Browns Rookie Accolades Keep Coming
Well, he did it again. He just couldn’t help himself, so he went out and did it again. Browns first-year defensive back and Cleveland native, Denzel Ward, took Rookie of the Week honors for the second time as he dominated Week 5 against Baltimore. By the time the game was said and done, Ward amassed one interception (his third on the year), broke up three passes like they were bad relationships and blocked a crucial field goal. In his debut, Ward had one interception and six tackles earning him the award for Week 1. While Denzel Ward’s performance thus far has been nothing short of eyebrow raising, he is actually one of three Browns to achieve the Rookie of the Week status this year, meaning four of the five times that has been handed out in 2018, it’s gone to a Cleveland Brown.
Let me continue.
During the third week of the 2018 NFL season, the number one overall pick, Baker Mayfield, stepped into a game he didn’t start after Tyrod Taylor went down with a concussion. Mayfield took an instant command of the offense and marched the Browns down the field completing 17 of 23 passes, surpassing the 200-yard mark. Probably the most electrifying play for the Browns this season was during that same contest when wide receiver Jarvis Landry completed a pass to Mayfield for a successful 2-point conversion. The Thursday night success of Mayfield and crew culminated to a Browns victory over the Jets, bringing an end to Cleveland’s professional football victory drought. Thank God. And thank you, Mr. and Mrs. Mayfield, for deciding to have a kid.
Week 4. Ah, yes. It only feels like yesterday when our defense collapsed and the officials gift-wrapped a win for the Oakland Raiders. Nevertheless, the game had its high points for us, namely in the form of former Georgia Bulldog and current Cleveland mad-dawg, Nick Chubb. With Carlos Hyde having the hot hand, it’s tough to argue giving more reps to Duke Johnson Jr. or Nick Chubb right now. Sure, I’m certain those guys would love more of a workload, so when running back Nick Chubb was given the ball two weeks ago on a mere three carries, he decided to make the most of it, plowing through the Raiders’ D and compiling 105 yards and two touchdowns. Boy, I’ll tell you what, the last time we had a pair of solid running backs, Ronald Reagan was in office. The last time we had a trio of solid running backs was, well, never. Hopefully, Todd Haley can get more plays in with Chubb and Johnson as the season progresses. What a ground force that would be to reckon with…
While Chubb, Mayfield and Ward have been impressive in their play, what’s even more impressive (arguably) is who else has been up for the Rookie of the Week honors each time a Browns player was named. Specifically, Giants running threat, Saquon Barkley, who just keeps getting triple-digit yardage from scrimmage each game and Chargers safety, Derwin James, who can’t stop tackling people. The only time a Browns rookie did not capture the ROTW honors this season was during Week 2 when Colts linebacker, Darius Leonard, made 15 solo tackles (18 total for the game), caused a fumble and got a sack. Yeah, I’d say this is one heck of a great crop of rookies. It’s also a little eye-popping and smile-inducing knowing that three of them are in our own backyard.