The Browns & Redskins Preseason Game is as Confusing as True Detective

By Ha Kung Wong

Twitter: @FBGarbageTime

Have you watched season 2 of “True Detective”?  If so, can you email me what you think is going on?

Seriously, I’ve finished the season and had to read about 100 pages of Wikipedia summaries just to figure out who everyone was.  Sure, I thought Colin Farrell and Rachel McAdams were decent, at least when I knew what was happening, but Vince Vaughn was terrible.  In fact, in the last episode (no spoiler, not that I figured out enough to actually spoil something) Vince Vaughn’s wife tells him that he’s “a terrible actor”, which I think might be the most sensible thing anyone said throughout the entire season.  But perhaps the only thing more confusing than season 2 of “True Detective” is that anyone wanted to watch the Cleveland Browns and Washington Redskins, two teams with the lowest expectations for the 2015 season, play a preseason game.

Perhaps it’s my desperation to watch football on TV, or the fact that I’ve had enough of pontificating about what might happen during the season, but I was one of those poor souls who tuned in.  And honestly, if nothing else, I might have learned a few things.

Ultimately, the Redskins won 20 to 17, but it was a mixed bag for both teams on the field.  Let’s take a look at some of things that I thought were interesting:

ClevelandBrowns.com Photo

ClevelandBrowns.com Photo

  • Josh McCown completed 5 of 5 passes for 33 yards including a 2-yard TD pass to WR Travis Benjamin.  McCown showed poise and confidence, didn’t rush passes and ultimately stabilized the questionable Browns QB position (all for the ridiculous sum of almost $5M a year for 3 years).  Although I don’t have much confidence in McCown after he went 1-10 in Tampa Bay last year, I do now believe he’s at least a serviceable placeholder for the Browns as they continue to give Johnny Manziel chances to prove they didn’t completely screw up the 2014 draft.  And McCown did provide my favorite quote of the game afterwards when he was asked about his TD pass to Benjamin and said “He looked lonely, so I threw him the football.”  Well played, Mr. McCown, well played.  I’m actually starting to like this guy.
  • Speaking of Johnny Football, although he managed to make the highlight reel with a nice 12 yard TD run, he looked mostly inaccurate and ineffective as a passer, going 7 for 11 for 42 yards (a measly 3.8 yards per completion average) and also absorbing a sack during his time under center.  On the plus side, Johnny did ditch his money sign after scoring his TD.  So there’s that.
  • Duke Johnson was off the field due to a strained hamstring, leaving basically no ground game to speak of for the Browns.  The Browns averaged an anemic 2.4 yards per carry, which includes Johnny Football’s two scrambles for 14 yards (sadly making him the leading rusher for the Browns as well).
Redskins.com Photo

Redskins.com Photo

  • The Redskins starting offense obviously didn’t care to show up, as RGIII continued to look lost completing just 4 of 8 passes for 36 yards over two series.
  • It wasn’t all RGIII’s fault as WR Pierre Garcon also had a case of the dropsies.  Garcon didn’t catch any of his three targets, including one where he beat Browns draft bust CB Justin Gilbert just to drop a wide open pass that would have been a TD.
  • Redskins TE Niles Paul suffering a broken ankle and going out for the season was a major blow to an offense that already looked ineffective.
  • Of course, the Redskins weren’t at full power in their first preseason game, as WR DeSean Jackson sat out with a camp sustained shoulder injury.
  • If there’s a silver lining for the Redskins, its that the ground game looked decent and QB Kirk Cousins managed to put together an efficient game.
  • Redskins RB Alfred Morris looked fine as he amassed 42 yards on 8 carries.
  • Redskins rookie RB Matt Jones had a nice 23-yard run in the second quarter and accumulated 38 yards on 5 carries.  There’s possibility for a RBBC here.
  • As for Cousins, he finished 12 for 14 for 154 yards.  Not too shabby.

Think these two teams have a shot at a winning record?  Based on what we’ve seen so far, I wouldn’t bet on it.  But then again, it’s only one preseason game.

Of course, if things keep going this direction, I might be like Ani and Ray from “True Detective”:

Ani: Would you run, now, if I asked. Would you?
Ray: I might. I just might.

Me too, Ray.  Me too.

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