Game Recap 8/11/23 | Browns Lose to Chiefs 33-32

August 26, 2023

Andy Billman

Post-Game Live Recap

3 Things About Browns Loss To Kansas City Chiefs

1 – York Yuck 

This does not need to be a long write-up, K Cade York had his final preseason kick deflected on a game-winning opportunity from 43 yards out.  after missing an extra point earlier in the game.  

If York makes the team, Lucy from the Peanuts cartoons should be the holder. Unexplainable if he makes the club, as York was the talk of the entire preseason for all of his misses. 

2 – Watson ok, the starters on offense ok.  Starters on defense were good. 

Let’s start with the good.  The Browns starters who played on defense to start the day had a good day, Za’Darius Smith stuck out as he was breaking through the line on multiple occasions.   Juan Thornhill had a pick-six, and JOK also was flying around making plays.

The Browns starters on offense who played looked ok. Deshaun Watson made a couple of throws, one to Donovan Peoples-Jones, and the touchdown pass to David Njoku was a dime.  Watson also moved well in the pocket.  

Watson also missed some throws, and some passes went into the dirt on multiple occasions.  He also is not into a game rhythm yet, hopefully, that will develop by week one.  At times he looks uncomfortable with basic plays.

One of those basic plays is handoffs.  Jordan Wilkins and Watson had two fumbled exchanges in the backfield.  The backup running back situation is now officially a mess, as no one has stood out in the preseason and Jerome Ford has still not seen the field. 

Finally, the offensive line had some issues at times with the Chiefs defensive line, especially James Hudson III.

3 – Jakeem Grant 

Jakeem Grant, on the opening kick off injured his knee and had to be carted off the field.  Hopefully, Grant is ok, as he missed all of 2022.

In my opinion, the injury to Grant secures a roster spot on the club for Demetric Felton.

Overall – 

Unlike previous preseason games, multiple Browns players on the cutline had opportunities to shine but did not. 

Game Summary

Deshaun Watson orchestrated consecutive touchdown drives for Cleveland, with one culminating in a throw to tight end David Njoku. However, the backups of the Kansas City Chiefs managed to overcome two pick-6s thrown by their own quarterbacks, mounting a comeback that led to a nail-biting 33-32 victory over the Browns in the final exhibition game for both squads.

Cade York, the Browns’ kicker whose position was under scrutiny due to a challenging preseason, secured the lead with a 40-yard field goal at the 4:23 mark of the final quarter. Nevertheless, the Chiefs swiftly embarked on a drive in the opposite direction, and Harrison Butker’s successful 44-yard kick restored their advantage.

With less than a minute remaining, York had another opportunity, but his 43-yard attempt was partially obstructed and never posed a threat.

While Watson had seen limited action in Cleveland’s initial three preseason matches, coach Kevin Stefanski afforded him the entire opening quarter against Kansas City (2-1). Despite some hiccups, including mishandled handoffs, the quarterback, whose contract is valued at $230 million, illuminated the game with his performance once he found his rhythm.

Having experienced a lackluster six starts subsequent to an 11-game suspension the previous season, Watson completed 5 of 10 passes for 92 yards on Saturday. After the first two drives concluded with a fumble recovery and a three-and-out, the subsequent two culminated in touchdowns. One of these drives featured an eight-play, 80-yard march highlighted by Watson’s 53-yard connection to Amari Cooper in a broken-play scenario.

Juan Thornhill intercepted Chiefs’ backup quarterback Shane Buechele and returned the ball 34 yards for a touchdown against his former team. Caleb Biggers followed suit with a 27-yard interception return off Blaine Gabbert, allowing Cleveland (1-2-1) to establish a 29-16 advantage by halftime.

Both teams opted to rest many of their star players – Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce were absent for Kansas City, and Myles Garrett sat out for Cleveland. As a result, the outcome was determined by a group of substitutes.

Despite the preventive measures, the game took a toll on Cleveland in terms of injuries.

Jakeem Grant Sr., who had made a comeback after suffering an Achilles tendon injury the previous summer, was taken off the field with a knee injury during the opening kickoff. Jordan Elliott, the defensive tackle, sustained a hip injury, while linebacker Jordan Kunaszyk injured his knee. Fellow linebacker Tony Fields II underwent a concussion evaluation but was deemed fit to continue playing.

Shane Buechele, vying tightly with Gabbert for the Chiefs’ backup QB position, managed only 8 of 17 passes for 89 yards with two interceptions and one touchdown.

Gabbert’s performance was slightly more promising, completing 10 of 18 passes for 169 yards, featuring two touchdown throws and an interception.

Touchdown catches by Justyn Ross and Ihmir Smith-Marsette added to Kansas City’s tally. La’Mical Perine also stood out, potentially securing a backup role by rushing for 32 yards and catching three passes for 44 yards, including a touchdown.

Up Next

Thur 9/10 1:00 PM EST – Season Opener vs. Cincinnati Bengals

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