The Browns won, 13-10, on Sunday over the Lions, which means it's time to give away a round of game balls to those who helped Cleveland secure its sixth win of the season.
Game Ball No. 1: Nick Chubb
Chubb eclipsing 100 rushing yards is nothing new for the fourth-year running back, and he achieved that feat for the 21st time in his career to help keep the Browns ahead and drain the clock at key moments to secure the win.
The Browns needed every bit of his 130 rushing yards from his 22 attempts, but his biggest contribution to the scoreboard came via the pass. He caught a short 5-yard pass from QB Baker Mayfield in the second quarter to put the Browns ahead by two scores and give himself his first touchdown reception in the regular season since his rookie year in 2018.
He did all of it, too, after missing last week due to contracting COVID-19. Chubb practiced just once last week, but both he and the Browns had little doubt that he'd be able to handle a big workload in his first game back.
"It felt great," Chubb said. "I felt great. It was great to get back out there with the team and get things rolling again."
Game Ball No. 2: Jarvis Landry
Landry has proven across his four seasons in Cleveland he's willing to take any role in the offense to move the Browns into the end zone.
He took on a new role Sunday for one play in the second quarter. Landry took a direct snap, looked to throw and then decided to tuck the ball and run. The end zone was 16 yards ahead, and his sprint was just quick enough to evade defenders and cross the goal line. Landry scored his second rushing touchdown of the season and first since Week 1, and it ended up being the points the Browns needed to stay ahead for good.
"He wants to win at any cost," Chubb said. "He was a little banged up – he has been all season – but he goes every week and plays his heart out. It says a lot about the person he is, and he wants to win bad. A lot of guys on our team are like that."
Game Ball No. 3: Malcolm Smith
Smith's interception in the first quarter ended up being a turning point toward the final result — the Lions were at Cleveland's 23 after Mayfield threw an interception on the previous sequence, but their drive ended just six plays later after an errant throw from Lions QB Tim Boyle.
After bobbling the ball, Smith corralled the pick and gave the Browns the first of two takeaways on the day. The interception was Smith's second of the season, marking the first time he's snagged two picks in a season since he was with Seattle in 2013, and it led to a Browns touchdown on the next drive.
Game Ball No. 4: Denzel Ward
Denzel Ward has made plenty of plays in one-on-one situations this season, and he added another big one in the third quarter.
Ward was the only man in coverage against Josh Reynolds when the Lions receiver attempted to run past Ward and catch a deep ball from Boyle. Ward, however, matched his stride and never let Reynolds get ahead of him, which allowed him to be the first guy to put his hands on the football.
He held onto it as Reynolds tried to pry it loose when they fell to the ground, securing his second interception of the season. Both of his picks have come in the last three weeks, and he's now snagged multiple interceptions in each of his first four seasons in Cleveland.
"It does feel good every time I get some action or some plays," he said. "Being able to make plays on the ball is always a good thing. Those guys did a good job up front getting to the quarterback and putting pressure on him."