After two practices together, the Cleveland Browns and New York Giants wrapped up their week-long battle with a Sunday preseason match-up. In the end, the Browns held on for a 17-13 victory, improving to 2-0 this preseason with their backups.
I was at the game, thanks to a pair of free tickets I won at training camp from Cross Country Mortgage. My seats were in Section 322 (Standing Room Only), which was also billed as the “Cross Country Mortgage Landing.” I didn’t know what to expect from the area prior to the game, so I was pleasantly surprised to see that it was in the shade, with patio furniture and a nice little complimentary buffet. Below, you’ll see a video that includes a brief snapshot of the area we were at, as well as the final 48 seconds of the first half (which crazily ended up lasting over seven minutes, leading to no points).
As for the game itself, the Giants punted on their first possession, and then Cleveland went to work on offense with QB Case Keenum and company. The Browns were rolling, including runs of 14 and 18 yards by RB D’Ernest Johnson and a 12-yard end around by WR JoJo Natson. After getting into a goal-to-go situation, Keenum’s second down pass fell incomplete, and then he was sacked for no gain on third down to set up 4th-and-goal from the 7 yard line. Keenum found WR KhaDarel Hodge open to the left side for the score, giving the Browns a 7-0 lead.
The Giants responded with a lengthy drive of their own to close out the first quarter, with QB Mike Glennon leading the charge. RB Devontae Booker punched it in from one yard out to tie things up at 7-7.
Keenum had the Browns driving on their next drive too, but on a 3rd-and-6 play from the 10 yard line, he was picked off in the end zone when targeting TE Jordan Franks. It was a really bad decision and throw, as you can see from this footage I shot:
The Case Keenum interception from earlier today. pic.twitter.com/ZEj5xTykdg— Dawgs By Nature (@DawgsByNature) August 23, 2021
In the third quarter, RB John Kelly hit paydirt from 5 yards out to make it a 14-7 game. Kelly had a big day with 9 rushes for 58 yards and 1 touchdown to go along with 1 catch for 21 yards.
Mid-way through the fourth quarter, QB Brian Lewerke got the Giants back in the game with an 8-yard touchdown pass to WR David Sills to make it a 14-13 game. Teams always aim to avoid ties in the preseason, so the Giants went for two. Their first attempt was an incomplete pass, but a facemask and pass interference penalty was called on the Browns. The retry put the ball at the half yard line, but Cleveland’s defense stoned the Giants’ running attempt.
Cleveland got in range for a 49-yard field goal with just over two minutes to play, which K Chase McLaughlin drilled to make it a 17-13 game. It was up to the Browns’ defense to prevent a touchdown in order to seal the win. Cleveland had some chances to nail down the win, but the Giants kept extending it. The Giants ended up getting it to the 27 yard line with six seconds left for one crack at the end zone. Lewerke was in disarray and heaved the ball back across the field, looking for Sills, but a crowd of Browns defenders were there. S Richard LeCounte came down with the interception for the touchback.
- QB Case Keenum: 9-of-12 for 74 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT.
- QB Kyle Lauletta: 14-of-23 yards for 152 yards.
- RB D’Ernest Johnson: 4 carries, 36 yards. 4 catches, 23 yards.
- WR Davion Davis: 3 catches, 45 yards (4 targets).
- WR KhaDarel Hodge: 2 catches, 21 yards (4 targets), 1 TD.
- DT Malik McDowell: 1 tackle, 4 assists (5 combined). 1 sack.