Below, we analyze the snap counts and stats on offense for the Cleveland Browns’ Week 1 preseason game against the New York Giants.
|QB||Baker Mayfield||45||65%||11-of-20 for 212 yards, 2 TD. 3 carries, 13 yards.|
|QB||Brogan Roback||16||23%||2-of-4 for 22 yards. 1 carry, 0 yards.|
|QB||Tyrod Taylor||8||12%||5-of-5 for 99 yards, 1 TD. 1 carry, 2 yards.|
- The quarterback play was very good, starting with Tyrod Taylor, who was a perfect 5-of-5 and showed precision on his first pass to Jarvis Landry and then his touchdown pass to TE David Njoku. I don’t know how often Buffalo ran the hurry-up offense with Taylor, but it certainly looked like an element he was comfortable in.
- Playing behind a pretty bad offensive line, Baker Mayfield had the type of performance that you love to see from a rookie quarterback. There were some throws that coaches might tell him to do something different with as he’s about to be hit (i.e. perhaps take the sack or throw it out of bounds), but he showed a combination of great zip on the ball while also having good mobility to pick up first downs with his fit or hit a receiver downfield.
- PFF says that Mayfield had a 142.3 passer rating on throws that he was kept clean, which ranked “second out of 22 quarterbacks with qualifying dropbacks.”
|RB||Nick Chubb||32||46%||15 carries, 11 yards (0.7 YPC). 1 catch, 12 yards (1 target).|
|RB||Matthew Dayes||18||26%||3 carries, 13 yards (4.3 YPC).|
|RB||Dontrell Hilliard||11||16%||8 carries, 9 yards (1.1 YPC).|
|RB||Duke Johnson||5||7%||1 carry, 3 yards (3.0 YPC).|
|RB||Carlos Hyde||3||4%||1 carry, -1 yard (-1.0 YPC).|
- This was not a good showcasing for the Browns’ running game, at all. As a team, they combined to have 33 carries for 50 yards (1.5 YPC).
- Carlos Hyde and Duke Johnson each only got a carry, and Nick Chubb was given the workload after that. In 15 carries, he had just 11 yards. I can’t be too critical of Chubb because of the lack of blocking, but in the one preseason practice I went to, he looked equally unimpressive unless the blocking was solid from the snap (allowing him to make some sick quick cuts).
|WR||Antonio Callaway||54||78%||3 catches, 87 yards (7 targets). 1 TD.|
|WR||Da'Mari Scott||34||49%||2 catches, 24 yards (3 targets).|
|WR||Rashard Higgins||32||46%||4 catches, 66 yards (5 targets).|
|WR||Derrick Willies||23||33%||0 catches (1 target).|
|WR||C.J. Board||18||26%||1 catch, 21 yards (1 target).|
|WR||Damion Ratley||12||17%||1 catch, 14 yards (2 targets).|
|WR||Jarvis Landry||8||12%||2 catches, 36 yards (2 targets).|
- Jarvis Landry was presented as the leader of the receiving room this week, and he showed it with two early targets, including a great first catch up the sideline. The taunting penalty was just some preseason garbage; granted, I don’t necessarily care when players spin the ball after a catch, but he didn’t do it in the direction of the defender. (shrugs)
- Rashard Higgins looks polished, and it was nice seeing him have success on some outside throws (he mostly worked the slot in 2017).
- The most featured player all game was Antonio Callaway, who played 78% of the snaps. It wasn’t the best start for him, as he had a couple of dropped passes. The fade that Baker Mayfield threw him up the sideline could have been hauled in too. He got better as the game went along, though, showing the wow-factor with his speed. If Callaway can keep his head on straight, then you see why the coaches want to give him as many reps as possible: they want him up to speed to be a Day 1 contributor on offense.
- The other receivers made the catches they were supposed to make; it was a good day for the receivers all around. Not receiving any receiver reps on offense were Jeff Janis, Blake Jackson, and Evan Berry. Janis not receiving reps is a tad surprising, although he was slightly banged up this week in practice.
|TE||Devon Cajuste||37||54%||2 catches, 27 yards (2 targets).|
|TE||Darren Fells||22||32%||0 catches (1 target).|
|TE||Orson Charles||18||26%||No stats registered.|
|TE||David Njoku||18||26%||2 catches, 46 yards (3 targets). 2 TDs.|
- Oh my god, what a game for David Njoku! In just 18 plays, he caught two touchdown passes. Todd Haley had him run straight up the seam against a linebacker who stood no chance, and then he went up to catch another touchdown amidst three defenders. This is the guy I was hoping to see even a glimpse of all of last season, and despite some early drops in camp, now I’m really excited for what he can do in 2018. Credit Njoku for also making an outstanding open field tackle on a punt.
- The Browns’ offensive line allowed 1 sack and 3 quarterback hits. The quarterbacks had a good internal clock and escapability to prevent hits, but it was the run blocking that really lacked.
- I have to go back and watch the film, but there appeared to be a lot of criticism for rookie LG Austin Corbett in his debut. Spencer Drango filled in for the injured Kevin Zeitler at right guard.
- Shon Coleman played right guard with the second unit and was flagged for a false start.
- PFF loved the Browns’ pass blocking:
Cleveland posted the best pass blocking efficiency rating of all 24 teams that played Thursday night (93.4), allowing just three pressures (two of which were attributed to rookie Austin Corbett) and zero sacks in 34 passing plays.