Since trading away their featured back to the Indianapolis Colts, the Browns have relied on a committee approach in the backfield during their improbable two-game win streak. Has it worked?
Richardson recorded 105 yards on 31 attempts (for 3.4 yards per carry) during Cleveland's first two games. The team as a whole has amassed 192 yards on 47 carries (4.0) since his departure. Those totals include some trickery on special teams and a quick-strike Josh Gordon end-around against the Vikings.
McGahee -- part of said committee -- made a difference in Sunday's 17-6 win over the Bengals. His 46 yards on the day included five runs of 5-plus yards on Cleveland's fourth-quarter touchdown drive that put the game away. His 9-yard blast from the Cincy 10 set up Brian Hoyer's scoring strike to Chris Ogbonnaya.
"I think (that run) showed that I'm here to play," McGahee said Monday, per the Akron Beacon Journal. "I know I ain't Trent Richardson, but I'm here to play."
McGahee, 31, isn't being asked to replace Richardson, who on Sunday ran for 60 yards on 20 carries in Indy's win over the Jacksonville Jaguars. Trent is the younger, stronger, more elusive back the Colts were looking for, but the Browns were willing to deal him away. We can spend all season debating the trade, but it looks like a win for both.
The teams are a combined 4-0 since the swap, and Richardson has a bright future in Indy. The Browns -- armed with two first-round picks in May's draft -- were willing to replace his 3.1 yards per carry on the season with a collection of lesser-known and, in McGahee's case, aging patches. It's no long-term answer on the ground, but it's working for now.