The Cleveland Browns have looked like an entirely different beast ever since firing Hue Jackson, and they sure showed up their former head coach in a Week 12, first-half drubbing of the Cincinnati Bengals.
With Baker Mayfield at quarterback, a young and hungry defense, and one of the NFL’s best running back duos, the Cleveland Browns look like a dangerous team down the stretch of the 2018 season. AFC wild card hopefuls had better worry about facing the Browns, who look like the NFL’s biggest “spoiler” team right now.
The Cincinnati Bengals certainly witnessed the power of the new-look Browns first-hand, as they went down 28-0 after one half of play. This marked the first time since 1991 in which the Browns scored 28 points in the first-half, and while that is a bit of a testament to their futility over the last few decades, it’s also a reminder of how electric this offense is with Mayfield under center.
Hamstrung by poor play-calling and ridiculous bickering between Jackson and former offensive coordinator Todd Haley, the Browns are finally playing to their potential under head coach Gregg Williams and new offensive coordinator Freddie Kitchens.
Mayfield threw three touchdown passes in the first half alone, making great usage of a variety of pass-catchers. Nick Chubb “mossed” a defender for his touchdown reception (he added a touchdown run, too), David Njoku bullied his way for a score with another must-see touchdown, and Antonio Callaway played his best football in the first half of Week 12 as another recipient of a passing score from Mayfield.
Hue Jackson has a chance to audition for the Bengals head coaching job if the team finally decides to part ways with Marvin Lewis, but given how awful the first half went, it’s safe to say Jackson didn’t provide Cincinnati with much valuable insight on the Browns offense.
Instead, the Bengals looked even less potent on both sides of the ball than ever before, which is saying something. It also seems like Jackson’s presence provided Damarious Randall, Baker Mayfield, and everyone else in the Browns organization extra ammunition to go out and destroy an A.J. Green-less Bengals team.
If the Browns can keep this up throughout the remainder of the season, perhaps Mayfield, Chubb, and Co. can break some more records.