Colts' stingy defense will try to shut down Browns' high-powered rushing attack

CLEVELAND — Baker Mayfield knows all about the Browns‘ tortured history over the past two decades. It’s been jammed down his throat.

Almost from the moment he was drafted with the No. 1 overall pick in 2018, Mayfield’s been told about the expansion era horror stories of botched drafts, devastating injuries, coaching mistakes, paralyzing dysfunction and losing. So much losing.

Mayfield can’t deal with Cleveland’s painful past. So why try?


“I was not here for all that,” he said. “I was here to change it, and that is what I am doing.”

It’s true. The Browns (3-1), three years removed from an 0-16 season and owners of the NFL’s current longest playoff drought, are off to their best start since 2001. Flaunting a well-balanced, high-scoring offense and a ball-hawking defense, Cleveland is one of the league’s early surprises in 2020 — to everyone, that is, but the Browns.

“You look at the games that we won, and it was not like it was a fluke,” said star receiver Odell Beckham Jr., who had three touchdowns in last week’s win at Dallas.

Maybe not, OBJ. But the Browns’ three wins after being blown out in their opener at Baltimore have come against teams with a combined 3-8-1 record, which makes Sunday’s game against the Indianapolis Colts (3-1) a true test of Cleveland’s legitimacy as a, dare we say it, playoff contender.

The same case could be made for the Colts, who shook off a Week 1 loss to Jacksonville and have

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