What We Saw: Preseason Week 1

Catch everything you missed from a weekend chock full of football

Jets @ Browns

Final Score: Browns 21, Jets 16

Writer: Ben Brown (@BenBrownPL on Twitter)


Football is back! Granted, neither of the team’s #1 quarterbacks played in this game, but it’s still football! Remember last year when Josh Jacobs started this game and fantasy Twitter lost their collective minds? Thankfully there was no repeat situation this season as pretty much all of the starters sat this one out.  The most exciting moment of this game was when the lights went out on Cleveland’s side of the field and the game had to be paused as a result. Queue the Aaron Rodgers darkness retreat jokes!




The game was a snooze fest from the get-go, but we did finally get to see some game action from Jets’ camp standout Jason Brownlee, as well as 3rd year QB Zach Wilson. Cleveland’s rookie QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson made a splash in his first NFL action, and former WR turned RB Demetric Felton Jr. popped the most of any offensive player in this game. While there may not be any immediate fantasy implications for any of these players, those in deeper leagues should keep an eye on those four names.


New York Jets




Zach Wilson: 3/5, 65 yards, sack




I couldn’t agree more. Zach Wilson only played the first quarter of this game so there wasn’t much time for him to make an impression. Honestly, though, it was a good impression. Two plays stood out.

First, on the Jets’ first drive, Wilson faced 3rd and 2. After taking the snap out of the shotgun, he proceeded through his first, second, and third reads before feeling the pocket break down. He started to scramble but tripped and fell behind the line, forcing a punt. On the surface the play was a disappointment, but Chris Collinsworth aptly pointed out the fact that he went through his progressions, didn’t panic, and made the right decision to run despite the bad result. It was a positive sign for the young signal caller.

The second play that stood out was a gorgeous deep ball later in the quarter.



Obviously we all know the arm talent is there, but if the mental game can improve he might be able to reclaim some of that prospect shine that has been lost over the last two seasons.



Tim Boyle: 6/11, 61 yards

Chris Streveler: 1/7, 9 yards, INT | 1 carry, 7 yards


Running Back


Israel Abanakanda: 9 carries, 27 yards, TD | 1 target, 1 reception, 5 yards


The rookie known as Izzy was pretty hyped up by Jets fans heading into this game. I wasn’t overly impressed but he did show off his speed on his touchdown run, sprinting around the edge and diving for the end zone. The OL may have gotten away with a hold but he still made the play. I was disappointed when, on third and one right after the half, Izzy was stuffed when running straight up the middle into two defenders instead of bouncing to the left and taking the hole opened up by the LT. He’s young and still has a lot to learn.


Travis Dye: 9 carries, 12 yards | 1 target

Damarea Crockett: 4 carries, 7 yards | 1 target


Wide Receiver/Tight End


Jason Brownlee: 5 targets, 2 receptions, 17 yards


I was most excited to see Jason Brownlee, the Jets’ standout undrafted rookie WR thus far in camp. His number wasn’t called until the second quarter, but the targets came fast and furious after that. Four targets in the second quarter, in fact, but he was only able to convert them into two catches. He struggled to reel in anything with a defender on his hip, and he had a pretty bad drop on a ball that went right through his hands and bounced off his chest. Late in the 3rd quarter he beat his defender on a seam route down the right sideline but was overthrown by a mile and didn’t have a chance to get it. The athleticism is there, but I was ultimately unimpressed after hearing all the hype coming out of camp. Hopefully he’ll show off his skills next week.


Malik Taylor: 2 targets, 1 reception, 57 yards


On the receiving end for Wilson’s bomb down the sideline. Thought he did a good job coming down with the catch but also thought he could have done so more cleanly.


Alex Erickson: 2 targets, 1 reception, 19 yards


Good punt return to give the Jets a chance to win late in the game. Unfortunately, the opportunity was spoiled.


Xavier Gipson: 1 Target


Gipson had a really nice kick return that is worth noting. Fast player.


T.J. Luther: 3 Targets


Had an opportunity to score a game-winning TD in the last two minutes. Looked to be interfered with but no call was made.


Cleveland Browns




Kellen Mond: 13/19, 92 yards, TD, INT, sack


Josh Dobbs is (somehow) locked in as the #2 QB in Cleveland, so Kellen Mond started this game as the Browns decide who to keep as the #3 QB on the roster. While I’m sure the 49ers wish they had him on the roster in last year’s NFC Championship game (or really any other QB), he’s not going to be starting for an NFL team anytime soon. While his accuracy on downfield balls was pretty good, he tended to try to place them with finesse rather than zip them to the receiver. Against 1st string defenders at this level, that ain’t gonna cut it. It was pretty clear why he’s competing for a third string role.


