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3 big takeaways: Talking Browns offense, rookies and special teams

Three quick reactions to the Browns' 17-11 preseason opening loss to the Packers...

Browns offense flashes but doesn't get desired finish

On two occasions in the first half, the Browns drove well into field-goal range but didn't get the result Hue Jackson and Co. ultimately want to see more of in 2016: touchdowns.

On the first play of the team's first offensive possession, Robert Griffin III connected with Terrelle Pryor on a 49-yard deep ball to put Green Bay on its heels. Completions to Gary Barnidge and Pryor again put the Browns inside the red zone. All the momentum vanished, though, when Griffin's dart to Barnidge across the middle was intercepted by a diving Micah Hyde.

"We can't turn it over," Jackson said at halftime. "We have to always be a team that takes care of the ball. It's unfortunate, but we have to learn from it."

Griffin's second and final offensive possession collected one first down but ended with a punt. He finished 4-of-8 for 67 yards and the interception.

Josh McCown and the second-team offense found some success midway through the second quarter thanks to some strong running from Raheem Mostert. Faced with a third-and-long, McCown connected with tight end Connor Hamlett for what appeared to be a 25-yard touchdown. A few seconds passed before a flag was thrown, and replays showed McCown was clearly across the line of scrimmage when he threw the pass. Instead of six, the Browns ended up with three points thanks to a 46-yard Patrick Murray field goal.

Up and down night for Browns special teams

The two negatives from Cleveland's special teams will certainly be addressed in the coming days, but there was definitely some good to come out of Friday's performance, too. In fact, Jackson at halftime said special teams had done a "great job."

Murray nailed a 46-yard field goal, Andy Lee booted a 66-yard punt and pinned another at the 1-yard line and the Browns generally bottled up the Packers' returners.

What the Browns will look to fix in the coming practices are the two, potentially game-changing mistakes that happened in the first quarter.

On the first drive of the game, Cleveland allowed Green Bay to extend the possession with a running into the kicker penalty committed by Joe Schobert. The Browns defense toughened up and forced another punt to keep the Packers off the board.

Following a Browns safety, Mostert bobbled and ultimately fumbled the ensuing kickoff. Green Bay capitalized with a field goal to take a 3-2 lead.

Nassib, other Browns rookies make plays

Carl Nassib got on the field early Friday and he promptly made the most of it.

The third-round defensive lineman chased down running back John Crockett on a screen pass to prevent the 7-yard catch from doing anymore damage. One play later, the Packers punted. In the second quarter, Nassib broke through the line and sacked Joe Callahan, paving the way for another Green Bay punt.

He wasn't the only rookie to capitalize on the opportunities presented by the preseason.

Cody Kessler's first snap of the night came at the Packers' 10-yard line following a nice Mostert return and a Packers penalty late in the third quarter. He quickly looked for Rashard Higgins, a fifth-round pick, in the corner of the end zone for the Browns' first touchdown of the night.

Three Browns draft picks were on the sidelines (Corey Coleman, Seth DeValve and Trey Caldwell) but the other 11 all picked up significant snaps in a game that saw the first-team offense and defense done before the end of the first quarter.

The Browns face the Packers in the first game of the preseason at Green Bay.

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