NFL Cleveland Browns

5 Takeaways From the Cleveland Browns’ First Preseason Game

5 Takeaways From the Cleveland Browns' First Preseason Game

Mike Pettine
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Although it was only the first game of the preseason, the Cleveland Browns were able to get a better feel for how the team will look when the regular season begins. The Browns kept their starting units on the field due to a new coaching staff on offense and defense. The Browns looked as though they will be able to compete in 2014, and here are five takeaways from Cleveland's first preseason game against the Detroit Lions.

5. The Running Game Showed Promise

Ben Tate
Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

5. The Running Game Showed Promise

Ben Tate
Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

The Browns' struggles in the running game were well-documented in 2013. With a new emphasis on rushing the football in 2014, Cleveland showed in its first game that the team will look to establish the run early on in games. Projected starter Ben Tate carried the ball six times for 25 yards, rookie Terrance West rushed 10 times for 22 yards and the offensive line provided solid running lanes for the backs throughout the game.

4. Josh Gordon Will Be Sorely Missed

Josh Gordon
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4. Josh Gordon Will Be Sorely Missed

Josh Gordon
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Yes, it's already known that Josh Gordon's presence at WR will be a huge detriment to the Browns' passing game, but it was extremely noticeable during the game. Gordon tied for the team lead in receptions with two, and was targeted four times — mainly on third downs. Players like Charles Johnson and Taylor Gabriel looked good against second and third team players, but free agents Miles Austin and Andrew Hawkins only accounted for one catch.

3. The Defense Appears to Be Ready

Paul Kruger
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3. The Defense Appears to Be Ready

Paul Kruger
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During training camp, Browns' running back Ben Tate mentioned that Cleveland's defense was ahead of the offense, on Saturday night this looked to be the case. The Browns faced Detroit's starters for only one series, but the pressure the defense applied throughout the game may prove to be what keeps Cleveland competitive on a weekly basis. The Browns' blitz schemes, paired with the their ability to cover the pass and stop the run looked promising.

2. Johnny Manziel Showed Good Command of the Offense

Johnny Manziel
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2. Johnny Manziel Showed Good Command of the Offense

Johnny Manziel
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In his much-hyped NFL debut, QB Johnny Manziel showed he is more than capable of leading the Browns' offense in his rookie season. Though it was only his first game and he faced second and third string competition, Manziel's ability to make plays with his arm as well as his legs should have gotten Browns' fans excited for the future. He passed for 63 yards on 7-11 and channeled his college days by running for 27 yards on six attempts.

1. The Quarterback Race is Still Up in the Air

Johnny Manziel, Brian Hoyer
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1. The Quarterback Race is Still Up in the Air

Johnny Manziel, Brian Hoyer
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On Sunday, it was reported that Johnny Manziel had pulled ahead in his close QB race with veteran Brian Hoyer. However, Mike Pettine dismissed the report and now we're back to speculating whether Manziel will start on Monday night against the Washington Redskins. For now, Pettine hasn't decided on who will start preseason game No. 2, let alone the regular season. It wouldn't be surprising to see Manziel get the nod to play against first-teamers.