The Buffalo Bills let one slip away against the Cleveland Browns on Sunday. While it came down to two Stephan Hauschka missed field goals, that certainly wasn’t the reason Buffalo lost the game.
Here are my five takeaways from the game.
Run defense woes continue
The Browns had 12.8 yards per carry on the first two drives (at least until they got to goal-to-go). Nick Chubb had 84 yards on his first 13 carries. Chubb and Kareem Hunt combined for 108 yards on 17 carries early on. (That’s about 6.5 yards per carry.)
Bills’ goal line defense was sensational
Honestly, the Browns should have scored nine or twelve more points than they had. The Bills’ goal-to-go defense was phenomenal all game. The Browns ran 11 plays at the goal line in the first half and came away with three points.
The Browns have almost as many goal line plays (12, including false start) as the #Bills do offensive plays (17), and the Browns have only 3 points to show for it.— Joe Buscaglia (@JoeBuscaglia) November 10, 2019
The Browns are the first NFL team in 26 years to run six plays from an opponent's 2-yard line or closer on a possession without scoring, per @EliasSports— Jake Trotter (@Jake_Trotter) November 10, 2019
Eventually the Browns did score on a goal line play, and it turned out that it was the game-winner.
Nine straight 50-yard games for Brown
John Brown has been very, very good for the Bills this year and is under the radar. Five catches for 74 yards today means he’s gone over 50 yards in every game this season. We knew he was fast and a pro’s pro, but his production has been so consistent despite Josh Allen being inconsistent.
Tre’Davious White shuts own OBJ
What a great game for Tre White. A dropped interception by White would have put his day over the top, but he did a great job limiting Odell Beckham, Jr. OBJ had five catches for 57 yards, but some of that came when White wasn’t covering him. All-in-all, he limited the big-name Beckham and had some nice pass breakups along the way.
It shouldn’t have been this close
Literally, both teams should be able to say they could have run away with this game. With a defense scoring points and limiting Cleveland to 19 the way Buffalo did, the Bills should have won by a lot. Similarly, the Browns should have been able to score more points based on their offense (until goal line situations) and they outgained the Bills. If Buffalo didn’t have a miracle fumble recovery, it would have been over sooner.