​This Sunday afternoon the Cleveland Browns traveled to Indianapolis to play the Colts and to try for their first road victory in 2023. The Browns were coming off their biggest upset win in over ten years when they beat the San Francisco 49ers 19-17 in Cleveland.

The Colts were without their athletic rookie quarterback Anthony Richardson and also just soundly beaten on the road at Jacksonville last week 37-20. The game was set up to be a favorable matchup for the Cleveland Browns.

​According to ESPN.com, going into the game the Indianapolis Colts had the 25th-ranked defense in the NFL. And they were without their starting defensive tackle Grover Stewart. He is serving a PED suspension. Their offense was ranked 11th and they averaged 23.3 points a game with backup quarterback Gardner Minshew taking over as a starter.

The Browns offense without Deshaun Watson for two games, went into this game ranked 19th averaging 19 points a game. The Browns defense is ranked first in the NFL giving up 15.4 points a game and 200.4 yards a game. The Browns defense allows third-down conversions at 22.6%. These defensive stats through five NFL games were historic.

Consider this is being done in the modern NFL era with rules geared towards offense. Prior to this game, I thought that it would be interesting to watch this defense’s speed and the defensive pass rush’s speed playing on indoor artificial turf. This is the first indoor artificial turf game for this Browns defense in 2023. Armed with the NFL’s top-ranked defense, the Browns franchise quarterback Deshaun Watson had his first start in three weeks and they needed their defense to get the win.

The Browns won ugly with a final score of 39-38. Deshaun Watson did start the game and he did not look like himself. He left the game with a possible concussion in the first quarter. He was kept out of the game for precautionary reasons. PJ Walker played well enough to win at quarterback for the Browns. He made some big throws in the game-winning drive late in the 4th quarter. Myles Garrett proved why he is the best athlete to put on a Cleveland Browns uniform in my lifetime.

Garrett with his two sacks and blocked field goal was dominant on the field. The most impressive thing to me was how he blocked the field goal attempt. He literally hurdled offensive linemen to block the kick. Although, the Browns defense did look human that day.

The Browns defense gave up 456 yards in total offense and 38 points. They did get gashed for big plays with miscommunications and mental breakdowns. But despite that, they created a total of four turnovers that led to 20 points for the Browns. The Browns were able to stack wins to keep pace with division-leading Baltimore. If you believe that you are a playoff team, then you find a way to win close road games against conference opponents.

Next week this team travels to Seattle to play the Seahawks. Another tough road game in a difficult place to play. Can this team win three in a row and go 5-2? Will there be more drama with our starting quarterback next week? Maybe Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan will make an appearance? I know this team and I won’t be “Sleepless in Seattle.”

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