Cleveland Browns preseason review

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After an unprecedented 2020 season, the Cleveland Browns enter this season with expectations they have never experienced before. A 11-5 regular season record and a win in the Wild Card round against their rival, the Pittsburgh Steelers, makes the Browns poised for another winning season and a shot at the Super Bowl. 


Returning head coach Kevin Stefanski and his coaching staff that led the Browns to their best record since 2007, opened the preseason in Jacksonville, against number one overall pick, Trevor Lawrence and the Jaguars.


With it being the preseason, Stefanski made the decision to rest every starter. Veteran Case Keenum got the start at quarterback for the first two games, while usual starter Baker Mayfield stayed on the sideline. 


Keenum and third-stringer Kyle Lauletta, led the offense to over 320 yards passing. The passing game would be the main attack for Cleveland as they could only salvage 41 yards rushing. 


The real story was the rookies on defense. First round pick Greg Newsome II and second round pick Jerimaiah Owusu-Koramoah would draw most of the attention given their high expectations. Owusu-Koramoah was solid, making seven tackles and even picked up a sack. Newsome would get 2 tackles in his debut and show solid coverage throughout. 


An overall solid game defensively, along with a good passing attack, led the Browns to a 23-13 win, moving their preseason record to 1-0. 


Before their second game, the Browns held a joint practice with their upcoming opponent, the New York Giants. 


During the week before the game, tensions would rise between the two teams. As Browns cornerback Troy Hill and Giants wide receiver Sterling Shepherd were forced to be separated after getting into a fist fight at the end of a practice. As a form of punishment, Stefanski forced Hill to play the whole game. Where during a normal week he would have rested. 


Once gameday arrived, Coach Stefanski rested many offensive and defensive starters again. 


In a low scoring affair, the Browns defensive subs made another huge stride, forcing six punts, sacking the Giants quarterbacks two times and even getting an interception.


Keenum and Lauletta combined for 207 passing yards and Keenum even threw a touchdown pass to Khadarel Hodge in the first quarter. 


Through strong defense and timely scores, the Browns were able to move 2-0 in the preseason with a 17-13 win over New York. 


As the Browns prepared for their final preseason game, Sunday night at Atlanta versus the Falcons, news broke that Baker Mayfield and many other starters were going to play. 


Other starters playing for the Browns included running back Kareem Hunt and offensive linemen Jedrick Wills, Joel Bitonio, Wyatt Teller and Jack Conklin. 


The starters would only play two series, but they picked up right where they left off last season. 


Baker looked very sharp, completing 6 of 10 passes for 113 yards and a touchdown. The offensive production would last for the duration of the game as the Browns would out-gain Atlanta by 202 yards. 


On the defensive side of the ball, the defensive line picked up 4 sacks and only allowed 10 points. They were great on third and fourth down for all four quarters. Atlanta was 4 of 12 on third down and 1 of 4 on fourth down. 


Another game of good complimentary football for the Browns led them to a 19-10 win, moving them to a perfect 3-0 in the preseason. 


In a more unusual preseason than fans are used to, the Browns looked like a well-coached and solid football team. A breath of fresh air as only a couple years ago the team was 1-31, without a future.