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Browns vs. Bears: 5 observations from Cleveland's preseason finale

CHICAGO  -- The preseason is over and the countdown is on for the regular season.

The Browns wrapped things up Thursday with a 24-0 loss to the Bears at Soldier Field.

Here's what stood out most in Cleveland's preseason finale.

1. Tough night for Browns O-line, Thaddeus Lewis

Among the numerous Browns players who did not dress Thursday was the entire first-team offensive line. First-round rookie Cameron Erving, who appears poised to fill the sixth man role when the regular season begins, dressed but did not play.

It was a tough task for Lewis on a night in which the Bears defense got stronger and stronger as the game progressed.

When Lewis didn't face relentless pressure, he was sharp and efficient. At one stretch, he completed 12 consecutive passes and had the Browns in a good rhythm with completions to the likes of Josh Lenz, Rob Housler and Darius Jennings.

Lewis struggled, though, when the Bears burst through Cleveland's second-team offensive line and completely stymied the Browns' progress.

The Browns got a good, long look at Lewis, who played deep into the third quarter. He finished 14-of-20 for 100 yards and an interception that was returned for a touchdown. He was sacked six times and fumbled once. After Lewis' fumble in the second quarter, the Browns followed with four series that netted a combined minus-5 yards.

Pat Devin entered late in the third quarter and didn't have much more luck. He finished 2-of-2 for 20 yards.

2. An understandably sloppy game from both teams

Through the Browns' first three preseason games, Mike Pettine took pride in the "clean" football Cleveland played. Ball control, outside of Josh McCown's two interceptions against the Bills, was relatively sound, and the Browns entered Thursday ranked No. 1 in the NFL in fewest penalty yards.

Thursday was a different story on both ends.

Jennings had a costly fumble deep inside Chicago territory to put a halt to a promising drive. Lewis fumbled on the Bears' fourth sack of the first half. A holding penalty nullified a long kickoff return by Jennings.

The Bears were sloppy, too, as both teams gave a number of players the most snaps of their respective careers. Chicago also doubled the Browns' four penalties with eight of their own. This was to be expected. The Browns, who dressed just 42 players Thursday, can bank on the fact their first-teamers played with plenty of discipline when they were on the field.

3. Big repetitions for Dwayne Bowe, Terrance West

Veteran wide receiver Dwayne Bowe and Terrance West missed significant portions of the preseason with their respective injuries, but they each caught up with plenty of snaps Thursday.

Bowe played deep into the third quarter and finished with one catch for 8 yards. West played until the end of the first half and ran well when he wasn't swarmed by Bears defenders behind the line of scrimmage. He finished with nine carries for 35 yards.

West, who missed a week of training camp in early August with a calf injury, played in all four preseason games and finished as the Browns' leading rusher. Bowe missed the first two games with a hamstring injury.

4. Dylan Wynn pressed into more OLB work

Undrafted rookie defensive lineman Dylan Wynn has been the ultimate team player since he joined the Browns, and that approach continued Thursday when he played almost exclusively at outside linebacker.

The Browns rested starters Paul Kruger and Scott Solomon and were without Nate Orchard and Barkevious Mingo because of injuries. That meant Wynn and Mike Reilly were Cleveland's primary outside linebackers for most of the night, and Wynn played the entire game.

Wynn was among the bubble players Pettine mentioned on his radio show earlier in the week. He was frank that the Browns hadn't done him any favors by moving him around, but Wynn's versatility and willingness to help wherever he can has certainly been noted.

5. Other observations

  • With Travis Benjamin and Taylor Gabriel both resting, undrafted rookie safety De'Ante "Pop" Saunders fielded punts. He averaged 8 yards on the three he returned.
  • Short on numbers at defensive back in the second half, the Browns used wide receiver Josh Lenz as a safety. Before he was released earlier this week, wide receiver Shane Wynn was taking repetitions at defensive back to prepare for a situation such as this.
  • Terrelle Pryor's first touch as a Brown came as a quarterback. Late in the third quarter, Pryor took a direct snap and ran to the right for 5 yards. He had another for 4 yards a couple of series later.
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