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3 Big Takeaways: Browns came in with plan to run and executed it

1. The Browns wanted to establish the run, and boy did they ever.

Fifty yards on 33 carries wasn't good enough. Not even close.

Clearly, the Browns came into Friday's game with an agenda to right all of the wrongs from their rushing effort last week against the Giants. After an 18-yard run from Duke Johnson, the fourth attempt of the game, the Browns surpassed their yardage from the previous week. 

It didn't stop from there. Carlos Hyde piled up yards in chunks, finishing with 64 on nine carries and a touchdown, while rookie Nick Chubb had a much better go of it than last week with 53 yards on 11 carries and a score of his own.

Hyde, Chubb and Johnson all had at least one run that went for 15 or longer.

Cleveland finished with 164 yards on 32 carries, good for an average of 5.1 yards per touch.

"Anytime you don't run it the first game as well as you think you can, the next time you come out and you dig in a little bit. That is what our guys did," Browns coach Hue Jackson said. "The runners made some good runs, strong runs – all three of them really. The line did a better job of pushing and getting after it."

Cleveland plays Buffalo Friday at FirstEnergy Stadium.

2. It wasn't so easy through the air

Replicating last week's performance through the air was going to be tough no matter the circumstances. It just never looked as easy Friday for the Browns, who had as few as 22 passing yards at the midpoint of the third quarter. One week after amassing 322 passing yards and three touchdowns, the Browns had 97 yards on 11-of-24 attempts.

"I just want to make sure the protection part of it was right," Jackson said. "Sometimes I saw people running free at our quarterback a little bit, maybe an assignment error or something here or there. I thought the quarterbacks still played well. I thought they put the ball in the right spot when they threw it. We just have to continue to make sure as a unit in the passing game that we are getting better and we will."

The bulk of rookie Baker Mayfield's 75 passing yards came on his final drive, when he led the Browns on a nine-play, 65-yard drive that was capped by a Chubb touchdown. He jump-started Cleveland with a 13-yard pass to Da'Mari Scott on the first play and extended the drive with an 18-yard completion to Scott on third-and-long. Mayfield had a 1-yard touchdown pass to Derrick Willies wiped away when a video review showed Willies' knee touched down out of bounds.

"Either way we scored," Mayfield said, "and that is the good part about it."

3. How about that first-team defense?

It's hard to find much fault in anything the Browns' starting defense did in four series of action. Buffalo didn't pick up a single first down and gained positive yardage on just five of its 12 plays. Larry Ogunjobi, filling the void for the injured Trevon Coley, picked up a sack and later induced a holding penalty and linebacker Mychal Kendricks had a tackle for loss for the second consecutive week. Myles Garrett's relentless pressure made life difficult for quarterback AJ McCarron, who completed three passes for 12 yards.

Through the first half of the preseason, Cleveland's first-team defense has been on the field for six series, forcing five punts (four three-and-outs) and allowing one field goal.

"I can't wait to watch the tape," Jackson said. "I could just feel (Garrett) on the field. I thought the communication was really good with the defensive players within the first unit. That part was really good. When you see other things that go on in the second half with the other units, we have to continue to iron some of those things out. Some of those players are going to be playing for us."

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