CLEVELAND — Down on the field at FirstEnergy Stadium, you can still feel the heat from that Browns defense, specifically their pass rush.
They were the key to the Browns beating the Chicago Bears and going to 2-1 Sunday. This was not easy. The Bears' defense is tough to move against, and the Browns' offense especially found that out in the first half.
But on the other side, Cleveland's defensive unit was challenged by Myles Garrett all week long. He told his mates — especially up front along that defensive line — to start getting to the quarterback.
Well, how about nine sacks of the rookie Justin Fields, and how about the individual performance by Garrett himself? Garrett had 4 1/2 sacks, a career-high for him and a Browns team record that eclipsed the one previously held by the great linebacker Andra Davis.
All around, it was an amazing day for the defense. Besides the front seven, the secondary — which I thought had been playing too far off people — was all over people in this game.
Conversely, it was a tough day for the former Buckeye Justin Fields in his debut as the Bears' starting quarterback. He simply couldn't get anything going, and that's because of an offensive line that's really not up to snuff as well as Cleveland's pass rush, which was in his pocket and in his lap all afternoon long.
But this was really a tight game, 3-3 going near halftime. Then, Baker Mayfield led the Browns on a big drive, with Kareem Hunt making plays with his legs and with his hands down the field. It ended with Mayfield hitting Austin Hooper with a touchdown pass that gave Cleveland a 10-3 lead with 19 seconds before intermission.
In the second half, they just wore the Bears' defense down. How did they do it? They did it with Kareem Hunt, the hometown Brown who was amazing both catching and running the football. He had 155 total yards of offense, including a thrilling 29-yard touchdown run that put the game away and said "So long" to the bears, dropping them to 1-2.
You know something? All of a sudden around this town, inside this stadium, and definitely with this football team, they expect to win. That's how good they are, and they also held serve at home. In his second year as head coach, Kevin Stefanski is now 8-2 in games played here at FirstEnergy Stadium.
I have to give a tip of the hat to the Browns' kicker, Chase McLaughlin. He four field goals in the game, one of them from 57 yards out. An amazing kick that, at the time, was important because it tied the game at 3-3. He had another kick of over 50, and if we were wondering about him, wonder no longer. He was exceptional.
One more thing: A big welcome back to Odell Beckham Jr. He was good with five grabs (a lot of them very difficult) and absolutely did not play on a pitch count. He looks like he's ready to go.
So the Browns now head on the road for the next two weeks. First thing's first, off to Minnesota to take on the Vikings, Kevin Stefanski's old team. There's your storyline.
For now, we can build on this. The worry through the first two weeks was that Browns defense, and right now they're starting to get it. They were dominating on this Sunday.
Listen to Jimmy's best calls from today's game in the player below: