The Cleveland Browns struggled against the Philadelphia Eagles on Thursday night as the starting units failed to make a strong impression in their final preseason tune up. Both offensive and defensive squads posted very poor grades against a more talented and more physical Eagles team, while leaving the fans scratching their heads as the team moves forward into the fourth week of the preseason.
The Browns starting defense posted the highlight of the night as they forced pressure consistently on Michael Vick and were the driving force behind him making bad throws early. The Browns defense hit Vick on nine occasions and first-round pick, Phil Taylor, recorded his first sack and forced fumble of his NFL career.
On the offensive side of the ball, Cleveland’s depth at wide receiver (or lack of) was completely diminished by Philadelphia’s all-star cast of players in the secondary. Colt McCoy struggled to find open targets throughout the entire first half and was simply less than impressive after two unbelievable performances in previous weeks.
The one small positive that can be taken away from McCoy’s performance can be the fact that he remained accurate despite facing heavy pressure and not getting much help from his teammates. On two separate occasions, McCoy hit his target perfectly on a long pass only to have one dropped by Evan Moore and the other negated by a penalty on Brian Robiskie.
Colt finished the night with a %50 accuracy rating (9-18) and only 89 yards through the air. Vick finished with 10 completions for 98 yards and a rushing touchdown.
Seneca Wallace was really the only player on the Browns roster that showed any type of spark during Philly’s coming out party. During the second half, Wallace connected on a touchdown pass with Alex Smith and ultimately looked like a solid backup against the Eagles’ third and fourth stringers.
Cleveland finished the game with 16 total first downs and 242 net yards from scrimmage offensively.
The Browns will close out their preseason campaign on the road against the Chicago Bears on September 1.