Observation deck: Browns-Lions
August, 15, 2013
By Jamison Hensley | ESPN.com
In the Cleveland Browns' 24-6 preseason win over the Detroit Lions, Brandon Weeden added more separation in a quarterback battle that coach Rob Chudzinski recently described as "close."
Weeden made another strong case to be the Browns' starting quarterback by completing 8 of 12 passes for 117 yards and two touchdowns. He found tight end Jordan Cameron twice in the back of the end zone and hit wide receiver Josh Gordon for three completions of 15 yards or more.
In two preseason games, Weeden has led the Browns to scores on five (three touchdowns and two field goals) of six drives. Against the Lions, he impressed by putting the ball where only his receivers could get to it. Weeden lofted a pass over Lions defenders to connect with a leaping Cameron for the first touchdown and then laid in a perfect, 23-yard pass over Gordon's shoulder.
The Browns improved to 2-0 this preseason.
Here are some other thoughts on the Browns:
- The feel-good preseason for the Browns has been tempered by injuries, which has hurt Cleveland's depth at right guard and running back. Jason Pinkston, who was replacing Shawn Lauvao (ankle surgery), left with an ankle injury. Left guard John Greco rolled up on Pinkston's right leg when he was pushed back by the Lions' Nick Fairley, who gave Cleveland problems all night (he even beat left tackle Joe Thomas). With the Browns already without running back Montario Hardesty (knee), backup Dion Lewis was carted to the locker room after hurting his ankle. First-round pick Barkevious Mingo also injured his ribs.
- Running back Trent Richardson was impressive in his preseason debut. He showed good patience and burst in addition to breaking one tackle with a spin move. Richardson finished with 33 yards on six carries (5.5-yard average). His longest run was 17 yards.
- The Browns' first-team defense flustered Matthew Stafford and the Lions' offense, which was playing without wide receiver Calvin Johnson. Detroit punted on its first four drives (three three-and-outs) and totaled 41 yards. Defensive tackle Phil Taylor knocked down a Stafford pass and outside linebacker Paul Kruger dropped an interception.
- It looked as though Travis Benjamin had returned a punt for a touchdown for a second straight week. But Benjamin's 84-yard runback was wiped out by Joe Haden's holding penalty, which didn't affect the long return. Benjamin, who is replacing Josh Cribbs, had a 91-yard punt return for a touchdown in the preseason opener.
- Brandon Bogotay was expected to handle all of the kicking duties but the rookie hurt his groin. He made a 43-yard field goal and had two touchbacks in the first half. Bogotay is competing against veteran Shayne Graham. The Browns also could show interest in Dan Carpenter, who was cut by the Miami Dolphins this week.