When you roll up the kind of yards and points Cleveland did in 2020, you're bound to have a few exciting plays.
The Browns rushed for more yards per game (148.4) than they had in 42 years. They scored 408 points, the second-best total in franchise history. They had one of most efficient red zone offenses in franchise history. They had WRs throwing passes to QBs, RBs looking like WRs on big pass plays and WRs running with the ball like seasoned RBs.
It was a fun season, no doubt, and the Browns offense — which featured blossoming QB Baker Mayfield, the two-headed monster of Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt in the backfield and a Jarvis Landry-led receiving corps that always seemed to come up big in the biggest moments — provided plenty of fireworks from start to finish.
"It is just really something special," Hunt said. "We want to continue to build off of that. We wanted to go farther. I like where we are now, but we have to keep getting better."
Over the past two weeks, Andrew Gribble and Nathan Zegura have detailed some of their favorite plays from individuals across the offense and defense. Today, they're singling out their favorite from the overall offense and reliving why they loved them so much.
Make sure to watch the video at the top of the page for a full summation of the best plays from 2020.
Gribble: Week 7 at Bengals - Baker Mayfield's game-winning TD pass to Donovan Peoples-Jones
In a season full of big wins, this was the play that truly WON the Browns a game. It was also the culmination of a revelatory performance from Mayfield, whose season turned around in a big way after this AFC Offensive Player of the Week performance. After a dreadful first quarter in which Mayfield tossed his fifth interception in the past three games and Odell Beckham Jr. was lost to a season-ending injury, everything changed. Mayfield couldn't miss from that point forward, as he set a franchise record with 21 straight completions to keep the Browns within striking distance against Bengals rookie QB Joe Burrow, who was putting together the best game of his rookie season. Cleveland got the ball with 1:06 to play needing a field goal to tie the score, but Mayfield wanted more. He drove the Browns right down the field and threw one of the best passes of his career to complete the comeback. His throw to Peoples-Jones, who caught the first pass of his NFL career earlier in the game, was an absolute dime and placed in the only spot Cincinnati's defenders couldn't get it. This performance set the tone for Mayfield's dynamite second half to the year and, more importantly, gave the Browns a win they absolutely had to have at a pivotal point in the season.
Zegura: Week 4 at Cowboys - Jarvis Landry's 37-yard TD pass to Odell Beckham Jr.
Landry is the only player in NFL history to record 70-plus catches in each of his first seven seasons, but my favorite play of his, and the Browns offense as a whole, from 2020 did not involve a reception. Rather, it was a passing touchdown from Week 4 against the Dallas Cowboys. The play was called "bananas," and when I asked head coach Kevin Stefanski when he knew that play was going to work against the Cowboys, he replied, "when I walked off the bus." It was a play the Browns had in their practice plan from Day 1, but they did not find a time to use it. The play started with a toss sweep right to Chubb, who pitched it back to Landry on the end around. Then, Landry threw it to Beckham, who ran a beautiful post corner. Stefanski would later tell me that the play was executed perfectly by all involved, from Landry hitting the "crow hop" before launching the strike to Beckham, who hit the hash marks precisely before breaking back to the corner. The result was an absolute masterpiece and a 37-yard touchdown for the Browns. Landry's throw would be one of the more impressive made by anyone in the NFL this season, quarterbacks included, as he fired a perfect tight spiral some 50 yards in the air right on the money to Beckham for the score. It was a symbolic moment for Landry, who dug deep and did everything the Browns needed him to do in a season in which he became the first Browns player since Eric Metcalf to throw, catch and run for a touchdown. Landry has heart, incredible hands and an absolute rifle of an arm, and he put that on full display in this play of the year.