Browns vs Jets instant reaction: Rookie class shows promise in preseason opener

• Dawand Jones can be the Browns swing tackle

• Cedric Tillman looked the part in debut

• DTR brings the excitement

New York Jets v Cleveland Browns
New York Jets v Cleveland Browns / Nick Cammett/GettyImages

Cleveland Browns football is back.

The long offseason is officially over as the Browns and New York Jets faced off in the first game of the 2023 season on Thursday night. The two teams took part in the Hall of Fame Game as they each had players making it into Canton, including Joe Thomas who spent his entire career in Cleveland.

This game is not only the first to be played each season but it's also an extra exhibition game for the franchises that take part. And it often feels like an extra game since many starters — and even second-string players — don't take part.

For the Browns, this ended up being a good thing. They have several younger players who will be in key roles this season and can really use the reps. That includes several rookies such as Cedric Tillman, Dawand Jones, and Dorian Thompson-Robinson who helped lead them to a come-from-behind 21-16 win.

30. FINAL SCORE. 21. 53. Final. 16

All three performed well with Jones bullying every New York pass rusher he faced. As for Tillman, he saw three passes come his way and hauled in two of them for a total of 35 yards.

While they were solid, it was DTR who stole the spotlight.

The fifth-round pick led the Browns to a touchdown on his first drive. He moved the ball with his arm and legs but then showed off another skill set when he became a lead blocker for Demetric Felton who ran a 16-yard touchdown in the third quarter.

Thompson-Robinson also threw a touchdown pass, hitting Austin Watkins, Jr. in stride for a 22-yard reception to give Cleveland their first lead of the game, 21-16 which happened to be the final score.

He finished the night 8-of-11 for 82 yards with the touchdown and had 36 yards on the ground.

Browns and Jets enter a darkness delay

Earlier in the broadcast, Aaron Rodgers of the New York Jets was asked about his "darkness retreat" that he took part in this offseason. As fate would have it, the lights ended up going out later and the two teams found themselves in the dark with plenty of time to reflect on the game.

The delay thankfully didn't last long and the two sides were able to play the fourth and final quarter of the game, taking the lead on the pass to Watkins and walking away with the win.

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