Cleveland Browns

Browns blank Cardinals for 1st shutout since 2007

CLEVELAND — The Cleveland Browns’ defense dominated, and Deshaun Watson took the field for the first time since Week 7 in a 27-0 win over the Arizona Cardinals Sunday afternoon at Cleveland Browns Stadium.

>>Browns QB Deshaun Watson returns to practice, status unknown for Sunday

The defense held the Cardinals 58 yards of total offense, forcing three turnovers, and sacking Clayton Tune seven times. Arizona ran only five of 48 plays on Cleveland’s side of the field and did not get deeper than the 44-yard line.

Watson went 19 of 30 for 219 yards and two touchdowns.

Cleveland improves to 5-3 overall and is in a three-way tie for second place in the AFC North with Pittsburgh and Cincinnati. They each trail Baltimore by 1.5 games as all four teams won in Week 9.

>>Browns trade WR Donovan Peoples-Jones to Detroit for future draft pick

Watson threw a deep pass and connected with wide receiver Amari Cooper for 59 yards with two minutes left in the first quarter. It set up a 30-yard field by Dustin Hopkins and the Browns led, 3-0.

Denzel Ward intercepted Tune to give Cleveland some great field position at Arizona’s 49-yard line.

The Browns were at the Cardinal 11-yard line when Watson threw a pass that deflected off an Arizona defender. It bounced high in the air, and Cooper tracked it down to catch it for a touchdown to extend the lead to 10-0.

Hopkins capped the first half scoring with a 45-yard field goal as Cleveland, 13-0, at the break.

>>Bounces don’t go Browns’ way in road loss at Seattle

Shelby Harris sacked Tune and forced a fumble that was recovered by Myles Garrett. Watson found a wide-open David Njoku in the end zone for a five-yard touchdown pass to extend the lead to 20-0.

In the fourth quarter, Watson went deep to Cooper for 49 yards and Kareem Hunt finished the drive with a three-yard touchdown run to cap the scoring.

>>Browns sign P.J. Walker to start Sunday at Seattle after being added to active roster

Cooper caught five passes for 139 yards and a touchdown. Dalvin Tomlinson had 2.5 sacks to lead the team. Shelby Harris, Za’Darius Smith, Myles Garrett, and Jordan Elliott each had a sack, and Grant Delpit was credited with half a sack.

Cleveland’s next game will be on Sunday, November 12, when they travel to Baltimore to play the first-place Ravens.

Kickoff is at 1 p.m. and the game will be broadcast on 1290 and 95-7, WHIO Radio.