CLEVELAND -- Brock Osweiler played well into the second quarter of his Cleveland Browns debut, and yet, the first-team offense yielded no points in nearly 12 minutes on the field in a 20-14 win over the New Orleans Saints in the preseason opener at FirstEnergy Stadium Thursday night.
Osweiler completed six of his 14 attempts for 42 yards, and rushed for 10 yards on a scramble out of the pocket to the left side of the formation. After three straight three-and-outs to start the game, Osweiler led a 13-play, 61-yard drive, but a deflected pass at the goal line on fourth down spoiled the effort.
The first-team offense accounted for 76 yards with Osweiler at the helm.
“Football is the ultimate team sport,” Osweiler said. “There is no one player that can really make or break a game. Every once and a while, you will see this career game or a career outing by somebody, but for the most part, it takes all 11 guys to be in sync, on the same page, seeing and thinking the same thing and doing it in a matter of two or three seconds.”
On the first drive of the game, Osweiler missed on both of his pass attempts, as wide receiver Corey Coleman appeared to run the wrong route on the first play of the game, and then, a throw sailed into the sideline when Osweiler was under duress on third and 12 after a false start on left tackle Cameron Erving.
The Browns did not fare much better on the second drive.
Osweiler had a four-yard pass to Coleman, but it was negated by an illegal block above the waist on fellow wide receiver Kenny Britt. After hitting a nine-yard pass to running back Duke Johnson on the next play, Osweiler missed long on passes to wide receiver Ricardo Louis and tight end Seth DeValve.
“We weren’t able to get into a rhythm as an offense,” Osweiler said. “Anytime you struggle to get into a rhythm early, you are going to have a slow start to the game. That is what you saw tonight. There are no excuses for that.
“Honestly, that comes onto my shoulders. I have to find a way to spark this offense early, make plays for this offense early. Going into the third series, we did some pretty good things on offense. We got some first downs. We ran the ball well. The one thing I can tell you is the offensive line did a tremendous job tonight. I don’t even think a finger got laid on me.”
On the third drive, a holding penalty on right tackle Shon Coleman backed up the Browns into a second-and-17 situation, and they gained only eight yards over the next two snaps.
On the 13-play drive, Osweiler completed five of his 11 attempts for 25 yards and drew a pair of penalties, one for defensive pass interference, and the other for offsides before his pass toward the end zone fell incomplete.
“It was just unfortunate that we couldn’t end the drive with a touchdown,” Osweiler said. “Once again, that falls onto me. There is no one who is going to study the tape harder to figure out why we didn’t score a touchdown on that drive and what we can do different next time to make sure that drive does end in points.”
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