Browns Notes: Offense turns 5 turnovers into 24 points in 34-20 win over Washington

Chubb continues to rack up yards, TDs while Mayfield ends interception streak

CLEVELAND, Ohio (92.3 The Fan) – The Browns defense forced 5 Washington turnovers Sunday afternoon and the opportunistic offense converted 4 of them into 24 points.

“Unbelievable job by the defense today taking the ball away,” quarterback Baker Mayfield said.

“When the defense plays like that and they were able to make a play to get us field position, we were able to take advantage in the second half and we played complementary football.”

The five takeaways were the most by the Browns since ripping the ball away six times against Pittsburgh during the 2018 season opener that resulted in a tie.

“Offensively, anytime you get a takeaway from your defense, you are set up and you have to go get seven,” head coach Kevin Stefanski said. “That is such a big part of this game, not settling for a field goal, not punting or whatever it may be.”

Safety Karl Joseph got the turnover party started in the second quarter by picking off Dwayne Haskins, ending the Washington quarterback’s streak of not throwing an interception at 4 games, on a ball intended for tight end Logan Thomas. Joseph returned it 49 yards before he fumbled and cornerback Tavierre Thomas covered it at the Washington 28 setting up Chubb’s first TD run of the day – 16 yards to put the Browns in front 10-7.

Linebacker Malcolm Smith picked Haskins off with 1:55 left in the first half and gave the offense the ball at the Washington 24. Once again, it took 3 plays for the Browns to put 7 on the board as Mayfield found Kareem Hunt for a 9-yard touchdown and a 17-7 advantage.

“The defense played great,” Hunt said. “We always want to get a lot of turnovers, and they did their job and got off the field, and [we] took advantage of them. We have to keep that up every week. The offense knows we have to go capitalize off that good field position, and we have to get points on the board.”

The only turnover that wasn’t converted into points came right at halftime when cornerback Terrance Mitchell stripped Washington running back Antonio Gibson and linebacker B.J. Goodson jumped on the loose football as time expired.

Goodson jumped in on the pick party early in the fourth quarter to give Cleveland the ball, again on a short field, at the Washington 35. Chubb ripped off the final 20 yards to extend the Browns lead to 31-20.

Defensive end Myles Garrett strip-sacked Haskins and recovered the loose ball at the Washington 41 and set up Codey Parkey’s 30-yard field goal to ice the game.

“That is really what we expect from Myles,” Stefanski said. “I know he expects it of himself. We need him to play great, and when it turns into a pass-rush game, he is built for that. I thought he did a great job. You get an honest day’s work out of Myles Garrett. Really proud of him.”

Carrying the load – What else can be said about Nick Chubb that hasn’t already been said?

Chubb was sensational once again Sunday afternoon finishing with 108 yards and 2 more touchdowns on the ground to become the first Browns player to record 100 rushing yards and two rushing touchdowns in consecutive weeks since Leroy Kelly in 1967.

“I am not surprised, if that is possible, at some of the things he does because I know what he is capable of,” Stefanski said.

The performance was his 13th career 100-yard rushing game, second-most in the NFL since 2018, and it was the third time he’s done it in back-to-back games.

“That is a really good defense over there,” Chubb said. “It says a lot about us to be able to run against a great defense like that.”

Chubb leads all NFL backs with 26 carries for 20 or more yards since 2018 and the Browns improved to 9-4 in games when Chubb eclipses the 100-yard rushing mark.

Streak snapped – Mayfield’s streak of throwing interceptions ended Sunday at eight consecutive games.

“Always, taking care of the ball the most important thing,” Mayfield said. “I could have played way better.”

Mayfield completed 16 of 23 passes for 156 yards and a pair of touchdowns in the win.

Odell Beckham Jr. saved Mayfield from a pick early in the second quarter on a deep ball by batting it away from Washington free safety Troy Apke.

“It was a great job by Odell knocking the ball down,” Mayfield said. “I should have put that ball more outside and let him run under it, but we are going to take our chances on those 50-50 balls with our guys. He did an unbelievable job knocking that ball down.”

Mayfield has recorded the most completions (680) and passing touchdowns (54) by a Brown in their first three seasons and his 8,116 passing yards rank second behind Bernie Kosar (8,465).

Historic trio – Sunday’s game marked the first time in NFL history that two female assistant coaches were on each sideline and a female official worked the game.

Sarah Thomas served as the down judge, Callie Brownson is Stefanski’s chief of staff and Jennifer King is an assistant coach on Ron River’s staff in Washington.

“I am very aware of it, and I am very proud of it,” Stefanski said. “Proud of Callie. She is a tremendous team player. The stuff she does behind the scenes is incredible. Just the significance of having women in those positions today is a very big deal, and we want to shine a light on it.”

No returns allowed – The Browns eliminated big kick returns against their special teams unit Sunday in the easiest way possible – all 7 of Cody Parkey’s kickoffs went for touchbacks.

Injury report – LB Tae Davis (elbow), WR JoJo Natson (knee) and CB Denzel Ward (groin) left Sunday’s game due to injury and did not return.

Stefanski said Natson was scheduled for additional examination Sunday night.