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Keys to the Game

Keys to the Game: How the Browns can find success in their final preseason game

The starters will play Saturday and will look to have a smooth operation against the Chiefs

Keys Chiefs

The extended preseason for the Browns is coming to an end, as they face the defending Superbowl champions Saturday at Arrowhead Stadium.

We are breaking down the three biggest keys for them to find success in their second away game of the preseason.

1. The defense continues to play at a high level

Cleveland's defense has been getting to the opposing team's QBs all throughout the preseason and have shown fast pursuit to the ball. The unit has 13 tackles for loss, 19 quarterback hurries, four interceptions, two force fumbles and nine sacks in three games.

In practice Thursday, the defense played exceptionally, catching three interceptions and scoring a touchdown. 

"When everybody makes plays, everybody's excited," DT Dalvin Tomlinson said. "There are no selfish guys on the team, and everybody's selfless. And just like you've been seeing in the preseason, the excitement, we have to carry that over to the season."

2. DTR's moment to shine

Rookie QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson won't start Saturday but is expected to get plenty of action after the starters play. The Browns traded QB Joshua Dobbs on Thursday, leaving the Browns with only have three QBs on their active roster. With Watson only expected to play a handful of drives, Thompson-Robinson and Kellen Mond will be tasked with finishing the game.

In his start against the Eagles, Thompson-Robinson went 13-of-25 for 164 yards in two quarters of play for a QBR of 72.8.

Thompson-Robinson, who began training camp as the fourth-string quarterback, has come a long way over the past month.

"Whenever his time comes, he takes advantage of those opportunities and he won't shy away from any moment," Watson said. "So he's a great guy that's been a great addition for the QB room, in the locker room, and then when he gets on the field, he brings that energy."

3. Crisp showing from the offense

Watson and the starters sat out last week's game against the Eagles but are set to play 20-25 snaps Thursday. The offense took a big step forward this week in practice dealing with the fake crowd noise Kevin Stefanski implemented in team drills. 

On Tuesday, the team faced some difficulties with the noise, but by Thursday, Watson and the offense managed to score multiple touchdowns. The play that particularly energized the offense was a 50-yard pass to WR Donovan Peoples-Jones, culminating in a touchdown.

After playing against the Commanders, participating in two joint practices with the Eagles, and facing off against the Chiefs, the offense believes it's been making significant progress. 

 "I think the biggest thing is just keep adding on," Watson said. "We know we're not all the way there yet and we shouldn't be. There are a lot of different small details of the offense that we want to continue to work on with different looks. That is going to help us out and that's the beauty of it."

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