What We Saw: Preseason Week 2

Eagles @ Browns

Final Score: Eagles 21, Browns 20

Writer: Ryan Radel (@RadelFF on Twitter)

 

If for some reason you weren’t already privy, you typically will not find much of the league’s top-tier talent on either side of the ball in most preseason games. While this game was no exception, there are still numerous bits of information these matchups provide, such as personnel packages, playcalling tendencies, usage, etc. On occasion, you sometimes even witness the establishment of a fantasy football asset. Back in 2014, the Browns had (surprise, surprise) a very messy roster with a lot of starting positions up for grabs. One of those positions was at running back: The Browns had veteran Ben Tate, 3rd-round rookie Terrance West, and cut-candidate UDFA Isaiah Crowell. It was week three of the preseason (when the preseason was 4 games.) Crowell hadn’t done much of anything all preseason until the fourth quarter of that game. Crowell proceeded to run for 102 yards and a touchdown on 13 carries and looked like an absolute monster out of the backfield. Now, Crowell wasn’t a world-beater, but once it was clear he was going to be involved in the Browns offense that season, I knew he might be worth the risk of an add at the bottom of my roster. Crowell finished that season with over 600 yards, but had 8 touchdowns, putting him at RB29 on the season. The depth of knowledge you can take away from watching preseason games shouldn’t be undervalued.

 

Philadelphia Eagles

| Preseason Week 1 |

 

Quarterback

 

Gardner Minshew: 14/17, 142 yards

Reid Sinnet: 4/9, 69 yards, TD, Sack | 3 carries, 16 yards

Carson Strong: 0/1 | 2 carries, -2 yards

 

With Jalen Hurts not playing, Gardner Minshew got the start and looked extremely polished, albeit against potentially lesser competition. Minshew marched up and down the field, coordinating scoring drives of 14 plays and 17 plays before handing over the reins to Reid Sinnet. Sinnet was nowhere near as polished as Minshew, but he did connect with Olympic track star Devon Allen on a massive 55-yard bomb. Sinnet showed excellent arm strength, as the guy he was throwing to is literally an Olympic hurdler.

 

 

Running Back

 

Kenneth Gainwell: 11 carries, 46 yards, TD

Boston Scott: 10 carries, 33 yards, TD | 1 target, 1 reception, 11 yards

Jason Huntley: 8 carries, 22 yards

Kennedy Brooks: 6 carries, 16 yards | 1 target, 1 reception, 3 yards

DeAndre Torrey: 3 carries, 13 yards

 

Outside of the two short-yardage touchdowns, there was not a lot going for this group. They averaged a whopping 3.3 yards per carry on the day and were ultimately gifted two touchdowns by the offensive coordinator. The backfield was not involved much in the passing game either. Kenneth Gainwell looked the best out of this group, unsurprisingly. What did surprise me was just how hard he hit the hole on this touchdown – that’s going to be hard to stop no matter who you are:

 

 

Wide Receiver/Tight End

 

Deon Cain: 7 targets, 5 receptions, 66 yards

Devon Allen: 2 targets, 1 reception, 55 yards, TD

Quez Watkins: 2 targets, 2 receptions, 19 yards

Jalen Reagor: 4 targets, 2 receptions, 17 yards

Zach Pascal: 1 target, 1 reception, 15 yards

Noah Togiai: 2 targets, 2 receptions, 9 yards

John Hightower: 1 target, 1 reception, 7 yards

Britain Covey: 4 targets, 1 reception, 5 yards

Richard Rogers: 1 target, 1 reception, 4 yards

 

There were a lot of pass catchers involved thanks to how effectively the quarterbacks were spreading the ball around. Devon Allen (the aforementioned track star) was targeted only twice but turned one of them into the 55-yard touchdown bomb you saw earlier. Quez Watkins, Jalen Reagor, and Zach Pascal all received first-team targets with Minshew on the field but failed to do much with them. Deon Cain was the headliner of this group, catching five of his seven targets for 66 yards while giving us this highlight-reel catch:

 

 

 

Cleveland Browns

| Preseason Week 1 |

 

Quarterback

 

Joshua Dobbs: 14/20, 141 yards | 4 carries, 47 yards, TD, Fumble

Josh Rosen: 7/20, 88 yards

 

With Deshaun Watson on the shelf for a while, the Browns knew they needed to be more familiar with their depth at the position. Josh Rosen has been pedestrian at best in his snaps with the backup offense. His receivers didn’t do him many favors on most plays, but he doesn’t seem to play with a sense of “urgency.” Joshua Dobbs, on the other hand, has been proving why he deserves a roster spot with his play over the last two preseason games. Outside of a mishandled shotgun snap, which resulted in a fumble that was recovered for a touchdown, Dobbs looked incredibly sharp overall. He spread the ball out well and took what the defense gave him. As a Browns fan, he is way better than I thought he was, although he still has a long way to go. Not only was he incredibly accurate through the air, but he also made an impact on the ground too:

 

 

Running Back

 

John Kelly Jr.: 14 carries, 66 yards, TD

Jerome Ford: 9 carries, 31 yards | 4 targets, 4 receptions, 26 yards

D’Ernest Johnson: 2 carries, 21 yards | 1 target, 1 reception, 8 yards

Johnny Stanton IV: 2 carries, 5 yards | 1 target, 1 reception, 2 yards

 

Another week and another healthy serving of targets go to the Browns running backs – something to keep in mind come draft day. The touchdown that Joshua Dobbs ran in would’ve gone to D’Ernest Johnson if it weren’t for the dropped snap – Johnson instead became the lead blocker in the lane he would’ve otherwise been running through for an easy score. For the two runs that did count for D’Ernest, he gashed the defense for 10 and 11 yards. Jerome Ford continues to be involved in all aspects of the game. He wasn’t the most efficient runner today, averaging only 3.4 yards per carry, but he helped offset that by contributing four catches for another 26 yards. John Kelly Jr. got the majority of the touches out of the backfield and turned that into 66 yards and a score, including this nice cutback at the goal line to find paydirt. Great vision and agility on display from the fourth-year pro:

 

 

Wide Receiver/Tight End

 

David Bell: 4 targets, 3 receptions, 46 yards

Nakia Griffin-Stewart: 4 targets, 3 receptions, 33 yards

Javon Wims: 5 targets, 1 reception, 32 yards

Mike Harley Jr: 7 targets, 3 receptions, 30 yards

Zaire Mitchell-Paden: 3 targets, 1 reception, 22 yards

Anthony Schwartz: 3 targets, 2 receptions, 20 yards

Ja’Marcus Bradley: 5 targets, 2 receptions, 10 yards

Daylen Baldwin: 2 targets

 

Much like the Eagles, the Browns spread it out for this preseason game so guys can prove what they can do come roster cuts. David Bell looked like he is ready to contribute come the regular season, turning four targets into three receptions for 46 yards. The fourth target was an uncharacteristic drop for Bell. Javon Wims had a big 32-yard grab, but that was all he was able to come up with on five targets. Anthony Schwartz bounced back after a tough showing in the Browns’ first preseason game, securing two of three targets for 20 yards. There wasn’t a ton of action from this group as a majority of targeted routes were short or underneath. One of the longer passes on the day was this dime from Dobbs to Mike Harley Jr., who was targeted seven times but only managed to secure three of those for 30 yards:

 

 

The Eagles came out on top in this one, 21-20, over the Browns. It was a well-played game and a lot of guys got to make their case for the active roster for both teams. One more preseason matchup for both squads before the regular season grind will be in full effect.

 

Thanks for reading!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.