CLEVELAND (AP/WJW) — Myles Garrett recorded a franchise record 4 1/2 sacks on Justin Fields and Cleveland Browns brought down Chicago’s rookie quarterback nine times — holding him to one net yard passing — in his first NFL start as the Browns thumped the Bears 26-6 on Sunday.
“It feels good, but knowing that we can be even better. It is tough,” Garrett said following the game. “That is the worst part about it is I had a great game, but there are always going to be the ones you miss or the ones you are close on. Glad to be able to ball out with those boys. Glad to see them stay hungry and go feast, but there is still more to come.”
Garrett had a field day against Fields, who was thrust into the lineup after veteran Andy Dalton injured his knee last week. The Bears (1-2) wanted to be patient and not play the No. 11 overall pick until he was ready.
The Browns (2-1) didn’t cut him any breaks, and their defense, which had been criticized for its performances in the first two games, got it together at Fields’ expense and held Chicago to only 47 yards and six first downs.
The former Ohio State star was under pressure from the start. He completed just 6 of 20 passes for 68 yards. The Bears’ biggest offensive play came on a pass interference that wiped out an interception and gained 48 yards.
Jadeveon Clowney added two sacks for the Browns.
Cleveland thoroughly dominated, outgaining Chicago 418-47.
Kareem Hunt scored on a 29-yard run in the fourth quarter and finished with 155 yards rushing (81) and receiving (74) combined.
Baker Mayfield threw a touchdown pass to Austin Hooper and completed five passes for 77 yards to star Odell Beckham Jr., who played for the first time since a season-ending knee injury on Oct. 25.
Chase McLaughlin kicked field goals of 57, 52, 41 and 28 yards for Cleveland.
The Browns wore throwback uniforms to commemorate their 75th anniversary, and the matchup with another storied NFL franchise was dominated by defense, giving the game the feel of one from the 1940s or 50s.
“I thought our crowd was outstanding,” head coach Kevin Stafanski said after the game. “They make a difference in these home games, and they certainly did today. They made life very hard on the opposing offense today. Hats off to the crowd. They were outstanding.”
Cleveland’s offense didn’t find its footing until the second half as Chicago’s defense sacked Mayfield five times — with superstar linebacker Khalil Mack getting two.
Mack went out with a foot injury in the first half and didn’t return until the third quarter. But even with the six-time Pro Bowler back on the field, the Bears couldn’t stop Hunt on his scoring run early in the fourth.
For most of the first half, Chicago’s offense was, well, offensive.
Fields was sacked on back-to-back plays and four times overall as Cleveland’s front brought heat from every direction. The Bears had just 14 total yards before picking up another 24 — and their second first down — before punting with 2:54 left before halftime.
The only bright spot for Chicago was kicker Cairo Santos, who made a pair of field goals and has converted his last 31 straight.
Beckham warmed up before the game wearing gold-colored headphones and a “Juice Landry” T-shirt honoring his close friend and teammate Jarvis Landry, who will miss at least three games after being placed on injured reserve earlier this week.
Beckham’s first catch went for 13 yards — his number— and he was targeted nine times.
“He worked very hard to get back here,” Stefanski said. “Any guy who is coming off an injury and coming off of an offseason surgery, it is not easy. He pushed very hard and I was proud of him out there.”
While OBJ said he was exhausted after the game, he also said he was so glad to be back.
“I am one of those people that I am going to go as much as I can go,” Beckham said. “It is hard for me to sit out, but any time I needed a break, I was not hesitant to take it. I pushed it, but I gave it everything I could for today.”
The game was stopped for several minutes in the fourth quarter when a member of the chain crew was flattened by Browns tight end David Njoku and Bears defensive back Eddie Jackson.
He was checked medical staff and escorted to the locker room.
Browns: Rookie CB Greg Newsome II (calf) left in the second half. He had a pass breakup and three tackles before leaving.
Browns: Hit the road next Sunday to face Minnesota, where Stefanski spent 14 seasons as an assistant before coming to Cleveland.