Browns Preseason Week 3 instant reactions: Mohamoud Diabate has breakout performance in tie against Eagles

The Cleveland Browns and Philadelphia Eagles preseason game ended in a tie, but there was at least a breakout star at linebacker for the Browns

Aug 17, 2023; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Cleveland Browns linebacker Mohamoud Diabate (43)
Aug 17, 2023; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Cleveland Browns linebacker Mohamoud Diabate (43) / Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports
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The Cleveland Browns and Philadelphia Eagles had their game end in an 18-18 tie.

It was a roller-coaster start to the game as the Browns started Dorian Thompson-Robinson and several backups against many of the Philadelphia Eagles starters. Against the talented defenders, DTR led his team to the one-yard line on a 75-yard drive but then a fumble by John Kelly, Jr. ended their hopes of scoring. Or at least scoring on offense.

SCORE. 18. 54. Final. 18. 53

On just the second play of Philly's drive, rookie linebacker Mohamoud Diabate flew through a gap in the line and tackled Kenneth Gainwell in the end zone for a safety.

Diabate came up again with a huge play in the second half when he forced a fumble of his own, punching the ball out of Trey Sermon's hand.

While he was having a breakout performance, he wasn't alone. The entire Cleveland defense was playing hard in the first 30 minutes, with three sacks at the half.

The second half started out worse for the defense, with the Eagles scoring a touchdown on a six-play, 75-yard drive. Sermon gashed the D-line on that drive, capping things off with a 33-yard touchdown — which was an unfortunate flashback for Cleveland fans who saw rushing attacks carve them up routinely in 2022.

Browns quick hits

Cade York turned it around, until he didn't

After missing both of his kicks in the first two preseason games, Cade York came out drilled a 43-yarder in the second quarter. He then connected on a 37-yard field goal with 2:29 to play in the first half, giving his team an 8-3 lead at the break.

He then hit a 43-yarder in the fourth before missing from 47 with fewer than two minutes to play. He was then allowed to retry the kick when the Eagles were called for a formation penalty, but then he missed again which kept the score tied up at 18.

Austin Watkins keeps making plays

Cleveland has a lot of depth at wideout but they might want to make room for Austin Watkins. The former USFL star had another huge game with 69 yards in the first half and pulled down a pass that was dropped in between two defenders.

He kept showing out in the second half and had seven receptions for 139 yards and a touchdown.

Browns next game

Cleveland's final preseason game will be Saturday, Aug. 26 against the Kansas City Chiefs. They will then have to trim their roster down to 53 players as they prepare for the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 1.

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