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Four takeaways from Browns opening win of the preseason
Posted by: liny195
Date: February 10, 2019 07:56PM
The Cleveland Browns won their fifth consecutive preseason game on Thursday as they defeated the New York Giants. While being the preseason champs is fun and everything Youth Denzel Ward Jersey , it would be nice if this team could figure out how to put together a few wins when the games actually count. That day may be coming soon, however, as there were some good things to come out of the game at MetLife Stadium. Here are four takeaways as we wait for the Browns to return to practice on Sunday in preparation for their preseason home opener against the Buffalo Bills on Friday.David Njoku can be a nightmare for the defenseDavid Njoku was targeted three times in the game and finished with a pair of receptions, both of which went for touchdowns. The second-year tight end’s athleticism was on display on his 36-yard catch-and-run touchdown in the first quarter. But it was his dedication to his route on his second touchdown reception that caught the eye of quarterback Baker Mayfield, according to two catches highlight why the Browns selected Njoku in the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft and indicate the matchup problem he can create for opposing defenses. The running game needs to be betterIt was only one game, but the Browns running game was horrific against the Giants.The primary running back trio of Carlos Hyde, Nick Chubb and Duke Johnson combined to rush 17 times for a total of 13 yards. Not all of that falls on the running backs, especially in the case of Chubb, as the offensive line did not always carry the water in the run game:The thought of quarterback Tyrod Taylor and, eventually, Mayfield lighting up the stat sheet in the passing game is fun, but the reality is the Browns are going to need to be able to run the ball if they want to have any hope of success on offense. And if there are more days like Thursday? Well, then it is going to be a long year.The penalties have got to stopFans saw an all-too-familiar sight on Thursday as the Browns were flagged for 13 penalties.A couple of the penalties were clearly of the dubious nature, most notably the taunting penalties on wide receiver Jarvis Landry and cornerback Denzel Ward in the first quarter Youth Jabrill Peppers Jersey , but the Browns are simply not good enough to overcome that many mistakes. Simply put, the team needs to tighten things up.The optimism might be validated this timeThis is always the best time of year to be a Browns fan as anything seems possible.Then the regular season starts and reality hit.But this year it feels different.Taylor and Landry bring a level of professionalism to the offense that the Browns have not had in years. The running game should work itself out, and Njoku and Johnson provide some explosive playmaking options for the offense. The defense is filled with a mix of veterans, including Jamie Collins, Christian Kirksey, Mychal Kendricks, and young players who can be difference makers in Myles Garrett, Emmanuel Ogbah, Ward and Jabrill Peppers. There is still a long way to go, but for the first time in a long time the upcoming regular season holds the potential to finally validate the optimism that Browns fans show this franchise on an annual basis. Baker Mayfield may have discovered why the Baltimore Ravens defense has been so effective this season.Mayfield, a rookie quarterback with the Cleveland Browns, faces Baltimore's second-ranked defense on Sunday. One of the members of that unit, safety Tony Jefferson, received a text message this week from Mayfield — one former Oklahoma star reaching out to another."He said , 'I'm watching this film, watching you guys hold,'" Mayfield wrote, according to Jefferson.Jefferson said he replied: "They didn't call it."Jefferson believes Baltimore's success on defense can be attributed to skilled players following a solid game plan."I just think we've been doing a good job executing," Jefferson said Wednesday. "We've worked hard throughout the week on what we want to attack and what we want to do."Operating under first-year defensive coordinator Don Martindale, Baltimore (3-1) has limited the opposition to 275.8 yards per game, a meager 29.8 success rate on third down and is yielding only 16.25 points per game.Most impressive of all, the Ravens have not yet given up a touchdown in the second half. While the players enjoy doing it, they're not fond of hearing about it."We didn't even know it was a stat until you all brought it up," linebacker Terrell Suggs said. "It's kind of like a pitcher with a no-hitter. Thanks for bringing it up. Good job."Coach John Harbaugh broke it down this way: "The guys have gone out and played really well. That's really what it is. They've executed, make plays, turned it over a few times, stopped the run."A solid unit should get even better this week with the return of cornerback Jimmy Smith, who missed the first four weeks of the season serving a suspension for violating the league's personal conduct policy. Now in his eighth season Youth Genard Avery Jersey , Smith will probably step right back into the starting lineup if he's ready by Sunday."We'll just have to see in practice how he looks and feels. I mean, he hasn't been here in four weeks," Harbaugh said. "He says he's been training and I'm sure he has. It will be fun to watch him play."Although Brandon Carr and Marlon Humphrey have done well as starters, Harbaugh knows you can never have too many solid cornerbacks."It's going to be great to have all those guys that are good cover players," he said. "We can play any coverage we want, the way we want. It gives us a lot of options on defense."The Ravens bottled up veteran quarterback Ben Roethlisberger on Sunday night in a 26-14 victory over the Steelers. Pittsburgh went 2 for 12 on third down overall and was held to 47 yards in offense in the second half."I feel like you give up 47 yards in the second half and shut out the Pittsburgh Steelers, that is noteworthy to say the least," Harbaugh said.The next challenge is trying to stop a bold rookie in Mayfield, who has been playing with confidence since making his debut two weeks ago."Ben's seen it all, but Baker Mayfield is pretty advanced," Harbaugh said. "I don't think he's a rookie in the true sense. He seems like he's got a real good feel for the game." Custom Arizona Cardinals Jerseys

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