We’re a little under two hours away from the Cleveland Browns’ preseason finale, and you may be on the fence as to whether or not you should watch. Here are five reasons for you to tune in.
1. QB Situations on Both Teams
- For the Browns, Cody Kessler will get the start and Kevin Hogan will be the second man in. It would be reasonable to think each player would get a half worth of action, and besides DeShone Kizer, no one’s roster spot at quarterback on this team is secure.
- Brock Osweiler will not play for the second game in a row. If Cleveland wanted to market him in a trade, you’d think they’d have played him. If they weren’t interested in him, you’d think they would’ve cut him already like they did with Joe Haden and Desmond Bryant.
- The Bears should be starting Mitch Trubisky, although he may only play a couple of series. Connor Shaw should also see some action.
2. Unsettled Wide Receiver & Tight End Spots
- Cleveland remains unsettled at wide receiver. Kenny Britt and Corey Coleman are the only two players locked in to make the roster. While there is investment in several other players, no one else stands out. If four good wide receivers were cut across the NFL, I could see the Browns cleaning house at the position and claiming all of them.
- With that said, Rannell Hall, Ricardo Louis, Rashard Higgins, Jordan Payton, and Jordan Leslie are the top five candidates trying to make a splash. If one of those guys has a big day, it could win them a roster spot. This is a rarity where I do believe the team will reward the first person who grabs the brass ring and runs with it.
- All preseason, Seth DeValve, Randall Telfer, and David Njoku are seeing reps through the entire game. Although their roster spots are rather secure, I would expect all of them to see significant reps in this final game. They need it, and we’re waiting for one of them to show some of that athletic ability that has been promoted.
3. Fourth Cornerback Role
- The surprising release of Joe Haden means that the team only has three cornerbacks who will make the team for sure: Jamar Taylor, Jason McCourty, and Briean Boddy-Calhoun.
- Teams typically carry five cornerbacks, which opens the door for more fierce competition between Marcus Burley, Trey Caldwell, Darius Hillary, Najee Murray, and Channing Stribling to make the back end of the roster, with special teams skills being under consideration too.
4. The Kicking Competition
- Think what you will, but both Cody Parkey and Zane Gonzalez are both still on the roster, and this competition isn’t over yet. There could be 17 MPH winds during the game, which will be a good test for both kickers.
5. Chasing Perfection
- Since joining the NFL in 1950, the Browns have only had a perfect preseason four times. The team went undefeated in 1950 (5-0), 1962 (5-0), 1982 (4-0) and 1986 (4-0). Cleveland enters this game 3-0 in the preseason.
- In two of those perfect preseasons, the Browns won the NFL Championship (1950) and lost in the Conference Championship (1986). It’s something that has brought some good fortune for the regular season -- can they achieve the feat for the first time in over 30 years?