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SNF Takeaways: Cleveland Browns vs. LA Rams

Baker Mayfield is still having a tough time running this offense.

It was plain to see through the first two weeks of the season that Mayfield was wildly inaccurate. Baker has posted a quarterback rating of 64.0 in both of Cleveland’s losses this season, but the difference between game one and game three is massive. On Sunday night Aaron Donald and Dante Fowler combined for 2 sacks and over 10 pressures on Baker. Although Mayfield was under pressure all night long, his accuracy looked much improved, maybe gaining some of his confidence back.

Nick Chubb finally played a significant role in the offense.

Through the first two games of the season, Chubb was on the field 67% of the time; Sunday night he played on 99% of the snaps. It is critical for Cleveland going forward to involve Nick Chubb on as many plays as possible. He looked damn good running low to the ground like a wild boar. He also caught four of six passes for 34 yards.

The Cleveland defense played very well without a healthy secondary.

Myles Garrett put on another clinic abusing the offensive linemen in front of him. Garrett had a colossal play near the end of the game, forcing Goff to fumble the ball turning it over to Cleveland. Another standout was Mack Wilson stepping in for the injured Christian Kirksey. Wilson did not miss a tackle all night and performed well while playing in coverage.

For the LA Rams, it was business as usual.

The Sean Mcvay offensive scheme played perfectly, peppering Cooper Kupp and Brandin Cooks underneath all night long. The Cleveland defense played with their defensive backs way up the field to prevent big plays, so the speedy receivers had a field day catching balls over the middle. Both Kupp and Cooks went for over 100 yards on Sunday night.

Rookie Taylor Rapp was having a rough night for most of the game.

He was beaten in coverage multiple times and did not contribute much to stopping the run. The way the game had gone up until the end of the fourth quarter for Rapp, it made sense for the Browns to try to throw it his direction for the game-tying touchdown. Rapp made plays that helped keep the win intact for the Rams, as John Johnson III secured the game-winning interception.

The Rams wide receivers are the real deal.

Not that we didn’t know this already, but in the past, you could have argued that the run game opened up opportunities for the receivers. The Rams leading rusher for the night was Todd Gurley for 43 yards. In response, the Rams used Kupp in the Adam Thielen role as a possession receiver, and it worked wonders. Kupp had a career night totaling 11 catches for 102 yards and two touchdowns.


The Browns played maybe their best game of the year and had a chance to beat the defending NFC champions. There was some very questionable play-calling by Freddie Kitchens along the way. Most notably, while first and goal on the six he elected to throw the ball all four times. Even after Chubb had been running the ball so well. There is hope for Cleveland yet, but I am a firm believer that Kitchens will need to give over the offensive play calling to Monken before its all said and done.
Sean Mcvay and the LA Rams showed why they are looking to march back to the super bowl. The schemes to get receivers open all night was almost impossible to combat even as the running game was failing. The Rams are a battle-tested team with capable stars all over the field; the Rams are without a doubt major contenders in the NFC.

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