  • First throw downfield on the money to a wide open WR. Nice throw
  • Had two nice throws to the sideline that were 6 inches away from being perfect. Both were tipped by defenders and the receivers couldn’t come down with them cleanly.
  • Sacked on 3rd and 10, led to missed field goal
  • Throw into double coverage picked off, keyed in on the receiver the entire time. Seems like he just didn’t see the LB at all

Missed Opportunities

  • Nearly threw another INT, right off the defender’s chest and popped right up in the air before hitting the ground


Dorian Thompson-Robinson: 8/11, 82 yards, TD | 5 carries, 37 yards


I was curious to see what DTR would do tonight after he was often linked to the Patriots in the draft earlier this year, and he was impressive to say the least. He led the Browns down the field on a 11 play, 93 yard drive as soon as he stepped on the field, and he flashed his speed, athleticism, and toughness right out of the gate. On Demetric Felton Jr.‘s TD run, DTR made a key block to spring Felton for the score. I’m sure that will earn the rookie some brownie points (pun intended) in the locker room.


  • Long windup is notable. Didn’t know this about him
  • Felt pressure, stepped up to avoid it, then scrambled for 10 yards. Impressive
  • Overthrew a WR on 2nd and 18 but bailed out by a bad call. Late hit on a defenseless receiver
  • Pretty quick. Didn’t realize he had those wheels
  • Impressive run, good feet along the sideline to stay in bounds and get extra yards. Made multiple defenders miss
  • Made an awesome block to spring Felton for a TD
  • TD pass on an inside slant, WR beat his defender and had a wide open path to the end zone. No help over the top

Missed Opportunities

  • Missed a wide open TE downfield, ball was low. Probably should have been caught.


Running Back


John Kelly Jr.: 10 carries, 42 yards | 5 targets, 4 receptions, 27 yards, TD


John Kelly Jr. started this game by catching a pass out of the backfield on the first play. Nothing about him really shined, but he did have two catch and runs for 10+ yards that were called back by penalties. The stats should have been better.


  • 11 yard run through an enormous hole. An 18 wheeler could have driven 10 yards untouched
  • Untouched out of the backfield and caught the ball for a score. Defender wasn’t really close to him
  • Forgot he had that TD until I filled out the stat line after the game. It clearly wasn’t that memorable

Missed Opportunities

  • Had a long catch and run out of the backfield called back due to illegal formation, but he didn’t do anything special to break it. Defender decided to go after the QB instead of cover him
  • Dropped a pass in the backfield, had some room to work with
  • Another long catch and run called back on a hold, much more impressive than the first. Made multiple defenders miss.


Demetric Felton Jr.: 7 carries, 46 yards, TD | 3 targets, 2 receptions, 9 yards


Demetric Felton Jr. is a WR who the Browns are working to convert to RB, and the skillset popped tonight. His quickness and speed shined both in the run game, passing game, and on punt returns as well. He was shifty and made defenders miss on multiple occasions. He was impressive. With Kareem Hunt gone and unlikely to resign in Cleveland, there’s an opening for the RB2 spot in Cleveland.I wouldn’t be surprised if he earns that job by the time the season rolls around.


  • Nice catch and run out of the backfield. Footwork looked good.
  • Popped a TD around the corner, sprung by a great block by DTR

Missed Opportunities

  • Nice return on a punt called back by a hold. He’s got a quick first step and can turn on the jets.
  • Had a nice 10 yard run, bounced off a defender and spun around to stay on his feet. Called back by a penalty


Hassan Hall: 5 carries, 34 yards


One word for Hassan Hall: Speed. He is fast. Had an 18 yard carry where he hammered a hole and quickly hit the second level.


Wide Receiver/Tight End


Austin Watkins Jr.: 2 targets, 2 receptions, 35 yards, TD


Ran a great route and DTR hit him with a perfect pass, had his defender beat and had nobody between him and the end zone. Nice play for the score.


Zaire Mitchell-Paden: 5 targets, 3 receptions, 22 yards


Had a nice catch down by his knees. He’s a big guy so it was an impressive grab.


Anthony Schwartz: 1 target, 1 reception, 7 yards


Showed good burst on an end around and gained seven yards before the ball was knocked out as he was going to the ground. His only touch of the game.


David Bell: 2 targets, 2 receptions, 6 yards


Recognize the name but nothing stood out in the game. The Bell truthers won’t be happy with this performance – he was invisible.


Photo by Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire | Adapted by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter)


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