Cleveland Browns pull rookie QB DeShone Kizer after first-half struggles

CLEVELAND -- With the Cleveland Browns trailing the New York Jets, 3-0, after the first half of play at FirstEnergy Stadium, Cleveland Browns coach Hue Jackson made a change at quarterback, benching rookie starter DeShone Kizer in favor of second-year reserve Kevin Hogan.

Kizer completed just eight of his 17 passes for 87 yards in the first half, but committed two turnovers in the red zone, first, a fumble on a pitch in the first quarter, and an interception in the second period. Not only did the turnovers come in the red zone, but also, in goal-to-go situations.

On the season, Kizer has completed 81 of his 157 attempts (50.94 percent) for 851 yards with three touchdowns and nine interceptions.

Over the first 15 minutes of play, the Browns had 61 yards of total offense and mounted a late-quarter drive that went 50 yards and into the goal-to-go area. However, Kizer threw an option pitch out of the reach of running back Isaiah Crowell, and the Jets pounced on the loose ball for the fumble recovery at their own three-yard line.

Then, on the interception, Kizer took a shotgun snap from center JC Tretter, rolled to his right and fired a pass toward second-year tight end Seth DeValve. However, Jets safety Marcus Maye jumped the route, corralled the turnover and returned it out to the New York 14-yard line for a 12-yard gain.

And initially, the switch worked for the offense.

After Kizer committed those two first-half turnovers, Hogan was inserted into the lineup and engineered a 10-play, 75-yard drive and capped off the possession with a 21-yard touchdown pass to rookie tight end David Njoku, which gave the Browns a 7-3 lead with 9:19 to play in the quarter.

Hogan’s touchdown pass gave the Browns their first lead of the season.

Early in the drive, Hogan and the Browns faced a third-and-two from their own 33-yard line. Hogan completed a 29-yard pass to Kasen Williams, but the Jets got the play overturned when a replay review proved the wide receiver failed to come down with the ball in bounds. However, the Jets committed an offsides penalty, which gave the Browns the conversion.

Following the penalty, Hogan completed passes of 11 and 12 yards, respectively, as well as a four-yard throw on third-and-three to extend the drive before connecting with Njoku for the touchdown.

© 2017 WKYC-TV


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