Cleveland Browns fans got their first taste of football on Thursday night as the Browns faced Washington in the first preseason game. Some showed up, some showed out, and almost every player gave fans some material to chew on.
The new-look Cleveland Browns debuted in part on Thursday night, as many of the starters played just one drive against the Washington Redskins. Nevertheless, second-year quarterback Baker Mayfield gave the fans some new material to chew on while they wait for the season opener in a month’s time.
The 90-man roster is beginning to shake out, and soon enough, the Browns will cut nearly half of that down. As the preseason rolls on, what can fans take away from the first of the annual exhibition games? When all was said and done, the Browns defeated the Redskins by a score of 30-10. These are our instant reactions from the Browns’ first preseason game.
Browns Show Off Their Shiny New Offense
Despite the absence of Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry, the Cleveland Browns first-team offense was able to show out when they took the field for the game’s first drive. Following an initial incompletion that hit the hands of Derrick Willies, quarterback Baker Mayfield put on an offensive clinic.
Going 5-of-6 for 77 yards and a beautiful touchdown pass to favorite target Rashard Higgins, Mayfield picked up right where he left off last season. Posting a perfect quarterback rating in his lone drive allowed Mayfield and the offense to drive right down the field in just over two minutes. And of course, the drive-ending touchdown pass from Mayfield to Higgins was a thing of beauty.
Rookie Defenders Shine After Initial Struggle
Rookie secondary defenders Sheldrick Redwine and Greedy Williams had their biggest rookie mishap early in the first preseason game. A blown coverage with Williams relying on safety help that never came resulted in a Redskins touchdown from Case Keenum to Robert Davis. Later in the game, Williams would make up for his mistake.
With Redskins rookie quarterback Dwayne Haskins checking into the game, Williams read a miscommunication between Haskins and his receiver perfectly. Quick reflexes and awareness from Williams led to a lightning-fast interception and a four-yard return from the LSU product. Williams showed resilience and a feel for the game in coverage, and fans can expect that this interception is the first of many.
Mack Wilson Shows Serious Potential
Yet another rookie defender making a big play, linebacker Mack Wilson also found himself picking off Dwayne Haskins during the game. An errant throw by Haskins allowed Wilson to not only intercept the ball, but take it all the way back the other way for a Browns touchdown. But Wilson wasn’t done there.
As the late, great Billy Mays would say, “but wait, there’s more.” Wilson found himself on the right end of another interception early in the fourth quarter. With Redskins third-string quarterback Josh Woodrum entering the game, Wilson immediately took advantage on Woodrum’s first pass attempt.
The freaky athleticism Wilson possesses is hard to ignore, and it may make him one of the Browns’ starting linebackers by the end of the year.