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Arizona Cardinals shut down the Cleveland Browns running game, get big win 37-14

NFL: Arizona Cardinals at Cleveland Browns Scott Galvin-USA TODAY Sports

The biggest statement of the 2021 NFL season was supposed to be going on the road and beating the Los Angeles Rams.

The Arizona Cardinals one upped themselves on Sunday in their 37-14 win over the Cleveland Browns.

A road game, down a number of key players, their head coach, and having to deal with a late game scratch of one of their defensive leaders.

Yet, none of that mattered.

They came out hot, built a big lead, then when it looked like maybe they gave up momentum heading into halftime with a Hail Mary for the Cleveland Browns, they reminded everyone that they have a very good offense, a potentially great defense, and now they look like the best team in the NFL without question.

This win changes the expectations for the Cardinals.

However, that’s for a later date.

For today, the Cardinals had a dominating, balanced offensive performance.

Kyler Murray threw for 229 yards and four touchdowns.

He threw an early touchdown to Christian Kirk on the opening drive, had two touchdown passes to DeAndre Hopkins, then to ice the game, found A.J. Green late.

Then, it was the James Conner show, as he just bullied he was to the end of the game.

J.J. Watt has been one of the best defensive players in football the last two weeks and was rewarded with his first sack of his career for the Arizona Cardinals.

Combine that with two sacks for Markus Golden and two sacks for Jordan Hicks and you love the effort.

Not only that, the Cardinals completely shut down the top rushing attack in the NFL.

Finally, let’s give Robert Alford a shoutout.

He continues to be the one of the most important defensive players in the league.

What a way to start the 2021 NFL season.