Browns hold off Colts, keep rolling with 4th straight win
Four different teams from three different divisions. The final results and respective levels of drama have been different week to week, but the Browns have used the same winning formula to register their best start to a season in 26 years.
The Browns jumped on the Colts early Sunday at FirstEnergy Stadium, took the lead for good in the second quarter and carried it the rest of the way thanks to an opportunistic, turnover-hungry defense to win their fourth straight game. The 32-23 victory wasn't always pretty and forced the Browns to dig deep into their depth on both sides of the ball, but it was another showcase of the complementary football that's been the central theme thus far for the 2020 Browns.
Just enough offense, just enough defense and enough plays when it mattered most to leave with a win.
"I think that was a great team win," Browns coach Kevin Stefanski said. "That was all about the team. It was not pretty at times. It was not perfect. Offensively, we did not put our defense in a great spot very often in that second half, but for us to come away with a pick-six and a safety was outstanding. A great team win."
At 4-1, the Browns are off to their best start since 1994, when they went 6-1 to start the season. The Colts fell to 3-2, snapping a three-game winning streak.
Baker Mayfield was lights out in a 20-point first half before an up and down second in which the Browns offense couldn't find the end zone. He finished 21-of-37 for 247 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions, the second of which coming after he took a hard hit that required brief medical attention. Mayfield had his ribs examined after the game and X-Rays were negative.
"I think that was the worst game I have played out of the five so far. I have to get better," Mayfield said. "A lot to learn from, but we learned on that defense and we got the yards when we needed it. The good thing about it is we do not have to learn from a loss – we can get better after a win."