The Browns are in Tampa Bay to face to Buccaneers in the third preseason game. This is the one that is typically the closest to a regular-season game. It is confirmed that the starters will see some action. If tonight doesn’t get you excited for Week 1, well, I’m not sure what will!
Here are five things to watch for:
1. No one gets hurt
It’s an obvious one. We want a healthy squad heading into the season and any injury, especially to a key player, could be devastating. I don’t even want to think about it. Just look at how QB Cam Newton of Carolina hurt his foot last night. He’ll be fine, but I’m sure those fans had some anxiety.
2. How Baker Mayfield plays
There is simply no quarterback competition here in Cleveland and it feels good to say that finally. However, the second-year man has only played for one drive (in the first game) this preseason. Obviously, we know what Baker can do and a poor performance would not change much, but we want to see our man on the same page with his receivers before the real season starts, especially with some new, and big, additions.
3. How the offensive line holds
I’d say this is one of the biggest weaknesses on the team – and it’s not even that bad. Giving Baker time will make him even better than he already is as our starter. Additionally, opening up holes for RB Nick Chubb and company will help them gain even more yards. It’s very simple. Every great team’s offensive line does the dirty work to make the OBJ’s on the field even better.
4. Kicking, Kicking, Kicking
The Browns have two kickers that have both have struggled. We need either Greg Joseph or Austin Seibert (5th round pick) to step up and start connecting on their attempts, or else the Browns will have to look for free agents. I saw soccer star Carli Lloyd hitting field goals at Eagles practice. Honestly, I don’t care if it’s a boy, girl or alien that’s got the job. Kicking doesn’t matter until it does. It can win or lose a game and whomever it is has to be up for the task.
5. Braxton Miller and if he is able to prove something
The Browns signed Miller this week and it’ll be interesting to see how much playing time he gets in Tampa. A lot of fans would love to see him make the 53-man roster, but he’ll have to show something to get that opportunity. The Browns are extremely deep at wide receiver, but this guy can play. Remember that spin move when he was still in college? AMAZING. A big play like that could secure a spot on the team.
Well, what this game really means is that we are even closer to the regular season starting! Can’t wait! Go Browns #DawgCheck
Enjoy the game!