Browns step up without Garrett, down Eagles in steady rain

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Cleveland Browns running back Kareem Hunt (27) rushes for a five-yard touchdown during the second half of an NFL football game against the Philadelphia Eagles, Sunday, Nov. 22, 2020, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/David Richard)

CLEVELAND – Kareem Hunt lifted off just inside the 5-yard line, soared over the head of Philadelphia's Jalen Mills like an Olympic long jumper and landed in the end zone.

Without star Myles Garrett, the Browns needed someone to step up.

Hunt went above and beyond — and he wasn't the only one.

Hunt hurdled Mills on a sensational touchdown run, Olivier Vernon made up for Garrett's absence due to COVID-19 by getting three sacks and a safety, and Cleveland stayed firmly in the playoff picture with a wet 22-17 victory over the Eagles.

Hunt's leaping 5-yard score came shortly after a dazzling 54-yard run by Nick Chubb as the Browns (7-3) finally found traction in their running game in a constant downpour.

“It was like he never stopped going up,” Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield said of Hunt, comparing his gravity-defying move to something out of a video game. "He jumped and just kept levitating. It was like a Super Mario double bounce.”

Cleveland also got a 50-yard interception return TD in the first half by second-year linebacker Sione Takitaki, and the Browns constantly harassed Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz despite playing without Garrett, the NFL's sacks leader.

“I’m smiling and crying,” Garrett posted on Twitter. “I’m so proud of the DL.”