The second weekend in December has been a fun one for fans of the Cleveland franchises. The Browns win Sunday, the Cavaliers won Friday and Saturday. Plus, the Guardians added pitching to the squad in Major League Baseball’s Rule 5 Draft. It’s safe to say that Clevelanders in the 216 and beyond are excited to see what the last couple weeks of 2021 hold, and also what 2022 could bring. Let’s jump right into what happened over the past weekend for Cleveland.
Browns Win Divisional Game
The Browns, in desperate need of a win, had a massive game on Sunday against divisional rival the Baltimore Ravens. The team was sitting 6-6 on the season after a bye week was taking on the AFC North leaders from Baltimore. In a game that ended 24-22 in favor of the Browns, it was the defense that helped secure the win. The defense was led by an onslaught on tackles from Grant Delpit (11 total), Troy Hill and John Johnson III (seven each), Greedy Williams (six), and Denzel Ward & Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah (five each). It is safe to say that the secondary and JOK were feeling it against the Ravens Sunday. Furthermore, the Browns had a player make history on Sunday as well.
Myles Garrett on a strip-sack and fumble recovery touchdown made himself the new all-time Cleveland Browns leader in sacks for a single season. Reggie Camp was the previous leader with 14 sacks in a single season. Although, that title belongs to Garrett who currently sits at 15 sacks for the season. What makes the feat wilder is that he has done this in 13 games. Garrett still has five more games to add to that total. He has the potential to reach the single-season NFL record that is currently held by Michael Strahan (22.5 set back in 2001). All eyes will be on the potential Defensive Player of the Year in Garrett.
The Offense Steps Up
The offense did play a huge part in the win as well. Baker Mayfield threw for 190 yards on the day after throwing for 22 of 32 completions. He would throw two touchdowns in the game and end with a 91.9 QB rating. Browns running back Nick Chubb would go on to run for 59 yards on the day after 17 attempts. That had him finish with an average of 3.5 yards per run. Furthermore, it wouldn’t be fair to not mention the other guys on the offense who stepped up big. Those guys who stepped up big for the Browns were easily Donovan Peoples-Jones, Jarvis Landry, and Austin Hooper.
The play of the game easily has to go to Donovan Peoples-Jones with the most unreal toe-taps to stay in bounds for a first down. It was so good, he even had to retweet the video of him making the catch:
DPJ with the UNREAL toe-tap 🤯 pic.twitter.com/1qvK8QvltP— PFF (@PFF) December 12, 2021
Peoples-Jones would end the game with 90 yards on five receptions for an average of 18 yards per reception. Landry would end the day with 41 yards receiving on five receptions as well along with the first touchdown of the game for the Browns. Hooper would add the scoring with his own touchdown as well along with his 30 yards on five receptions as well. Not a monster game for the offense, but enough to help the Browns to keep themselves in the hunt not only for the playoffs but maybe even an AFC North title as well. They play the Oakland Raiders on Saturday at 4:30 pm eastern at First Energy Stadium.
Cavaliers Just Keep Winning
The Cleveland Cavaliers are not just back, they’re back-back. The Cavs currently sit at 16-12 on the season, fifth place in the eastern conference and 3.5 games back of the leaders in Brooklyn. Furthermore, they are only two games back of the division leaders in the Milwaukee Bucks. In the last 10 games, the Cavs are 7-3 and are also currently riding a three-game winning streak. People around Cleveland can easily say that this Cavs team is fun to watch. Plus, that the league has been put on notice that this Cleveland team isn’t one to take lightly.
The Cavaliers won on Friday (Minnesota 123-106) and Saturday (Sacramento 117-103) respectively. The guys who are currently leading the way are Jarrett Allen, Darius Garland, and rookie Evan Mobley. Allen has been leading the way for the forwards as he’s been averaging 17.3 points per game along with 11.2 rebounds and 1.8 assists. The Fro is a double-double machine for the wine and gold and a veteran who just keeps this team fun. He finished the game against Minnesota with 21 points and 10 rebounds while accumulating 19 points and 11 rebounds against Sacramento.
