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Browns win first preseason game 23-13 against Jaguars

Cleveland begins the preseason with a decisive victory.

NFL: Cleveland Browns at Jacksonville Jaguars Matt Pendleton-USA TODAY Sports

The Cleveland Browns got off to a great start to the preseason with a 23-13 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars. Let’s get to the highlights.

With the exception of FB Andy Janovich, all of the Browns’ starters on offense had the day off — if we’re talking about other prominent players, WR Rashard Higgins and WR Donovan Peoples-Jones both saw action. Peoples-Jones has been the star of camp so far, and he caught the ball well early on, including this first-hand reception on a pass from QB Case Keenum:

Peoples-Jones finished the day with 3 catches for 26 yards. Cleveland had two good drives under Keenum, both of which ended in short field goals (one by each kicker) to give them a 6-0 lead. The defense, meanwhile, made QB Trevor Lawrence look a bit uncomfortable at times. The No. 1 overall pick was 6-of-9 for 71 yards, but was also sacked several times, including the first snap of his preseason, and this player later on by LB Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah.

As far as players who came out of no where with big games, how about QB Kyle Lauletta and WR Davion Davis? Lauletta finished the game 19-of-27 for 212 yards and 2 touchdowns and was incredibly crisp with his passes. Davis, signed only after the mid-camp retirement of WR Derrick Willies, came down with this leaping grab for a touchdown to end the first half:

In the second half, the Browns added a field goal mid-way through the third quarter when K Cody Parkey connected from 48 yards out. The Jaguars got on the board to begin the fourth quarter with this 4th-and-2 fade pass to WR Tavon Austin. The two-point conversion was no good, keeping it a 16-6 game.

Lauletta put together another efficient and lengthy drive, one that saw FB Johnny Stanton play the role of running back surprisingly for many of the plays. The drive was capped off when Lauletta found WR Ryan Switzer for a 7-yard touchdown pass with 4:28 to go in the game, giving the Browns a 23-6 lead.

The Jaguars added a touchdown in the final 30 seconds of the game to finish things off at 23-13.

Quick Hitters

  • Stock up on offense: QB Kyle Lauletta, RB Demetric Felton, WR Davion Davis.
  • Stock up on defense: DT Sheldon Day, LB Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, S Richard LeCounte.
  • Even though there was a penalty called, you like seeing WR JoJo Natson with a long return.
  • The Browns were 10-of-16 on third down offense.
  • It’s just a preseason game, and it’s just the backups, but the Browns played this game with a very high level of efficiency on both sides of the ball. The quarterback accuracy and not taking sacks certainly helped matters. One more thing: