Browns

NFL Preseason: Cleveland Browns 24, Detroit Lions 6

John Greco talks to the media following Thursday's preseason win.
John Greco talks to the media following Thursday's preseason win.
John Greco talks to the media following Thursday's preseason win.

John Greco talks to the media following Thursday’s preseason win.

The Browns took the field against the Detroit Lions on Thursday night in front of a crowd of 58,313. After a bit of a slow start offensively, they picked up where they left off against last week with Cleveland’s first unit outscoring Detroit 17-3 en route to a 24-6 win.

The night was unfortunately marked by injuries for the Browns throughout.

Brandon Weeden misfired on his first three passes, though one was nullified by a penalty and the Browns were shut down on their first possession. From there, Weeden was sharp hitting eight of his next ten passes. Trent Richardson helped provide a spark for the Browns on their second drive with a nine yard run to the left, and a big 17 yard burst to the right.

Unfortunately for the Browns, guard Jason Pinkston was injured on the play with DT Nick Fairly pushing a blocker onto the back of Pinkston’s legs. Pinkston was helped off the field with an ankle sprain and was not able to put much weight on his right leg. The Browns said x-rays were negative.

The drive stalled on Detroit’s 25 yard line and Brandon Bogotay hit a 43 yard field goal for the first score of the game.

Meanwhile, the defense was doing their part. Playing without Calvin Johnson (knee bruise), the Lions weren’t able to muster anything in their first three possessions, going three and out each time. The Browns defense held Detroit to one first down in the first quarter, spanning four drives.

On Cleveland’s third possession, Brandon Weeden led the team on a four play touchdown drive, aided by a roughing the passer play on Detroit’s Ndamukong Suh. Weeden hit Josh Gordon with a pretty touch pass deep down the right sideline for a 34 yard gain, and then fired a laser to Jordan Cameron for a ten yard touchdown. Brandon Bogotay punched the extra point through.

Their third drive was more impressive. The Browns marched downfield on an eight play, 91 yard drive with big plays on passes from Weeden to Gordon (23 yards) and Cameron (27 yards), and a big run from Dion Lewis off left tackle for 31 yards. Weeden hit Cameron again on second and goal for a five yard touchdown pass.

The injury bug wasn’t done biting the Browns however. First round pick Barkevious Mingo jogged to the locker room in the second quarter with an undisclosed rib injury. It was later revealed that Mingo bruised his lung and was kept in the hospital overnight as a precaution. Tight End Gary Barnidge injured his shoulder in the first half as well.

Detroit managed to put a drive together at the end of the second quarter. It was a 14 play, 47 yard drive concluding in a 47 yard field goal. The Browns could have stopped Detroit, but Joe Haden missed a tackle that allowed Reggie Bush to get a first down on a third and five.

The starting units played the majority of the first half for the Browns. Trent Richardson played the first two series, rushing six times for 33 yards, an average of 5.5 yards per carry. Brandon Weeden gave way to Jason Campbell after four series, leading the Browns on two touchdown drives and a field goal. He finished with 117 yards passing on eight of twelve passing with two touchdowns and no interceptions.

“We started out a little slow.” Weeden said at halftime. “I think I was one for four to start in the first drive, but came back the second, third and fourth drives and did some good things. Offensively, (we) had some nice runs. Trent (Richardson) and (Dion) Lewis had some great runs. It was a good start for us. We have to keep building off of it and continue to build go forward.”

The second half was a bit more sloppy as you would expect, with yet another injury. Running back Dion Lewis fractured his fibula on a third down catch.

Jason Campbell played the entire third quarter and into the fourth throwing a touchdown pass to running back Brandon Jackson to push the lead to 24-3. The Browns weren’t done with injuries though. Kicker Brandon Bogotay, who looked good on all his kick-offs and place kicks suffered a groin injury.

Head coach Rob Chudzinski said he was pleased with the performance of the team.

“It was a tough night from an injury perspective, obviously. We made some strides from a performance standpoint. I was happy and pleased with the performance. That’s the game. Guys get injured and other guys get opportunities and have to step up. That’s what good teams are able to do and find guys who make good with their opportunities. That’s what we will have to do.”

The Browns will go back to work this week to see who will step up for the injured players.

(Photo: Rick Grayshock/WFNY)

  • MrCleaveland

    What on earth was Joe Haden doing on that Travis Benjamin punt runback? That was a blatant takedown right out in the open. Haden’s got to play smarter than that. Come on, man!

  • Ezzie Goldish

    Comments from going again:

    The mess getting into the stadium is ridiculous. I came late and it was still a mess. Not that the police are helping – they are not coordinated and are creating traffic jams. And Weiner dog races?? Ugh. And concessions are ridiculous.

    Weeden doesn’t just look good, he looks great – good reads and sweet zip throws; but the WRs are helping plenty, too. Great routes on some of these and the blocking is fantastic on pass plays. A little shaky on some runs; it often feels like runs are either 0 or 5+.

