Jarvis Landry caught two touchdown passes against his former team and the Cleveland Browns won their third straight Sunday, 41-24 over the Miami Dolphins in their first game since losing star defensive end Myles Garrett to a season-ending suspension.
Landry couldn’t wait to get back at the Dolphins (2-9), who had him for four seasons before they decided not to give him a long-term contract extension and traded him to Cleveland in 2018. He got his revenge, finishing with 10 catches for 148 yards.
Baker Mayfield had 327 yards passing and hit a TD pass to Odell Beckham Jr., and Joe Schobert had two interceptions as the Browns (5-6) continued their climb back into the AFC playoff hunt.
The lopsided win capped an emotionally complicated week for the Browns in the aftermath of Garrett being banned by the NFL for pulling off Pittsburgh quarterback Mason Rudolph’s helmet and hitting him over the head with it. That touched off a wild brawl in the final seconds of Cleveland’s 21-7 win over the Steelers on Nov. 14.
Garrett’s appeal was denied this week in New York, where he told the league Rudolph used a racial slur, something the league said it didn’t find any evidence of.
On Saturday, the league fined Garrett and 32 other players from Pittsburgh and Cleveland for their roles in the ugly melee between the bitter rivals, who will meet against next Sunday at Heinz Field.
Browns owner Dee Haslam showed her support for Garrett by wearing a stocking cap on the sideline during pregame warmups bearing his No. 95.
With Garrett gone, there was more pressure on Cleveland’s offense to produce, and the unit came through.
Mayfield completed 24 of 34 passes, but threw his first interception in four weeks. Beckham had six catches for 84 yards, and Nick Chubb rushed for 106 yards and scored on a 5-yard run.
Mayfield feasted on a Miami secondary missing three starters. He threw TD passes to Landry and Beckham in the first quarter, and hooked up with Landry again in the second quarter as the Browns opened a 21-0 lead.
Later, Kareem Hunt scored on a 6-yard run for his first touchdown with Cleveland to make it 28-0.
The Dolphins helped dig their hole. They were called for three pass interference penalties in the first half to extend Cleveland drives, failed to convert on a faked punt, and finished the first quarter with 7 total yards.
Miami quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick finished 21 of 39 yards with two TD passes and two interceptions on his 37th birthday. He threw an 11-yard TD pass to tight end Mike Gesicki, scored on an 8-yard run, and threw a 19-yarder to Allen Hurns to cap the scoring.
Earlier this week, Landry said he’d be “lying” if he said he hadn’t circled the matchup with Miami on his calendar. He quickly got back at the Dolphins by hauling in a 7-yard TD pass from Mayfield to cap Cleveland’s opening drive.
Cleveland’s Austin Seibert made two field goals, but missed a 46-yarder. Landry and Beckham scored TDs in the same game as Browns teammates for the first time. They hadn’t done that since Sept. 14, 2013, when they played together at LSU. Landry is the first Browns wide receiver with a touchdown catch in four consecutive games since Kevin Johnson in 2001. Fitzpatrick dropped to 5-2 in his career against the Browns. Gesicki got his first career TD catch in his 27th game.
Dolphins: Wide receiver Albert Wilson left with rib injury in the third quarter. WR Jakeem Grant went out with an ankle injury following a 25-yard kickoff return. He did not return. He ran back a kick 101 yards last week against Buffalo. CB Ken Crawley left in the second quarter with a shoulder injury, further weakening a thin secondary.
Browns: No significant injuries.
Dolphins: host Philadelphia on Dec. 1.
Browns: Rekindle their fiery rivalry with the Steelers on Dec. 1