cooper is now just 80 yards off of his career-best in receiving yards and has already set his career-high in touchdowns for the Browns this season despite playing with a backup quarterback for 11 weeks. Not bad for just a fifth round pick.
Dud: RB Kareem Hunt
Kareem Hunt is starting to show a lack of explosiveness. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
It is time to give Kareem Hunt’s carries to Jerome Ford.
Not only is Hunt set to hit the open market this offseason with little chance of returning to Cleveland, but his legs just do not possess much juice anymore either. He is still a stalwart as a pass protector for his quarterback but has offered very little with the football in his hands this season for the Browns.
This continued against the Commanders as he rushed for no yards on two carries, and a negative yard on just three touches on the day. On the season, Hunt has averaged less than four yards per carry out of the backfield on 119 carries. With one week to go, the Browns would be better off seeing what Ford, who still has three seasons left on his rookie deal in Cleveland, can give to them offensively.
Stud: Grant Delpit
Grant Delpit had a career day against the Commanders. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
No one player had a bigger day than safety Grant Delpit did for the Browns against the Commanders. He finished the day with seven tackles, one tackle for loss, and two interceptions off of Carson Wentz as the Browns came away with the victory.
After starting the season on a rough note, Delpit has turned into a massive contributor for the Browns. He has lived up to the hype as a second round pick and is sure to return to the starting lineup again in 2023 as he has exploded onto the scene since the bye week.
On the season, Delpit has racked up 103 tackles (71 solo tackles), four tackles for loss, 10 passes defended, and four interceptions.
Dud: S D'Anthony Bell
D’Anthony Bell struggled against the Commanders. [Bob Self/Florida Times-Union]
The Browns finally decided to bench safety Ronnie Harrison, who played in dime looks, in favor of undrafted rookie D’Anthony Bell. However, as Bell played 22 snaps for the Browns’ defense against the Commanders, the undrafted rookie looked like an undrafted rookie seeing his first amount of significant snaps in his career.
It was just his first game with a set designed for him, and it is in a meaningless game as the Browns are looking to see what they have in their younger players, but it was not a strong showing for Bell. He missed one tackle on the afternoon, gave up a passer rating of 118.8 when targeted (giving up three catches on three targets), and was penalized twice as well.
The Browns should give him the opportunity against the Steelers as well to prove he is more than a special teams ace. However, the results were not promising in this one.
Stud: The young cornerbacks
The Browns got excellent play out of their cornerbacks yesterday. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports
In addition to Delpit’s two interceptions, cornerback Denzel Ward also pulled down an interception as he locked down former Buckeyes teammate Terry McLaurin. On the day, Ward was only targeted once and gave up just a passer rating of 0.0.
He was not the only young cornerback who played well as both Greg Newsome II and Martin Emerson also had strong days against the Commanders. Newsome II gave up just 10 yards receiving and a passer rating of 87.5. Emerson gave up a passer rating of 57.6 and knocked down two passes for the Browns.
As the Browns look to improve defensively, starting with a new defensive coordinator, it is nice to know that Delpit, Ward, Newsome II, and Emerson are all here to stay.