    I love Haden’s coverage but before he missed the tackle you knew he would because he always tries to shoulder guys down. He also pulled the guy down on that punt return; but the ref right there didn’t flag while the ref 30 yards down did after Schwartz or his coordinator started screaming about it. The other dbs are actually almost all excellent tacklers, even in open field. Even on the rare completion there were few YAC.

    Browns still have trouble with swing passes; bush made DQ look bad. Craig Robertson meanwhile keeps staying with WRs.

    Both weeks the punt coverage has been stellar and covering punts inside the 10 except when it’s kicked at no angle and bounces in. Not sure who picks direction…

    Subs on offense looked meh most of the time. Hoyer would get picked off all day against starters. Campbell scrambles well… After holding too long and looking like he can’t or won’t try certain throws. sheard looks great.

  • WFNY_DP

    Weeden is looking decent, but he still locks on to his primary receivers too much. Once the defenses start disguising their coverages in the regular season, methinks he might cool off just a bit.

    That said, while I know you can’t put too much stock into pre-season games (especially against a team you’re going to play later in the regular season), it’s nice to see the team look like, ya know, and actual football team for a change.

    Can’t wait until they stomp on my soul against Miami on 9/8.

  • FearTheRoo

    Yeah I’m still not getting my hopes up. Delhomme and McCoy have had good preseasons in the past.

  • Tired of know-it-alls

    You sound like the guy who sat right behind me last night and complained about everything. But then again you always sound like that. I drove to and from the stadium with virtually no trouble (perhaps you could try a route other than straight up East 9th or whatever you are doing) and was very impressed with how noticeably friendly and organized the entire stadium experience was compared to the past. It is a huge difference. And the wiener races are something that people call “fun”. You can look that word up.

  • Tired of know-it-alls

    And…oh yeah, the team looks exceptional for the second preseason game with a brand new offense and defense. We’ll see how that translates to the regular season, but so far I’m very encouraged on both sides of the ball.

  • Tired of know-it-alls

    Oh my God, I forgot about you. You are, if possible, consistently worse than Ezzie. I love the first line about Weeden locking onto receivers. You have no idea about that…none. Can you see his eyes? That’s a hell of an HDTV you have. You are simply repeating things that you have heard others say over and over and over again. Here, let me try that: “Weeden is looking decent, but he is still not going through his progressions quickly enough.” That sounds pretty good. I’ll try another: “Weeden is looking decent but he still can’t make that outside throw fifteen yards downfield.” Oops that one didn’t work because he did make all those throws last night. I guess I’ll have to use that one next week when he misses one.

  • Ezzie Goldish

    Huh? I’m “complaining” about the getting in issue because the Browns are supposedly addressing it. The game itself was a great experience.

    “Always sound like that”? When else have I complained other than the same issue after last game? If there are only 35K showing up to preseason and they’re having issues getting people in, it’s going to be a mess for the regular season. The issue does not seem to be the leaving work traffic, it’s mostly at the turnstiles. The reference to the police was watching as they waved people toward the stadium for 3 straight minutes at a light when there were clearly cars trying to get away from that area that they weren’t letting move out, which would have freed up space, plus you’d have police at adjacent intersections completely uncoordinated, creating stop and go instead of flow.

    I’m not sure what time you’re arriving and how, but there were thousands of people stuck in line at 7:45pm last night for a 7:37 kickoff, in addition to the hundreds still at will call trying to get their tickets; and I saw numerous people upset that they had to go around and outside just to get on the escalator to the top. (And it’s not the bag policy that’s causing it, since most people seemed to know and that part moves pretty quickly.)

    Ah, I see. You’re the troll who tries to bash anyone and everyone as being ‘consistently’ whining and bashing.

  • WFNY_DP

    I can’t believe you forgot about me! All this time I’ve been trying to get under your skin and I’ve failed. Woe is me!

    In short, get over yourself. They show replays on TV, and yes, a 50″ HDTV does help, especially when they show a close-up of Weeden and HE NEVER BREAKS HIS DIRECTIONAL STARE FROM WHERE HE THROWS THE BALL.

    I don’t know with whom you’re confusing me, but I’ve never said anything about Weeden not having the ability to make throws. The only things I’ve ever listed as areas for improvement are his tendencies of locking onto his primary receiver (or, go through his progressions fast enough, you say po-tay-to, I say po-tah-to) and his tendency to get passes batted down at the line (or was I imagining that all last season, too?). He was better at the second one last night for sure, but he still (when looking at replays) doesn’t look off his receivers enough.

    My comment was actually complimentary of the Browns, albeit in a sarcastic way. I’ll be the first to say it’s been nice to see them play so well in the pre-season. Weeden has looked good.

    But, it’s pre-season. Defenses are vanilla. If/when he keeps this production up against teams in the regular season, rest assured I’ll be the first to give him credit.

    Until then, spare me your know-it-all comments under the moniker of being tired of know-it-alls. Kettle, it’s the pot on line 1 for you.

  • Ezzie Goldish

    That play was on my side; agreed Haden needs to play smarter. The gunner there did a nice job of getting inside of Haden, so he basically grabbed him, then for good measure spun him down. I thought for sure it’s a flag, but the ref right there did nothing; a few seconds later, after Benjamin is already starting to run, the other ref near the goal line throws it. A bit odd, but definitely the right call. The Lions D and Browns O were both walking toward the new line of scrimmage even as Benjamin was finishing the return.

