The Cleveland Browns and Philadelphia Eagles finished their preseason game just the way that their week started, with a tie. Their joint practices earlier in the week went similarly, with the Browns getting the better of the two teams on Monday, and then the Eagles rallying back to even the score on Tuesday.
Perhaps it's only fitting that their preseason game, contested mostly by backups and bottom-of-the-roster players, ended in a draw.
The Browns couldn't have asked for a better measuring stick for the week. The Eagles, the defending NFC champions, are the current NFL standard for talent evaluation and roster construction. The joint practices provided Cleveland's starters a stiff test, and their subsequent preseason matchup proved to provide the same for the Browns backups.
Cleveland approached the game similarly to how they did the Hall of Fame game to kick off the preseason, choosing not to play any of their starters. The Eagles followed suit on the offensive side of the ball but did put some of their starters on defense on the field to start the game. In the end, the uptick in defensive competition should only benefit the learning curve for the Browns offensive backups.
Here are three players that stood out for the Browns offense against the Eagles
Browns offensive standout No. 3: Cedric Tillman, WR
The further the Browns get into the preseason the easier it becomes to envision rookie wide receiver Cedric Tillman carving himself out a role on this offense this season. Tillman only caught two passes during the contest but did all of his damage on the opening drive of the night.
Tillman’s first reception came on a third down with the Browns needing 13 yards to convert. Tillman took an inside release and found a pocket right at the sticks and hauled in a 14-yard reception from Dorian Thompson-Robinson.
However, it was Tillman’s next catch that will be remembered from this game. On first down from the Browns 48-yard line, DTR and Tillman hooked up again on a 36-yard gain.
Tillman executed a beautiful sluggo route (slant and go) that left the Eagles cornerback, Zech McPhearson, in panic recovery mode. DTR underthrew the ball slightly, but Tillman was able to utilize excellent body control and he came down with the football.
It was a short night for Tillman, but he made the type of impact that Browns fans were hoping to see. If he's able to keep building upon his already formidable skillset, the Browns will not be able to keep him off the field.