The Cleveland Browns won their first preseason game of 2018 by a final score of 20-10.
Cleveland won the coin toss and deferred, hoping to get off to a hot defensive start. However, Giants RB Saquon Barkley ripped off a 39-yard run on the team’s first offensive play.
Later on, CB Denzel Ward laid a big third down hit on a receiver after an incomplete pass. The hit was fine, but Ward stood over the receiver after the play and was flagged for taunting. That helped lead to a 42-yard field goal by the Giants, putting them up 3-0.
QB Tyrod Taylor threw a perfect back shoulder pass to WR Jarvis Landry on Cleveland’s first offensive play, good for 32 yards. Landry was also flagged for taunting after the play, though, even though he simply spun the ball away from the defender.
Beautiful back-shoulder work from Jarvis. That’s how he will have to win deep balls downfield. pic.twitter.com/J2YQXu48lW— Jake Burns (@jake_burns18) August 9, 2018
Cleveland punted on their first drive, but the next time they got the ball, offensive coordinator Todd Haley had them go up-tempo, leading to a perfect and open 36-yard touchdown pass to TE David Njoku:
The Browns’ defense started handling the Giants with ease once QB Eli Manning left the game, particularly with the team’s defensive backs laying big hits. The next time Cleveland got the ball, QB Baker Mayfield, the first overall pick, made his debut. His first series was backed up in his own territory, leading to a conservative three-and-out. Like Taylor, though, his second drive ended with success: a 10-yard touchdown pass to Njoku, his second of the game. The Browns went for two, but were denied after WR Antonio Callaway couldn’t pull in a slant pass. The Browns led 13-3 at the half.
Cleveland ran the ball three times to start the second half, leading to a three-and-out. The defense then forced a punt, but WR C.J. Board was stripped of the ball, leading to the Giants taking over at the 14 yard line. A few plays later, RB Jalen Simmons punched it in from 5 yards out, making it a 13-10 game.
On the Browns’ next series, Mayfield made a tremendous throw to Calloway, who did an equally great job hanging on to the pass.
A few negative plays took Cleveland out of field goal range, leading to a punt. On the Browns next drive, now in the fourth quarter, Mayfield found Callaway again, this time on a bullet that went for a 54-yard touchdown on the catch-and-run! That put Cleveland up 20-10.
QB Brogan Roback finished off the game for Cleveland, and the Browns’ defense held strong the rest of the way.
- QB Tyrod Taylor: 5-of-5 for 99 yards, 1 TD. 1 rush, 2 yards.
- QB Baker Mayfield: 11-of-20 for 212 yards, 2 TD. 3 rushes, 13 yards.
- RB Nick Chubb: 15 carries, 11 yards. 1 catch, 12 yards (1 target).
- WR Jarvis Landry: 2 catches, 36 yards (2 targets).
- WR Rashard Higgins: 4 catches, 66 yards (5 targets).
- WR Antonio Callaway: 3 catches, 87 yards (7 targets). 1 TD.
- TE David Njoku: 2 catches, 46 yards (3 targets). 2 TDs.
- 1 sack each for LB Mychal Kendricks and DE Chris Smith.
Takeaways from the Browns:— Dan Kadar (@MockingTheDraft) August 10, 2018
- Taylor looked good. Mayfield/Callaway were encouraging
- Run game was bad. Run blocking was not good
- 1st team D looked decent after Barkley's 1st run
- Too many penalties
- Nice seeing Njoku make plays
- @DustinFox37 is v good w/ sideline analysis