The story of the game for Cleveland was the performance of their offense, specifically when QB Josh McCown and QB Johnny Manziel were in the game. On McCown's only drive of the game, he was 5-of-5 for 33 yards and 1 touchdown. On the touchdown, McCown dodged the rush and showed off his mobility by rolling all the way back to the right side of the field and spotting WR Travis Benjamin wide open in the back right corner of the end zone. The 2-yard connection gave Cleveland a 7-0 lead.
After the Redskins kicked a field goal to make it 7-3, QB Johnny Manziel took over. His first drive ended in a punt, but WR Marlon Moore forced a fumble to give the ball right back to the offense. Manziel made a couple of nice throws and then found pay dirt on 3rd-and-4 with this 12-yard scamper, giving Cleveland a 14-3 lead:
After that, the Redskins' backups chipped away at the lead, eventually holding a 20-17 advantage into the fourth quarter of play. The Browns had a last gasp when QB Thaddeus Lewis entered the game with under five minutes to go, but Lewis' down camp continued as he was picked off after a high throw to WR Vince Mayle on third down.
Quick Hitter Observations
- CB Justin Gilbert started for CB Joe Haden (hamstring) and didn't fare too well. It's good that Gilbert was thrown into the fire right away so we can see if he evolves over the course of the preseason. The best-case scenario would've been if Gilbert had thrived, but he did not.
- The running game was non-existent for Cleveland, as Isaiah Crowell and Terrance West combined for 8 carries for 16 yards. The running game will come along during a regular season game with the starting unit in tact.
- The Browns' special teams delivered big time. P Andy Lee had as good of a debut that one could ask for, and we saw several decent-looking kick returns.
- Remember in the first two or three days of camp, I speculated on whether WR Brian Hartline could be a surprise cut? Let's do the "Men in Black" thing on that one, okay?
- In terms of bubble players, it wasn't the best of showings for OT Michael Bowie, WR Shane Wynn, or CB Johnson Bademosi.
We'll have some post-game analysis over the next couple of days at DBN, so keep checking back in. What did you think of the first game, Browns fans?