Cleveland Browns: Preseason Week 1 instant reactions

  • Cleveland Browns: Preseason Week 1 instant reactions

Cleveland Browns: Preseason Week 1 instant reactions

Perhaps the most intriguing battle of Week 1 of the 2018 National Football League preseason, a matchup between the Cleveland Browns and the New York Giants, should be quite fascinating. The Giants defense surrendered just 1.5 yards per attempt on 33 rushes for the night. While Tyrod Taylor holds the edge to start right now, Mayfield is making an excellent case to be Cleveland's starting quarterback when the regular season begins.

He completed four of 11 passes for 70 yards in the first half.

The Heisman Trophy victor from Oklahoma found tight end David Njoku on a 10-yard TD pass to cap a 14-play, 72-yard drive on his second series.

It was a disappointing series for the first-team defense and exposed two problems the Giants suffered from a year ago - the inability to pressure the opposing quarterback in key situations and keeping tight ends out of the end zone.

Barkley had four more carries, which only resulted in four yards gained, after his big play.

Mayfield was up next and, following a three-and-out, settled in on his second series, finding Rashard Higgins with a pretty back-shoulder throw on the sideline for a 26-yard gain. Spencer Drago was called for holding, though, setting up third-and-18.

The second of those scampers - a 5-yard, red-zone dash on fourth-and-2 - set up Mayfield's 10-yard touchdown toss to David Njoku.

That connection wasn't finished as Mayfield opened the fourth quarter with a 54-yard touchdown lob to the fourth-round wideout, who finished with 87 yards off three catches and looked good doing it.

Taylor, expected to be coach Jackson's starter as Mayfield learns this season, hit all five of his passes in two series, including a 36-yard touchdown pass to Njoku, a New Jersey native.

QB controversy in Cleveland? Then, Cleveland fans got to see the debut of rookie quarterback Baker Mayfield.

It's only one preseason game, but there were plenty of reasons to be hopeful.