Browns vs Eagles: Defense and Injuries

Kate Arhar
Cleveland Browns Reporter

By Kate Arhar // @ClvlndK8

Browns 5 – 0 Eagles

Last night’s preseason match-up between the defending Super Bowl Champion Philadelphia Eagles and the Cleveland Browns was anticipated to be a huge offensive blow out.  Instead, it became a tale of defense and injuries.

Browns cornerback Denzel Ward suffered a lower back injury in the first quarter that kept him sidelined for the remained of the game. He will undergo an MRI today.

Quarterback Tyrod Taylor, after scrambling on a 4-and-goal play, landed awkwardly on his wrist and is sent to the locker room for evaluation.  In what fans are calling “True Hue Fashion,” he returned to the field and was put back into the game for three more series. It was clear that he was not 100% and that the wrist was bothering him, clear at least to fans and the Eagles defense. No one – myself included – can figure out why on earth the named starting QB for the season would be rushed back into a preseason game!

So far this preseason, different units have performed well.  Week one was a good week for the passing game and rookie Antonio Callaway.  Week two was more about the running game with touchdowns for both Carlos Hyde and rookie Nick Chubb.

Week three seemed to focus on Gregg Williams’s defense, which looked really good. Interceptions by CB Briean Boddy-Calhoun and LB Jamie Collins, plus fumble recoveries by CB Terrance Mitchell and LB Genard Avery, kept the Eagles offense off kilter and blanked them on the scoreboard. Oh, and the Myles Garrett sack of QB Nick Foles in the end zone for a safety was pretty good as well!


There’s been quite a lot of talk about the quarterback situation and what new offensive coordinator Todd Haley plans to do with the offense in general, so it was nice to have the defense make a great showing.  Expectations were high for Gregg Williams when he arrived last year and this unit seems to be coming together very nicely.  If the offense can manage to put together more scoring drives and less 3-and-outs, the defense should more than be able to hold it’s own this year.

The most frustrating things about the game were definitely on the offensive side, although kicker Zane Gonzalez did knock in a beautiful 54-yard field goal! Why put Taylor back in the game and risk further injury? Why did Drew Stanton get one series and Brogan Roback never saw the field? Was Roback off chasing butterflies? (Hard Knocks humor)

Why on earth did they run the ball all the way down the field only to try four – FOUR – passes to get into the end zone from inside the two-yard line? Haley may very well be saving a lot of his offensive plans for the regular season. Knowing the Pittsburgh Steelers as well as he does, and knowing we play them at home week one, it wouldn’t surprise me at all to know we are seeing very little as far as offensive strategy or identity at this point.

With all that optimism and criticism in mind, here are some words of wisdom from my friend and fellow #OTFB writer, @rxnlzbth:

Talk Browns with Kate on Twitter // @ClvlndK8 

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