  • Ezzie Goldish

    See his reply to me below. Just a troll (I’ve only commented once about the Browns’ gameday before). And agreed on Weeden not looking off, though to be fair the defenses don’t seem to be able to do much about it. I think it’d be interesting to analyze how the offensive scheme is forcing Ds to be reactive, leaving Browns with clear decisions, just a matter of Weeden waiting for the route to finish developing. There was one play where Lewis motioned out to the left, so the Lions’ LB went out with him and the S moved up to the line to rush. Lewis *never budged* from the sideline at the line, while the WR (Gordon?) did a simple post/fade toward the sideline at about the 5 in 1-on-1 and Weeden just stared, waited, and threw a beautiful ball. There was no reason to look off there.

  • Vindictive_Pat

    Is this a roast? Do me next!

  • Tired of know-it-alls

    So it took one of you 11 minutes and the other 21 minutes to compose and then hit “reply”. Do you have a life? I hope you’ll excuse me Vindictive Pat, I need to get back to mine. Maybe another time.

  • Vindictive_Pat

    Nuts 🙁

  • Harv 21

    Weeden’s stare down was something I was looking for and I share your impressions. But here’s what I think: that particular nuance is about the last skill a decent NFL QB picks up. They can’t do that until they’ve internalized the offense and the feel for pocket pressure, and when they’re sure the intended receiver will be at a certain spot at a precise moment. Until they have that confidence it’s hard to not eyeball the target.

    Even Savant Bernie – who just sponged up x’s and o’s – couldn’t look off receivers until the beginning of his second year. At least Weeden looked sure where he wanted to go and relaxed enough to let his throwing arm do its thing. Just because he’s 29 it doesn’t mean finishing skills appear without a learning curve.

  • Harv 21

    wait! Come back! Dang, he really is tired of know it alls. Ok guys, whatcha wanna talk about now?

  • WFNY_DP

    That’s my hope, Harv. My comment isn’t meant to say he will never figure it out. I just am concerned that once the defenses ratchet things up for the regular season that it might be something that slows Weeden’s development a bit.

  • WFNY_DP

    Yea, Internet hard guy! I’ve got an important job and a life, but I have *just enough* free time to show up and tell you how much you suck. But then, when I have no come-back, I talk about my important life and jet.

    It’s called multi-tasking, man.

  • Jason Hurley

    Hahaha…this is great. “I took time to reply to you but you taking time to reply to me means you have no life.”
    Do you get tired of eating billy goats, or do they deliver pizza to “Under the Bridge”?

  • nj0

    I didn’t get to watch the game, but was looking for this in the highlights since I saw that you mentioned it here. Every play I saw was him not even glancing off his primary receiver. I’m not smart enough to know what that means, but I can’t imagine it’s a good thing. Here’s hoping that Weeden can do more than just that.

  • Harv 21

    You know there will be red zone interceptions against better defenses until he gets it (or forever if he’s DA Part Deux). But hey, last year he was confused about both what he and the defenses were doing so, baby steps. I don’t think QBs even start on this skill in college since their receivers are generally a yard open and, by definition, NFL draftees had sufficient arm to get it there.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    I’d like to see Weeden throw to other guys not named Gordon especially since Gordon will miss the first two games of the season. Other then that there isn’t much to complain about with Weeden. Seeing he and Cameron connect was nice since Turner’s offense also loves the TE. Who knows maybe Cameron can develop into the vanilla version of Antonio Gates.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    C’mon man!

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    I missed the GLC barge presentation does anyone have it on tape? VHS preferred.

  • Jaker

    Great game, too bad all anyone can think about are the injuries. It sounds like Pinkston, Barnidge, Mingo and Bogotay will just sit out a week and be fine for the opener. That’s a nice sigh of relief if true. The Lewis fracture sucks, he was really showing off as a nice weapon, definitely a great compliment to TRich. Hopefully he will be back in October and the other backs can fill in until then

  • WFNY_DP

    “I’d like to see Weeden throw to other guys not named Gordon especially since Gordon will miss the first two games of the season.”

    The two TDs to Cameron were nice, and he went for Little a couple of times. I would have liked to have seen Bess get more time with the 1s since he’s presumably going to be the next man up while Gordon is out.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    This is definitely Cameron’s time to shine. I’m not going to go crazy over a preseason game especially one against the Detroit Lions who have a secondary probably below the Browns at this point. But all that aside as I said prior perhaps we are seeing Cameron evolve like other TE/ex-basketball playing TEs in the league.

  • Garry_Owen

    What happened here? I’m gone for just a few hours (‘cuz, my “life”), and you guys get into a troll scuffle without me?
    Somebody HAS to let me know when this stuff goes down. Is the signal broken?

  • SDA

    lol I miss all the fun too

  • Harv 21

    I tried, check your propeller hat. Or maybe that moronic Society of Bad Spellerz is messing with us. Again.