The Browns are 2-0 in the preseason thanks to a quality operation from the second and third teams as the vast majority of starters have yet to see the field. That will change this week when QB Baker Mayfield and some select starters will get their first preseason action against the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday Night Football. The Browns are hoping for some quick, safe and quality work for Mayfield and the select starters en route to a third straight preseason win.
1. Baker's 2021 Debut
We do not yet know how much of Mayfield we will see against the Falcons or who will join him on the field, but the fact that the Browns' franchise quarterback will take the field is exciting to say the least. The Browns will be looking for a clean operation in terms of pre-snap penalties and turnovers while Mayfield is leading the team. The hope would be for one or two successful drives that result in points. Mayfield finished out the 2020 season with 20 touchdowns and just two interceptions from the opening drive of Week 7, will hopefully carry that efficiency into Sunday Night Football and then straight into the season opener in Kansas City on Sept. 12.
*2. Raw Power on the Defensive Interior *
If last week against the Giants were any indication, the Browns may have some very strong and talented players in their defensive tackle room. Fourth-round pick Tommy Togiai did 40 reps of 225 pounds on the bench press and held the point of attack all day long against the Giants. Former second-round pick Malik McDowell was impossible to miss against the Giants, as he tossed linemen around and wreaked complete havoc in the Giants backfield. McDowell would record two pressures, one sack and completely blew up the Giants two-point conversion attempt en route to earning PFF's highest defensive grade of the game for the Browns. Last year's third-round pick of the Browns, Jordan Elliott, led the Browns with four quarterback pressures, notched a sack and posted the second-highest defensive grade for the team.
3. Ground Game Dominance Again
One week after picking up just 29 yards on 22 carries against the Jaguars, the Browns got their ground game going in a major way against the Giants. In the second preseason game, the Browns ran the ball 25 times for 163 yards (6.5 yards per carry) and a touchdown. John Kelly led the way with 58 yards and a score on nine carries, while the ever-reliable D'Ernest Johnson got the start and picked up an explosive 36 yards on four rushes. Demetric Felton posted 25 yards on eight carries in his running back debut and will look to have an even more efficient game on Sunday night. A strong ground game will keep the clock moving and keep the offense efficient, which is exactly what everyone wants in the preseason finale.