Browns shut out the Cardinals with a dominant defensive performance
The Browns clicked on all cylinders Sunday with a complete performance on both sides of the ball in a 27-0 victory over the Cardinals. With the return of QB Deshaun Watson, the Browns offense found success in both the pass and the run game. Watson took control, finding his pass catchers, moving the ball down field, and connecting with them in the end zone. They balanced their passing attack with the run game, using RB Kareem Hunt and Jerome Ford effectively. Defensively, the Browns showcased once again why they are a top defense in the league. They allowed a total of 58 net yards and sacked rookie QB Clayton Tune seven times. They finished the game with two interceptions as well. This was the type of game the Browns needed to win over a struggling Cardinals team who plays hard. It was also the Browns first shutout win since 2007 when the Browns beat the Bills. The Browns improved to 5-3. Key Moments: The offense hit its stride Sunday both in the run and the pass game. During the second quarter with the Browns in the red zone, Watson threw a pass that was deflected off the helmet of a Cardinals defender. However, it bounced high in the air, and WR Amari Cooper tracked it down and caught the ball in the end zone for the touchdown. In the third quarter, DT Shelby Harris had a strip sack against Tune, and DE Myles Garrett recovered the ball to set up the Browns in the red zone. It set the Browns up for a scoring drive that consisted of three plays for 11 yards and ended with a short middle pass to TE David Njoku in the end zone for the touchdown. In the fourth quarter, Watson threw a 49-yard pass to Cooper, which set the Browns up in the red zone. Hunt rushed for 3 yards into the end zone for the touchdown to give the Browns a 27-0 lead. Defensively, the Browns excelled once again, pitching a shutout against the Cardinals. CB Denzel Ward and LB Sione Takitaki each intercepted a pass. The Browns sacked Tune seven times and limited the Cardinals to 17 passing net yards and 47 rushing yards. Player of the Game: Amari Cooper Cooper scored the first touchdown for the Browns in the second quarter after catching an 11-yard pass in the end zone that was initially deflected by the Cardinals. Cooper was a consistent target for Watson throughout the game, especially to move the ball downfield with some deep balls. In the first quarter, Watson connected with Cooper down the field for a 59-yard reception. Then, in the fourth quarter, Cooper caught a deep pass from Watson for a 49-yard completion to set the Browns up in the end zone for a rushing touchdown by Hunt. Cooper finished the game with 139 yards on five targets and one touchdown. His longest reception on the day was for 59 yards. Stat of the Game: The Browns finished the day with 326 total net yards, while the Cardinals finished with 58 net yards. What does it mean? This was exactly the type of game the Browns needed against a struggling Cardinals team. The Browns dominated defensively, not allowing the Cardinals to score. They found moments of success on the offensive end with two receiving touchdowns – one by Cooper and another by Njoku – and one rushing touchdown by Hunt. Watson appeared to be more comfortable coming back from the shoulder injury and commanded the offense, finding his pass catchers and using the run game to their advantage.
What's next? The Browns travel to Baltimore to face the Ravens on Nov. 12 at M&T Bank Stadium at 1 p.m. ET.