What We Saw: Week 14

The What We Saw team recaps all of the noteworthy action from Week 14

Browns @ Bengals

Final Score: Bengals 23, Browns 10

Writer: Ryan Radel (@RadelFF on Twitter)


During his brief but illustrious career (so far), Joe Burrow has not faired well against the Browns in the Battle of Ohio. That all changed today as the Bengals snapped a five-game losing streak against Cleveland. It was an ugly win, but, a win is a win. The Bengals did just enough to maintain the advantage pretty much all game, meanwhile letting the Browns beat themselves, as Cleveland racked up nine penalties for 98 yards. One of the penalties was a roughing the punter call which dramatically turned the tide of the game. In the end the Browns offense simple wasn’t able to keep up against a tough Bengals defense. The Bengals have now won five straight games and are looking towards the playoffs, while the Browns are looking towards the offseason. This is the only time in my entire life I have seen four timeouts, two from each team, called in the first quarter of a game.


Cleveland Browns




Deshaun Watson: 26/42, 276 Yards, TD, INT, 2 Sacks | 6 Carries, 33 Yards

Jacoby Brissett: 0/1


Another lackluster game from Deshaun Watson. It didn’t look like much of the rust is shaking off just yet. There were several plays where Deshaun held onto the ball far too long. Sometimes he broke loose and even converted a couple of those scrambles into first downs. Otherwise he was getting beat up all game as the Bengals came ready to hit today. Playcalling and game script were not in Cleveland’s favor today. Deshaun had a few plays that hinted at his once-lauded potential, but otherwise looked like he still isn’t up to speed. He yet again threw an interception at a crucial time that basically sealed defeat for the Browns:



Running Back


Nick Chubb: 14 Carries, 34 Yards | 3 Targets, 3 Receptions, 20 Yards

Kareem Hunt: 4 Carries, 6 Yards | 4 Targets, 2 Receptions, 6 Yards


With the Browns trailing from the second quarter onward, the running game took a back seat to the passing game. When the Browns did run the ball, it was a run right up the middle and the Bengals front seven was ready for the challenge. Nick Chubb‘s long was 13 yards, which means his other 13 carries went for a whopping 21 yards – all together resulting in less than 2.5 yards per carry. Chubb brought in all of three of his targets for 20 more yards but generally found no space on minimal opportunity. Kareem Hunt had six touches and manages 12 yards. It seems like he is an afterthought in this offense. The only silver lining I have is that this position was targeted seven total times. In general, a very ugly game for the typically high-powered rushing attack.


Wide Receiver/Tight End


Donovan Peoples-Jones: 12 Targets, 8 Receptions, 114 Yards

David Njoku: 1 Carry, -2 Yards | 9 Targets, 7 Receptions, 59 Yards, TD

Amari Cooper: 7 Targets, 2 Receptions, 42 Yards

David Bell: 3 Targets, 3 Receptions, 27 Yards

Harrison Bryant: 1 Target, 1 Reception, 8 Yards


As is tradition, Amari Cooper had a disappointing day on the road as he managed to secure two of seven targets for 42 yards. A couple of targets were uncatchable while a few more were simply well-defended. Cooper’s incredible home/away splits continue. When Cooper slumps, it usually creates opportunity for Donovan Peoples-Jones and today was no exception. DPJ was targeted 12 times but only managed to secure eight of them for 114 yards, looking great after the catch. One of the targets came at a notable time as the Browns needed a score on 4th down to keep the game within reach and went with a jump ball to DPJ, but failed to convert. David Bell and Harrison Bryant chipped in with a handful of catches. David Njoku continues to be a focus in this offense (when healthy) as 10 touches were drawn up for him on the day. He brought in a couple of key receptions for first downs, but most notably had another cool touchdown:



Cincinnati Bengals




Joe Burrow: 18/33, 239 Yards, 2 TD, INT, Sack | 6 Carries, 10 Yards


It wasn’t a statistically great game for Joe Burrow, but he didn’t really need to do much as the Browns shot themselves in the foot all game. While the last couple seasons went the way of Cleveland, those tides look to have turned. Myles Garrett and Jadeveon Clowney both had a few hits on Burrow but only managed to sack him once. The interception he threw came off of a tipped pass at the line of scrimmage. Burrow was able to evade the rush and escape the pocket for a few scrambles that extended drives as well. In general, this was basically a prime example of how to manage a game – not to call Burrow a game manager. At one point it felt like the Bengals were playing with their food after calling this well-executed flea-flicker that resulted in a 45-yard touchdown:


Running Back


Joe Mixon: 14 Carries, 96 Yards | 2 Targets, 2 Receptions, 10 Yards

Samaje Perine: 4 Carries, 22 Yards, TD | 5 Targets, 1 Reception, 2 Yards

Trayveon Williams: 1 Carry, 2 Yards | 1 Target, 1 Reception, 6 Yards


The Bengals nearly doubled the Browns rushing efforts, so it was surprising that they didn’t decide to run more considering how effective they were. With Joe Mixon still on the mend, the Bengals had some excellent playcalling to keep him from taking too much of a beating. Mixon responded with 6.9 yards per carry as he gashed the Browns porous run defense all game. He was also involved in the passing game as he brought in a couple of short dumpoffs. Trayveon Williams saw some action towards the end of the game. Samaje Perine was targeted several times out of the backfield but was routinely smothered. He was provided valuable goal line was work and as able to find the endzone from six yards out with some fancy footwork:


Wide Receiver/Tight End


Ja’Marr Chase: 1 Carry, 6 Yards | 15 Targets, 10 Receptions, 119 Yards, TD | Sack

Trenton Irwin: 2 Targets, 2 Receptions, 58 Yards, TD

Trent Taylor: 4 Targets, 1 Reception, 34 Yards

Mitchell Wilcox: 2 Targets, 1 Reception, 10 Yards

Tyler Boyd: 1 Target


Unless you’re a Bengals fan, you probably don’t recognize many of the names on this stat sheet. Tee Higgins was a late scratch as he was injured during warmups. The logical next man up, Tyler Boyd, dislocated his finger early on and was also scratched from the game. This void in the depth chart opened the door for some unfamiliar names. Trent Taylor received the most targets out of the group, but only wrangled in one for 34 yards. With Hayden Hurst being out, Mitchell Wilcox got the start and managed to bring in one of two targets for 10 yards. Trenton Irwin was targeted twice, one of which being the 45-yard score off of the flea flicker mentioned previously. Ja’Marr Chase vacuumed up all of the excess targets as he was thrown to 15 times as well as a couple of other designed touches that ended with mixed results. Denzel Ward lined up across from Chase all game, and Chase came out on top more often than not on his way to 10 receptions for 119 yards and a score



Shoutout to a hometown kid for his success – Cincinnati Bengals linebacker #49 Joe Bachie 

As always, thank you for reading. Happy holidays!

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