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Instant Recap: Browns Defeat Bears 33-13 to End the Preseason

Jason Miller

The Cleveland Browns won their first game of the preseason, defeating the Chicago Bears by a final score of 33-13. Here are some quick hitter observations from the game:

  • Something to Build On: Does a 100.5 QB rating look "pretty" for starting QB Brian Hoyer? Hoyer for one series with the first-team offense and went 6-of-8 for 69 yards on a drive that was capped off with a 1-yard touchdown run by RB Ben Tate. It wasn't a perfect drive from Hoyer, who was facing the Bears' second-string defense and also missed a touchdown throw to TE Jordan Cameron, but it was enough to finally build something positive that the offense can hang their hat on heading into the regular season.

  • Offensive Notes: WR Nate Burleson got a little bit of work and had 2 catches for 27 yards. I think it's necessary to keep him on the team, but we'll see. The biggest winner today might have been WR Taylor Gabriel, who was rotating in with the first-team offense and had 2 catches for 38 yards on 5 targets. The biggest loser is TE Gary Barnidge, who dropped a beautiful deep ball from QB Johnny Manziel.

  • Defensive Notes: Unfortunately, one defender who didn't end the preseason on a high note is CB Justin Gilbert. Gilbert was beat by WR Santonio Holmes for a 32-yard touchdown, and he was also beaten on a couple of other plays. It's hard to really talk much about the rest of the defense, considering the first-string defense was facing the second-string offense. Barkevious Mingo did have a great blitz up the middle, something I'd love to see during the regular season.

  • Can't Hide Him Now: If the Browns had any hopes of hiding RB Isaiah Crowell on the practice squad before, they can forget about it now. Crowell got some valuable reps finally, and he definitely made them count, finishing with 13 carries for 102 yards and 1 touchdown. Granted, this was against the bottom of the barrel defenders, but Crowell looks better than RB Terrance West, who was a bit shaky on Thursday. West finished the game with 6 carries for 13 yards and 1 fumble.

  • Brownies: K Billy Cundiff was money, connecting on 4-of-4 field goals. ... Thank god we won't have to listen to Solomon Wilcots for awhile; the Browns do not have him during the first three regular season games. ... The Browns need to get their roster to 53 players by 4:00 PM ET on Saturday.

What did you think of the game, Browns fans?