5-0. Not to get confused with the police or anything but 5-0 is normally the score of a baseball game, not a preseason NFL one.
None the less, thanks to a Myles Garrett safety sack of Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles, a 54-yard Zane Gonzalez field goal and forcing four turnovers, the Browns dominated the defending Super Bowl champions in a gritty, defensive showcase
Again, IT IS a preseason game, and both teams didn’t have their exact full rosters, so take it for what it’s worth, but in what considered a primer for the regular season, the Browns aced their dress rehearsal with flying colors.
Below are my quick takeaways from Thursday’s game.
1.) The OL needs work. Badly. The loss of Canton-bound LT Joe Thomas is greater than realized. For the Browns to win, they need to be able to be consistent on the ground, in order to help Tyrod Taylor–or Baker Mayfield attack downfield through the air–it’ll be something to pay attention to. With a new group learning to play together for the first time sans No.73, Hard Knocks scene-stealer in OL coach Bob Wylie will surely get them coached up and ready to maul through opposing defenses. Stretching is overrated!
2.) This defense tho… Love him or hate him for what happened with the Saints during “Bountygate” but defensive coordinator Gregg Williams has molded this Browns defense into a pack of crazed, hungry and attacking DAWGS that are going to get after QB’s.
DE Myles Garrett looks unblockable, Emmanuelle Ogbah looks ready to ball, and the DT combo of Larry Ogunjobi and the “Pride Of Parma” in former Ashland University product Jamie Meder are a run-stuffing, space-eating duo ready to snuff RB’s is something to behold.
The biggest upgrades appear to be in the secondary though, as you finally see Browns DB’s being aggressive and ball-hawking in contesting balls, chipping WR’s at the line and staying on their man.
While DB Denzel Ward suffering a back injury and left the game, SS Jabrill Peppers, CB’s Briean Boddy-Calhoun and T.J. Carrie look legit, and have the makings of a talented group.
Yes, it is preseason and all, but anytime a team can make a Super Bowl MVP look bad in forcing 4 turnovers and flat out ball on the defending champions is a major confidence booster.
3.) Both teams had some of their starters out and again THIS IS a preseason game, but there is just something different about the Browns this season.
Not sure if any of you have seen them on Hard Knocks, but there seems to be a ‘rude and real chip on their shoulder from going winless. As Browns personal exec Alonzo Highsmith said, “this seems to remind me of the Cowboys 1-15 Team” we all know how that turned out.
Can the Browns go from worst to first?
Who knows, but clearly Vegas knows something we don’t as Cleveland is now a 60-1 odds to make the playoffs. The AFC North for the most part is down, thanks to Pittsburgh and Baltimore both seeing the last days of both Big Ben and Joe Flacco and Cincinnati looking like they will be rebuilding.
Call it wishful thinking or a case of me being a homer, but these Dawgs look hungry and ready to hunt in 2018!