The Browns got off to a great start defensively, forcing a three-and-out that included a third down sack by LB Joe Schobert. Then, rookie SS Jabrill Peppers set Cleveland up with great field position with this 31-yard punt return.
Unfortunately, QB Brock Osweiler couldn’t capitalize. Instead of seizing the starting role like head coach Hue Jackson was hoping for, he might have thrown it away. His second-and-long pass in the red zone was tipped by DL Olivier Vernon, and then picked by DE Jason Pierre-Paul.
Osweiler only got one more drive after that before heading to the sidelines for the rest of the day. The next big moment of the game came early in the second quarter, when Giants WR Odell Beckham took this nasty low hit from CB Briean Boddy-Calhoun.
Beckham left to undergo further testing on an ankle injury, but returned to the sideline in the second half. QB DeShone Kizer could not get a rhythm going due to more penalties, knockdowns, and sacks at the hands of the Giants. New York got a 38-yard field goal to go up 3-0, but things were relatively uneventful until under four minutes to go in the half, when CB Jason McCourty literally ripped the ball out of the hands of WR Sterling Shepard.
— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) August 22, 2017
Jason McCourty rips the ball loose and comes up with it! pic.twitter.com/y6yIoM6gN1
Several plays later, Kizer took it himself on 3rd-and-goal from the 1 yard line for the game’s first touchdown, making it 7-3.
Just before the end of the half, DE Myles Garrett logged his first sack of the preseason, taking down backup QB Geno Smith.
The Browns got the ball to begin the second half, and Kizer was picked off on an out route on third down. He got a huge break, though, because the play was called back due to defensive holding away from the play. He then missed a streaking David Njoku down the seam off of a blitz:
Cleveland eventually settled for a 39-yard field goal by rookie K Zane Gonzalez to make it a 10-3 game. On the Giants’ next drive, they got a 47-yard field goal to cut the lead to 10-6.
After Cody Kessler’s first drive led to no points, the Giants put together a very lengthy drive with over 8 and a half minutes of clock. On 3rd-and-goal, though, Smith was intercepted by Boddy-Calhoun, preserving the Browns’ four-point lead with under nine minutes to go in the game.
But then...Kessler freaking lost a handoff exchange to the running back, basically throwing the thing off the guy’s face. And then the Giants said, “let’s try that too!” and muffed the exchange on their first handoff. Preseason football, everyone.
So Kessler got a mulligan. And to his credit, he made several calm throws to keep moving the chains and draining the clock. With around three minutes to go, Kessler gave way to QB Kevin Hogan. He couldn’t seal it, so Cleveland punted with a chance for the defense to prevent a touchdown in the two-minute drill. They stood up to the task, and a few knees from Hogan closed the game out.
- QB Brock Osweiler: 6-of-8 for 25 yards, 1 INT. 1 rush, 6 yards.
- QB DeShone Kizer: 8-of-13 for 74 yards. 5 rushes, 35 yards, 1 TD.
- QB Cody Kessler: 7-of-7 for 50 yards. 2 rushes, 6 yards.
- Sacks for the Browns went to MLB Joe Schobert and DE Myles Garrett.
- Cleveland’s depth at safety continues to take a hit, as Justin Currie left with an ankle injury. MLB Tank Carder also left with a knee injury.
- Bubble Players With Good Games: RB Matthew Dayes, MLB Joe Schobert