The Browns' first win of the season has been secured.
Cleveland powered its way to a win in 2020's first version of the "Battle of Ohio" with a 35-30 win over Cincinnati on Thursday night at FirstEnergy Stadium. The Browns rushed for 216 yards and scored five touchdowns in a refreshing AFC North win, and now they have 10 days to practice and rest before they're back in action for Week 3.
Here were the biggest plays from the Browns' big win:
1. Nick Chubb bulldozes into the end zone on first drive
Nearly half of the Bengals' defense attempted to bring Nick Chubb down when he took a handoff from their 11-yard line in the first quarter.
Chubb, to the surprise of no one, never lost balance and kept his eyes on the end zone. He marched straight through all defenders in his way to the goal-line for his first touchdown of the season, which helped give the Browns an early 7-3 lead.
The touchdown was the best part of the play, but QB Baker Mayfield’s emphatic celebration — full of fist pumps and head bumps — with the offense line was great, too. They deserved it after the 10-play, 75-yard drive that featured four crisp throws for 55 yards from Mayfield.
2. Baker, Beckham connect on deep ball TD
The 6,000 fans at FirstEnergy Stadium all stood to their feet when they saw Mayfield heave a deep ball to Beckham on the Browns' second drive of the night.
As the ball was in the air, the stadium was silent.
Then, it erupted.
Yes, even with the limited capacity, the stadium was vibrant when Beckham hauled in the 43-yard pass, perfectly placed into the arms, before sliding backwards into the end zone for the second touchdown of the night and first Mayfield-Beckham connection of 2020.
It gave Cleveland a 14-3 lead with 12 minutes in the first half and another big jolt to the Browns' offense.
3. Browns end first half with TD to Hunt
Kareem Hunt couldn't have been more open when Mayfield rolled to his right from the Bengals' 6-yard line.
Hunt, who ran past a quick block from DE Carlos Dunlap, before finding the wide stretch of vacated grass, only needed to turn around to find the easy pass from Mayfield into the front corner of the end zone for his first touchdown of 2020.
That was the third touchdown for the Browns in the first half and gave them a 21-13 lead. After throwing 189 passing yards Sunday against the Ravens, Mayfield powered the Browns with 167 yards in a near-perfect first half.
4. Garrett strips Burrow, Jackson recovers
The Browns missed a big opportunity for six points after failing to convert on fourth-and-goal on their first drive of the second half. Nick Chubb's 23-yard sprint to the end zone fell a yard short, and the Browns couldn't finish the job.
They only needed to wait 2 minutes to be back in the same spot.
DE Myles Garrett made his first game-changing play of 2020 when he removed the ball from Bengals QB Joe Burrow's grasp with a perfect swat. DE Joe Jackson, signed by the Browns before Week 1, pounced on it, and the offense was right back on the field.
Chubb received another shot for six points two plays later. This time, he squeezed through.
But it wouldn't have been so easy without the Pro Bowl play from Garrett.
5. Mayfield intercepted, Bengals turn it into TD
Mayfield thought he had his third touchdown pass of the night ahead of him when he saw TE Harrison Bryant running to the left half of the end zone 26 yards downfield.
He stepped back and delivered a firm throw, but William Jackson III sniffed out the attempt and had no issues coming across to make an interception and run the ball back 30 yards to give the Bengals solid field position. The interception was Mayfield's second of the season, and it came at a costly time.
The Bengals used 14 plays to score a touchdown on the ensuing drive and make the score a much closer 28-23 lead for Cleveland.
6. Hunt, Chubb push Browns back into the end zone
The Bengals struggled to slow down Chubb and Hunt all night — the two rushed for a staggering 210 yards and three TDs in the win.
No touchdown was more important, however, than Hunt's 1-yard scamper with 4 minutes left. It gave the Browns a 35-23 lead and solidified the win, but the runs before the touchdown were just as enjoyable.
Chubb opened the big plays with a 4- and 26-yard run, and Hunt followed it up with runs of 33 and 10 yards to put the Browns on the goal line. At that point, everyone knew a Browns RB was capping the drive with a touchdown.
Hunt made it happen, and it locked up the Browns' first win of the season.