Hey, Cleveland. Well, game one of the Browns’ 2017 season is in the books and now we look towards the meeting with the Baltimore Ravens this coming Sunday. Before we relegate last Sunday’s game to the back of our collective consciousness, I’d like to introduce a new feature we at CST have created for the 2017 NFL season. It is a series we are calling “TOP DAWG” and each week we will be honoring the top offensive and defensive players from the game.
To name a Top Dawg of the week, we look at the players on field contributions to the game. In special cases, a player may also receive recognition as a Top Dawg for exceptional actions off the playing field as well. At the end of the season, our loyal CST readers will vote for Dawg of the Year.
To kick things off, our 2017 Week 1 Defensive Top Dawg is #30, safety Derrick Kindred. While most of the Browns defense played respectably, Kindred stood out from the pack. While being on the field for only 40 plays, Kindred was our highest-graded player of the game at 85.2. He had two solo and one assisted tackle and nabbed the fourth quarter interception that brought First Energy Stadium to its feet and ignited a comeback effort. Although it was an unsuccessful comeback effort, that scary and exhilarating feeling of hope Kindred provided was nice.
The Offensive Top Dawg honors belong to rookie quarter back DeShone Kizer. Being a starting quarterback in the NFL is daunting to men with years of experience, but the situation Kizer was a part of was over the top, even by NFL standards.
In his first regular season start in Cleveland, Kizer had the job of standing up to our arch-rivals from the Steel City. He did an admirable job in his role, passing for 222 yards and going 20-30 on the day. This was all while sustaining seven sacks and tossing a single interception. Not a magical moment, but the Toledo, Ohio native has every reason to stand tall after a hard-fought game. Of course, a win would have looked great at the end of the game, but it looks like Kizer has what it takes to become the quarterback of our dreams.
I am excited to follow our Browns this season, more excited than I have been in a long time. While I am not planning my Super Bowl party just yet, I think this will be a solid season that can strengthen the team’s foundation for the future.
Follow Senior Writer Shelley Harcar on Twitter @Shelley0514 and on Facebook at Shelley Harcar
Image Credits Kickoffcoverage.com; Foxsports.com; Original multimedia art,