Browns defense shines despite 13-12 loss to Tampa Bay

Mayfield, offense, labor in two quarters of action

Browns defense shines despite 13-12 loss to Tampa Bay
Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield (6) during the first half of an NFL preseason football game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Friday, Aug. 23, 2019, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Jason Behnken) (Source: Jason Behnken)

CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Baker Mayfield and the Browns offense did not look as sharp as they would have liked in the Browns’ 13-12 loss to the Buccaneers on Friday night in Tampa.

Mayfield played the entire first half, completing only 10 of 26 passes for 72 yards. He did not throw a touchdown pass, was intercepted once and also sacked one time. His quarterback rating for the night was a dismal 30.6.

Odell Beckham, Jr., Jarvis Landry, David Njoku and Nick Chubb all sat for the preseason game often called the “dress rehearsal.”

Mayfield struggled to connect with receivers like Rashard Higgins, Derrick Willies and Jaelen Strong. Some passes were straight misses, others could be considered drops by receivers that were outstretched but still had the ball hit them in the hands.

On the night the Browns mustered only 141 yards of total offense and possessed the ball only 23:52.

The first team defense harassed Jameis Winston, piling six sacks in the first half. Olivier Johnson had two, Sheldon Richardson, Chris Smith, Denzel Ward and Christian Kirksey each registered one.

On special teams, rookie Austin Siebert probably locked in the kicker job over veteran Greg Joseph by drilling a 54-yard field goal for the Browns first points and connecting on his next three kicks as well.

The Browns wrap up the preseason on Thursday night at First Energy Stadium against Detroit.

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