Browns vs. Giants: First-half reaction

(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /

The Cleveland Browns held a lead at the half against the New York Giants, but the quarterback situation remains very much unsettled.

The Cleveland Browns took a 7-3 lead into halftime of their preseason game against the New York Giants and, along the way, may have brought a little more clarity to the quarterback position.

It was an uneven and, at times, ugly performance from the offense in the first half, as the Browns totaled just 99 yards of offense behind the combination of Brock Osweiler and DeShone Kizer.

Osweiler opened the game and played just two offensive series, finishing his night six-of-eight for 25 yards and an interception. He was consistently high with his throws, but was also hurt by penalties, including a hold by right guard Kevin Zeitler and a false start by left tackle Rod Johnson on the opening drive of the game.

Even taking that into account, Osweiler’s night was not anything that screams out starting quarterback.

Kizer entered the game for the third offensive series and saw his first offensive drive stalled by a holding penalty on wide receiver Kenny Britt. Kizer wasn’t much better than Osweiler, as he held onto the ball far too long, which helped contribute to his two sacks. (A third sack was negated by a New York penalty.)

Penalties also plagued Kizer, as he committed a delay of game infraction, Johnson had another false start and Zeitler had a second holding penalty.

Kizer did what he had to do when cornerback Jason McCourty recovered a fumble at New York’s 28-yard line. Given a short field, Kizer drove the Browns into the end zone, taking the scoring honors himself with a one-yard run.

It wasn’t always pretty, and it is clear that he is still very raw, but Kizer may have done enough, as Osweiler not enough, that head coach Hue Jackson is going to have some long nights between now and Saturday’s preseason game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

While the offense struggled, the defense came to play in the first half as they held the Giants to one yard rushing and one first down in the opening quarter.

Rookie defensive end Myles Garrett had his first sack, and second-year linebacker Joe Schobert was all over the field.

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Kizer was back in at quarterback when the Browns opened the second half.