TAMPA, Fla. — In their third game of the preseason game, the Browns fell to the Buccaneers, 13-12.
Despite the loss, the Browns had some groundbreaking moments throughout the game.
Here are the top three takeaways following preseason Week 3:
1. Defensive pressure
The Browns’ front four had an explosive outing in the first half and the great defense continued throughout the game
In back-to-back plays in the second quarter, Sheldon Richardson and Olivier Vernon broke through Tampa Bay’s line, sacking Jameis Winston.
Vernon and Devaroe Lawrence each had two of the team’s seven sacks, assisted in part by the force Myles Garrett put on the line.
In Friday's game, the threat that the Browns' front four posed on paper became a reality.
Adding to the sack count, Denzel Ward and Christian Kirksey also each collected one in an impressive outing all around from the Browns defense.
KIRKO!— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) August 24, 2019
That's our 4th sack of the night 💪 pic.twitter.com/HMtEMRrfeR
2. Kicking woes improve
Greg Joseph, who is fighting to keep his kicking job, took a backseat while Austin Seibert took every kick in the game as Freddie Kitchens and Mike Priefer work to figure out which, if either, make the final roster cut on Aug 31.
After Baker Mayfield’s third-and-2 pass was knocked away, Seibert had the much anticipated but daunting task of attempting a field goal from far out.
With the kicker position up for grabs, Siebert lived up to that task, making a 54-yard field goal at the end of the Browns’ opening drive, giving them a 3-0 lead.
In the second quarter, Seibert made his second field goal, this one a 36-yarder. He made a third field goal later in the quarter from 30 yards out.
Seibert went 4-4, making his fourth field goal of the night in the fourth quarter from 35 yards out.
Don’t be surprised if Joseph takes all the kicks in the final preseason game next Thursday to wrap up this position battle.
3. Baker’s long outing
Earlier in the week, Mayfield expressed his desire to play through the first half of Friday’s game.
“I would like to say at least a half, but that is not my call,” Mayfield said following the last day of training camp.
While Kitchens seemed hesitant to commit to that much playing time for Mayfield, the team’s franchise quarterback found himself on the field through the entire first half of the game, as he requested.
Mayfield didn’t have the outing he or anyone watching hoped for. With 10 completions in 26 attempts for 72 yards, Mayfield failed to throw for a touchdown and recorded an interception in the last play of the first half.
Even though he didn’t have his best performance, many of Mayfield's passes should have been caught.
"Offensively, we’re not making any plays. The balls are there to be made and we’re not making any so that’s what usually happens when you an’t protect and you don’t make any plays,” Kitchens said of his offense.
With the starters to sit out for the fourth and final game of the preseason, let’s hope Mayfield shook any rust off he might have been carrying and is ready to find Beckham and Jarvis for six one they take the field throughout the regular season.
Camryn Justice is a digital content producer at News 5 Cleveland. Follow her on Twitter @camijustice.