TAMPA -- Analyzing four key moments in the Browns'
13-9 preseason victory over the Buccaneers…
- The Buccaneers had new life early in the first quarter after a "concentration penalty" hit the Browns at the worst possible time.
Following the first of seven consecutive Browns third-down stops, Jamie Collins Sr. was flagged for encroachment on Tampa Bay's field-goal attempt. The Buccaneers got new life and entered the red zone as they lined up a third-and-4 at the Browns' 16-yard line. Jameis Winston looked right for the end zone as he dropped back and overthrew a pass intended for tight end Cameron Brate. Waiting at the goal line was rookie Jabrill Peppers, who gladly took the gift for his first NFL interception and returned it 23 yards.
The takeaway was Cleveland's sixth of the preseason and second interception inside the red zone.
- Perhaps the top highlight of Kizer's preseason came on the Browns first offensive series, and it proved mighty important on Cleveland's only first-half scoring drive.
Facing a third-and-4, Kizer dropped back, surveyed the field and locked onto to Corey Coleman. Kizer stepped up toward the line of scrimmage and fired a deep pass Coleman's way. The second-year wide receiver had only a small window to catch the ball, and Kizer put it right where it needed to be, as Coleman stretched out for a 32-yard gain.
Kizer and Coleman connected four times for 66 yards in Saturday's first half.
- Duke Johnson Jr.'s 37-yard run was Cleveland's longest offensive play of the half, a well-timed change of pace to convert a third-and-short with a bang. The possession, which saw the Browns go from their own 5-yard line to Tampa Bay's 12, ended with a carry Johnson would love to have back.
Running up the middle, Johnson fumbled, and the ball bounded in front of him. Tampa Bay's Chris Conte fell on it, and the Browns came away with zero points from a drive that featured 58 rushing yards and a nice 15-yard connection between Kizer and Rannell Hall on the play that directly preceded the fumble.
- The Browns defense's response to adverse situations following turnovers from the offense was nothing short of spectacular.
After Kizer threw an interception early in the second quarter, the Browns ultimately pushed the Buccaneers backward 3 yards thanks to a Tampa Bay holding penalty and a big Emmanuel Ogbah sack. After Johnson's fumble, the Browns forced another Tampa Bay punt after just four plays.
In three preseason games, the Browns defense sacked the quarterback 11 times, forced six takeaways and allowed just two touchdowns.
The Browns play the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Preseason Week 3.