Darius Garland is essentially a walking bucket for the Cavaliers. The 2019 draft pick is averaging 19 points, 7.6 assists, and 3 rebounds per game. The Vanderbilt alumn just keeps making a case to be an NBA All-Star this season. Maybe even be added to the MVP conversation as well? Against the Timberwolves, he finished the game with 12 points along with 12 assists. Furthermore, just for good measure, he finished the game against the Kings with 16 points and 13 assists. Garland just average a double-double in his sleep, and that’s with points and assists, not rebounds. Although, he did get six rebounds against the Kings Saturday.
The Rookie is Good, No, Great
Finally, what else is there to say about rookie sensation Evan Mobley? The third overall pick in the 2021 draft is just casually averaging 14 points, 8.5 rebounds, and 2.5 assists a game. He managed to get a double-double against the Kings finishing with 15 points and 15 rebounds. Just a smooth operator to say the least. Plus, he finished the game against the Timberwolves with eight rebounds and 11 points. No one can doubt that Mobley could be the steal of the 2021 draft for the Cavaliers. Furthermore, he has to be in consideration for the NBA’s Rookie of the Year. There is no reason why the USC Trojan product can’t walk away with some hardware come season’s end for the Cavaliers.
The Cavaliers play the Miami Heat on Monday, along with the Houston Rockets Wednesday and the Milwaukee Bucks on Saturday in Milwaukee.
The Cleveland Guardians Add Pitching in Rule 5 Draft
Last Wednesday, December 8th, the MLB had their annual Rule 5 Draft. The Rule 5 Draft is conducted in a way for teams to snap up players who are buried on other teams’ rosters, providing them with a clearer path to the major leagues. In a sense, it’s to help teams get more bodies in their farm system to see if they can be MLB-ready at some point. Plus, it gives those players more opportunities to make the majors quicker if they are able to.
For the Cleveland Guardians, they added two pitchers (both from the Triple-A phase) from the Rule 5 draft. In the Triple-A phase, they added LHP Erik Sabrowski from the San Diego Padres. Last season, he pitched for the Fort Wayne Tincaps in the High-A Central League. He managed to post a 1.86 ERA in 29 IP while racking up 41 strikeouts in the process.
In the Triple-A Phase of the Rule 5 Draft the @CleGuardians have selected LHP Erik Sabrowski from the @Padres. The 6’4″ lefty was 2019 pick out of Cloud County CC (Concordia, KS). Posted 1.86 ERA in 29 IP (41K) in 2021 @ Ft Wayne. Native of Edmonton.— GuardsInsider (@GuardsInsider) December 8, 2021
In the second round of the Triple-A phase, the Guardians also selected RHP Brett Daniels from the Houston Astros. Since being selected in the 2018 draft, Daniels accumulated 263 strikeouts in 234.1 career innings. He was selected in the 17th round after playing for UNC-Chapel Hill.
In the second round of the Rule 5 AAA Phase, the club selected RHP Brett Daniels from @astros. Owns 263 SO in 234.1 career innings since 2018 MLB draft selection from UNC (17th round).— GuardsInsider (@GuardsInsider) December 8, 2021
RHP Dakody Clemmer was selected by the @Nationals
What is next for Daniels and Sebrowski?
For Daniels and Sabrowski, it’ll be an interesting 2022 season since both players will have to stay on the Major League roster the entire season. Although, if they aren’t kept on the MLB roster, they are eligible to be picked from another team. Furthermore, if they aren’t claimed, then they have to be sent back to their previous organizations.
My name is Zach Martin, the Carolina Hurricanes and Cleveland Sports writer for Belly Up Hockey and Belly Up Sports. Follow me on Twitter for the most up-to-date Hurricanes, Cleveland, and other sports content and news.