Game Balls: Browns 26, Bengals 18

Nick Chubb breaks rookie rushing record, Hollywood shines bright

Daryl Ruiter
December 24, 2018 - 1:58 pm
Dec 23, 2018; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Browns running back Nick Chubb (24) runs with the ball as Cincinnati Bengals cornerback Darius Phillips (23) defends during the second half at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

© Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports


Cleveland, OH (92.3 The Fan) – The good times kept rolling for the Browns Sunday afternoon at FirstEnergy Stadium in front of a packed house as they made quick work of the Bengals 26-18.

The victory was the seventh of the season marking the best turnaround in franchise history. The previous best turnaround was a six-game improvement – from 3-11 in 1975 to 9-5 in 1976 and from 4-12 in 2006 to 10-6 in 2007.

The Browns improved to 5-2-1 at home, their second-best winning percentage at FirstEnergy Stadium (since 1999) in a season. They finished the season with three consecutive wins at home, their longest stretch since 2014.

The Browns earned their first season sweep against the Bengals since 2002 and improved to 3-1-1 in divisional play, securing the club’s highest winning percentage in a season since the formation of the AFC North in 2002.

Here’s who gets game balls from win No. 7.

Baker Mayfield – Now just 2 TD’s shy of tying the NFL’s rookie touchdown passing record, Mayfield threw 3 more Sunday to up his total to 24 in just 12 starts while completing 27 of 37 passes for 284 yards. Mayfield is 0.1 percent behind Hall of Famer Otto Graham for the highest completion percentage in a season in franchise history and 37 passing yards shy of setting a new franchise rookie passing record.

Jarvis Landry – Landry made the throw of the day – a 63-yard bomb to fellow receiver Breshad Perriman – on a reverse to set up the second touchdown of the day. Mayfield handed the ball off to receiver Antonio Callaway, who then tossed it to Landry running in the opposite direction for the left-handed heave downfield to Perriman. Landry also added 4 catches for 47 yards in the victory.

Rashard Higgins – Nicknamed ‘Hollywood,’ Higgins continues to play like a star. He led the team with 6 catches that went for 60 yards and his fourth touchdown of the season that saw him go airborne and reach out with his right hand to hit the pylon with the football for a 23-0 lead.

Nick Chubb – Chubb broke Trent Richardson’s rookie rushing record of 950 yards set in 2012 by racking up 112 yards on 19 carries leaving him 28 yards shy of the coveted 1,000-yard mark with 1 game to play.

Genard Avery – The linebacker recorded a sack – raising his season total to 4.5, batted down a pass, and made 2 tackles for loss in the victory.

Larry Ogunjobi – Ogunjobi, who is playing with a torn biceps muscle, registered a sack to bump up his season total to 5.5, and also made a pair of tackles for loss.

Joe Schobert – Schobert continues to make impact plays as the captain of the defense. He helped change the game with his third sack of the season and second forced fumble in 2018.

Bob Wylie – Wylie, who suffered a broken ankle during last Thursday’s practice, is beloved by everyone in the building. The offensive line, who played inspired Sunday afternoon by not allowing a sack or a quarterback hit, took a game ball to him after the win.