AA Monday React

CLEVELAND, OH-- Welcome to my new weekly column AA Monday React! This article will put a wrap on the previous Browns game along with other sports action.

Let's start with a positive note. The Cleveland Browns are 5-2!! The 2020 Browns are 5-2 with the easiest remaining schedule in the NFL. Baker Mayfield played the best three quarters in his career as he completed 22 straight passes (his only incompletion was a spike HA). Mayfield's go-ahead Touchdown Pass to Donovan Peoples-Jones was a nicely thrown ball where only Peoples-Jones could get it.

The Number One Talking Point in Cleveland is OBJ especially after he left the game. Then we received this news this morning:

Certain Browns fans are willing to defend Baker Mayfield at all cost and discredit Odell Beckham Jr at all cost. It's no secret the Baker-OBJ connection has not materialize on the field in the way any of us had expected.

2018 Mayfield spread the ball around to different receivers especially when he wasn't under pressure. Mayfield and the Freddie Kitchens/Kevin Stefanski coaching staff decided it was a good idea to force-feed the ball to OBJ. Of course as per Browns fans logic, its OBJ's fault the ball was only coming to him instead of the person throwing the football or the coaches putting the game plan together.

Some will say OBJ is a diva. Yet Antonio Brown just signed with Tom Brady for the second year in a row. OBJ's injury will decrease his trade value but playoff contenders will want him so don't be upset if he's good with Kansas City or San Francisico or New Orleans.

If Mayfield played the Cincinnati Bengals 16 times a year, he would win MVP. Against Cincinnati, Mayfield is 5-1, thrown 17 TDs to only 7 INTs and has an 111.4 QB rating. Compared to the rest of the NFL, Mayfield is 12-18, has 47 TDs compared to 35 INTs & only has an 83.5 QB rating. Yesterday, the Browns didn't give up a sack compared to the Steelers game where Mayfield was sacked four times.

Other than Myles Garrett and Denzel Ward, who are the playmakers for the Browns defense. I thought Ward made the play of the day (besides the late Peoples-Jones TD). Watch as he takes away a sure AJ Green TD catch.

He also made this play early in the first quarter:

Then Myles Garrett made THIS PLAY against Joe Burrow:

Other than Garrett and Ward, who are the playmakers defensively? Against the Bengals, the Browns have given up 64 points. Perhaps the most telling scoring play was the late go-ahead Joe Burrow TD Pass to Giovani Bernard on the flat late in the game. That play capped off a 75 yard 10 play drive. That cannot happen!

This defense has given up 20 or more points in every game and has given up 30 or more points in five of their first seven games. This Browns defense has allowed 221 points total (2nd worst in NFL) and 31.6 points per/game (2nd worst in NFL). This team must make a move defensively especially in the Safety position. As I said on my show Sunday Night with Anthony Alford (7-9pm WTAM 1100AM/106.9FM), this team needs someone who has "been there and done that." Earl Thomas, Ha Ha Clinton-Dix and Eric Reed top this list.

If the Browns are content with winning additional close games against sub-par competition and getting blown out in the playoffs against Steelers/Ravens/Chiefs/Titans, they won't make any moves. Mayfield is an excellent leader but average to below-average QB so he needs to be surrounded with talent offensively and defensively to get the job done. Mayfield will have the rest of the season to prove himself without OBJ with weapons like Landry, Higgins, Hooper, Bryant, Hunt and Chubb. Defense needs major help.

Again, the Browns are 5-2!! Just know their five wins are against the NFC East, the Cincinnati Bengals and Philip Rivers. Credit the Browns for beating bad teams but understand they must be better if they want to beat great teams.

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