Defense stands tall as Browns blank hapless Cardinals
Posted on: 05 Nov, 2023 at 09:40 PM
Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
The Cleveland Browns ran roughshod over rookie quarterback Clayton Tune and blanked the visiting Arizona Cardinals 27-0 on Sunday.
The shutout was the first for the Browns (5-3) in a span of 251 games, dating back to an 8-0 win over the Buffalo Bills on Dec. 16, 2007.
The Browns spoiled the NFL debut of Tune, who was replacing Joshua Dobbs after Arizona (1-8) traded him earlier in the week. Tune completed 11 of 20 passes for 58 yards, was intercepted twice and lost a fumble on one of Cleveland's seven sacks. Tune's passer rating was 20.8.
Cleveland defensive tackle Dalvin Tomlinson had 2.5 sacks. Two of Tune's turnovers led to Browns touchdowns.
Deshaun Watson returned to the field and for the Browns, and while he had some difficult moments, he completed 19 of 30 passes for 219 yards and touchdowns to wide receiver Amari Cooper and tight end David Njoku.
The Browns built a 13-0 lead at halftime on an 11-yard touchdown pass from Watson to Cooper and two field goals of 30 and 45 yards by Dustin Hopkins.
Cooper had five receptions for 139 yards, which included plays of 59 and 49 yards. Those 108 yards accounted for 33.1 percent of the Browns' 326 yards in the game and 49.3 percent of Watson's passing yards. The 59-yarder set up the first field goal of the game and the 49-yarder set up the final touchdown, a 3-yard run by Kareem Hunt in the fourth quarter.
The Cardinals finished with 58 total yards on 48 plays, a mere 1.2 yards per play, and had 17 net passing yards. They converted 1 of 12 third downs, the lone conversion coming late in the fourth quarter.
With the Browns ahead 3-0, Denzel Ward intercepted Tune near midfield to set up Cleveland's first touchdown drive, which ended in Cooper's touchdown. Hopkins' second field goal came as time expired in the first half.
Shelby Harris strip-sacked Tune in the third quarter and Myles Garrett recovered at the Cardinals' 11-yard line. Three plays later, Watson hit Njoku over the middle to make it 20-0.
--Field Level Media