The reigning Preseason Champion Cleveland Browns defeated the reigning World Champion Philadelphia Eagles last night by a score of 5-0. As a diehard Browns fan and aspiring big time journalist I stuck around for the entire first half of the contest. I can make all my statements and generalizations based on just 2 quarters of football. That’s what we in the biz call efficiency.
Here are a few things that really stuck out to me after attending (half of) last night’s game.
1. The Defense Looks Good
This one probably seems obvious after seeing the final score, but the first team defense looked very good all half. After giving up a few big runs on the opening drive, the defense really stiffened up. Perhaps the biggest knock on this unit was their lack of turnovers. They did a lot towards changing that perception last night. One thing that stuck out to me more than the turnovers was the excellent open field tackling. There were only a couple instances where a guy whiffed and even then they recovered nicely
2. Myles Garrett. Wow!
I recently attended a Browns training camp with my nephew and the first thing we noticed was how much different Garrett is from his fellow defensive linemen. He just moves different and seems so much more powerful with less effort. That was on display again last night where he was able to pressure Nick Foles relentlessly. The safety obviously comes to mind, but the play that stands out to me the most was when Garrett was able to hurry Foles while being held by the O-lineman. The blatant hold was called and I was just amazed that he got to the QB so effortlessly while a 300lb man was trying to put him in an armbar.
3. Offense Is OK
Obviously 5 points isn’t going to set the World on fire but the first team offense was able to move the ball well on multiple occasions. There was the drive to the 1 yard line, Baker’s possession marched down the field for a field goal and they had a few other possessions where they were able to get a first down or two before punting. If the defense is half as good as Cleveland fans claim then that is about all the Browns will need. Play a game of field position and sprinkle in a few nice drives and we could witness some low scoring Browns victories this season. After the past few seasons, I feel comfortable saying that the Dawg Pound won’t be clamoring for style points if they can just win some games.