There’s always a lot to like about a big victory, specifically when your starting, rookie quarterback makes progress. Brandon Weeden and the Browns were all over the Green Bay Packers in Thursday’s second pre-season game, winning 35-10.
The efficiency of the Browns’ quarterbacks was a welcome sight, as Weeden improved, the Browns saw solid performances again from Colt McCoy and Seneca Wallace.
Arguably the biggest storyline from the Browns’ win is that backup quarterback Colt McCoy once again played well in what could be an audition game for other teams, specifically for the Packers who have some serious backup quarterback troubles. McCoy was 4-of-6 passing with 58 yards, and showed that he is still indeed capable of being a strong player when called upon.
Obviously, we don’t put a lot of stock into the pre-season, but the Browns have a very young team so it holds a bit more weight. Under particular scrutiny are the two top young receivers Greg Little and Josh Gordon, who combined for six receptions and a couple of drops.
In doing some post-game work, it looks like Gordon is still having some trouble with his footwork. He’s been out of game situations for over a year, so we expect him to be a bit rusty, but that is something he’s going to have to rectify sooner rather than later, as much as is expected of him.
Little had four catches on five targets with one drop when Weeden was in at quarterback, and had 45 yards on the night.
The Browns’ defense was up to the task, forcing three interceptions of Packers’ quarterbacks and taking one back for a touchdown. They actually took another back for a score, but it was called back due to a neutral zone infraction prior to the play.
A couple of years back, the Detroit Lions went 4-0 in the pre-season and wound up 0-16 in the regular season, and while Cleveland is 2-0 and certainly making some strides, I don’t expect them to be a force in the regular season at this point. They have some interesting pieces, and they could be a tough out for any team they face, but the road ahead could be a bit overwhelming.
Still, positive signs each week are coming out of Browns camp, and it seems like they are on the upswing.