Defense and Special Teamers Strut Their Star Power
On the other hand, the story could not be more different when it comes to the Browns’ starting defense. Everyone knew that Cleveland’s defense was insanely talented coming into the year. However, against Tampa Bay’s offensive line, the debut of the starting front four was able to feast.
Myles Garrett, Sheldon Richardson, and Larry Ogunjobi were all fine and good throughout the dress rehearsal. However, it was former New York Giant Olivier Vernon that truly shined during the first half. Vernon’s two sacks on the game came in dominating fashion, as quarterback Jameis Winston looked down the barrel of one of the league’s scariest young defensive fronts.
The Browns defensively dominated, keeping the first-team offense in the game during the first half. They allowed zero points in the first half, letting kicker Austin Seibert capitalize with field goals. And capitalize Seibert did.
Austin Seibert may have finally pulled ahead in the kicking race against Greg Joseph. His first field goal coming from 54 yards, Seibert put the ball cleanly through the uprights early and often.
This game showed just how quickly things can change on the special teams unit. Just a few weeks ago, Greg Joseph was easily the clubhouse leader for the kicking job. Now, Austin Seibert may have (finally) wrestled it away from him.