- The Browns didn't play many of their projected defensive starters, but members of the second and third unit made sure their impact wouldn't go unnoticed.
Cleveland blanked the Bears from start to finish and really never allowed them to muster much of a threat. Chicago didn't pick up a first down until its fourth series of the game and didn't even attempt a pass until the early part of the second quarter. Bears starter Mitch Trubisky was limited to 2-of-4 for 10 yards in a quarter and a half of work as the Browns made every yard difficult against its counterparts.
The same continued in the second half, as safety Calvin Pryor and defensive end Karter Schult combined for a safety sack of Connor Shaw, and the Browns kept a goose egg on Chicago's side of the scoreboard until the final whistle.
The Browns finished the preseason without allowing a touchdown in their final three games. Opponents scored just 29 points against Cleveland with just one coming via a touchdown.
- The Browns offense was similarly sluggish during the early goings-on, but Cody Kessler's best series of the preseason put Cleveland ahead for good midway through the second quarter.
The possession got rolling on a third down, when Kessler threw a short pass to Matthew Dayes, who turned the corner for a 22-yard gain. Kessler followed with back-to-back first down throws to Jordan Leslie and David Njoku, the latter of which was made on the run and required a tough catch from the rookie tight end. Kessler's first touchdown of the preseason came on the very next play, as Kessler threw to Rannell Hall's back shoulder for a 27-yard touchdown pass. Hall punctuated the score with a front flip into the end zone.
Kessler played the entire first half and finished 11-of-19 for 144 yards and a touchdown.
- Zane Gonzalez got another try at a lengthy field goal Thursday and made the most of it.
The rookie kicker nailed a 53-yard field goal with plenty to spare midway through the third quarter to extend Cleveland's lead, 10-0. It came just a few days after Gonzalez's 55-yard attempt against the Buccaneers sailed wide left.
Gonzalez went 2-for-3 on field goals during the preseason and sailed all of his kickoffs for touchbacks. His competition for the job, Cody Parkey, went 2-of-2 on field goals, connecting from 38 and 47 yards in the win over Tampa Bay. Both were perfect on extra points until Gonzalez hit one off the upright in Thursday's fourth quarter.
Cleveland will finalize its decision at kicker Saturday when it reduces the roster to 53.
- Second-year quarterback Kevin Hogan was impressive for a second consecutive game, making a final push for a roster spot by leading Cleveland on three scoring drives.
His biggest throw of the night helped Cleveland rip the game open, as he found a wide open Randall Telfer for a 51-yard touchdown. Hogan was 8-of-10 for 110 yards and a touchdown during Cleveland's 12-point third quarter. He rode that momentum into the fourth, when he threw his second touchdown of the night, a 21-yarder, to Jordan Leslie.
In the three games he played, Hogan completed 21-of-32 passes for 269 yards and two touchdowns. Earlier in the evening, Browns executive vice president of football operations Sashi Brown said the team is considering keeping two or three signal-callers on its 53-man roster.
The Browns play the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field in the last game of the preseason.