Stud: Dontrell Hilliard
After not getting a rushing attempt since Week 1 of the preseason, Dontrell Hilliard was back on the field for Cleveland this week. He ended up reminding us all why there was so much hype around him early on in the preseason. Hilliard showed great patience and was elusive as well. Even when he wasn’t gaining much, he was making it hard on the Lions as they were usually unable to get him down with the first attempt at tackling him.
On Cleveland’s first scoring drive, Hilliard was a workhorse for the offense as he carried the ball six-straight play. He was able to gain 36-yards with a high of 22 yards which put the team at the 18-yard line. That drive stalled when Braxton Miller and Garrett Gilbert were unable to convert on a third-and-10, which led to a 36-yard field goal from Austin Seibert.
Hilliard continued to make plays later in the half, including hauling in the first touchdown of the night. Gilbert led the Browns down the field and once they got in the red zone, Hilliard found an opening in the defense — after originally being covered — and Gilbert hit him in the numbers. The running back pulled it in and ran in for a seven-yard touchdown.
Earlier in the offseason, the Browns made a big move as they shipped Duke Johnson off to the Houston Texans. Hilliard’s play was a huge reason they felt they could do that and he showed again on Thursday why they have so much faith in him.