The Cleveland Browns defeated the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday 28-16. The Browns played well in all facets of the game and will likely again have the rookie of the week. Baker Mayfield also became the first rookie QB with above at 150.0 QB rating with a minimum of 20 passing attempts. Here is what else we learned from the game on Sunday.
Nick Chubb is the real deal
Nick Chubb showed exactly why John Dorsey needed to trade Carlos Hyde. People in Cleveland really liked Hyde and some were sad to see him go, but Chubb has made those people go mute. Chubb has the second most rookie rushing yards (579) and only has the 5th most rushing attempts among the rookie running backs (94).
Chubb had 176 rushing yards and 205 total yards with two touchdowns against the Falcons on Sunday and is averaging about 130 yards in the two games Freddie Kitchens took over the playcalling duties. Chubb looked to be back to full force from the knee injury he suffered at Georgia in 2015. He looked to have his top end speed back and looked as if he could be one of the top running backs in the NFL in the coming seasons.
If you do not have Nick Chubb on your fantasy team, you should go pick him up ASAP. He is going to get the ball a lot more and will rack up points for your team.
Tanner Vallejo belongs on this team
Tanner Vallejo was an afterthought waiver wire pickup after week 4 of the preseason for the Browns and he never got much work other than on special teams. When veteran linebacker Christian Kirksey went down with an injury, Vallejo got his chance. Now, he may not rack up any stats on the field, but he will show heart and hustle, more than some could say for Jamie Collins at times.
Whenever Vallejo was on a blitz, he shot of a cannon to make Matt Ryan uncomfortable and free up room for others. Vallejo was a big-time help on the goal line stand and was able to help make the Falcons’ high powered offense stay silent for a majority of the game.
With Vallejo being brought in by John Dorsey himself, I could see Vallejo coming back to this team next season and being a great help with depth and also on special teams.
Rashard Higgins should be the number two receiver
When Rashard Higgins went out with a sprained MCL, the Browns’ receivers went in the dumpster. Higgins had shown to be one of Baker Mayfield’s favorite targets and that continued to show that on Sunday. While he may have had only 1 catch, it was a big one. Higgins caught Mayfield’s first touchdown pass of the day and worked all the way across the field to catch the ball in traffic for the TD.
Higgins needs to be the second receiver on the Browns’ depth chart, not only for himself and Mayfield, but it would also help out Antonio Callaway. It would allow Callaway to get more favorable matchups out of the slot and he can use his speed to get open more and more. Having Higgins on the outside would help him get the ball in his hands more and give Baker Mayfield a more reliable target than Callaway or Ratley. Higgins has become one of the better players on the team this season and took a huge step forward after his first two seasons.
Overall, the Browns looked like a competent team against the Falcons and are going to look to keep this alive heading into Cincinnati after the bye week. Overall, this team has a different Hue to them and are starting to come together.